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Monday, October 14, 2013

Moo Moo Everywhere

Wednesday is a midweek I look forward to because it’s Vincent’s day off. Keke goes to school half day in the morning while Vincent takes care of Kylie at home so that I can attend a woman bible study class every week. As a full time mom, it’s a few precious hours that I can fully dive into and savor the word of God without distractions.

Today is a gloomy and rainy day. The smell of rain is what I long for and it wakes my senses up.  After the bible study, I stopped by a coffee shop to relish the sight of rain with a hot pumpkin spice latte at the window. Gardening is also my mental getaway, so I picked up a few pots of flowers to top off my lovely morning.   On the way home, I found a concert loaded in my car, which had no chance to air for more than a year because my songs of choice were closely related to Old Mac Donald and Wheels on the Bus since Keke was born. With vengeance, I blasted the speakers, opened the moon roof and sang my lungs out.   

Routine provides a harbor of comfort and stability, but at some point, it drifts into a mind of inertia. Much like a treadmill, the same calculated actions and thought pattern running steadily and endlessly.  So with this, I see taking care of Kylie and Keke becomes a job to fulfill, a way to get by.  The manifested symptoms include, but certainly not limited to, a drastic decrease of patience and exaggerated grumbling. The feeling of being unappreciated is prevalent and a silent bomb is ticking. Before I put up the sign “BEWARE OF BITTER WIFE”, the establishment of No-Kid Zone, whether it’s 20 minutes or a few hours a day, is crucial to rejuvenate my mind to reflect, regroup and reprioritize.

For me, the No-Kid Zone usually takes place when everyone is asleep at night or very early in the morning, and the luxurious Wednesday morning. Until then, the background music of my treadmill mind will sound like “Old Mac Donald had a farm, EIEIO, and on this farm he had a cow, EIEIO, with a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here moo, there moo, everywhere moo moo”

Yup, I can feel it, moo moo everywhere.

Summer's Footprint

Monday, September 16, 2013

Pearl Making

A lot of times, I have many strange thoughts.  For some reasons bewildered to me, the concept of death is as real as my own shadow. “Who is going to die first? Vincent or me?” “Who is going to handle better after one of us die?”  "What will my own funeral look like?” Graveyard is not my type. I would rather have my children scattered my ashes in Grand Canyon to remind them that human is so insignificant compare to the awestruck wonders of nature and the creator of universe. 

The wedding vow is a little blurry to me, I have to admit.   Memories of the wedding day are not so durable. However, I can still recall the feelings like yesterday when Vincent first held my hand in a mall. My heart beat so fast that zero gravity was not too hard to imagine.  The same racing heart could also caught in the moment and led to rampageous actions such as storming out of the room and driving 90 miles per hour when we argued. Fortunately, I just did it once and realized I have too much to lose in engaging in this type of actions. Every couple has their ups and downs and we are no exceptions. But what will happen one day if I find myself waking up with no one sleeping beside me? Like getting married and having a honeymoon, dying and being left behind are one of the stages we will go through down the road. It is just part of the marriage deal.  To die is easy, but to live meaningfully is the toughest part for the loved one who is left behind. After much contemplation, I told Vincent that it’s my hope that he dies before me because I can survive better if I am left behind. Of course, assumption is a freelancer of the mind until it is smashed by the unrelenting reality.

In the movies, the characters always wait till their last breath and utter their shivering words of “I…. love….. you……” I am not going to wait till my last breath?! Are you kidding me? On a more practical level, writing makes it easily assessable so that my husband (H) can read it whenever he feels disheartened, thinking what did he get himself into, when things are not up to par, or simply, whenever he pleases. 

Dear Mr. H,

The bible says, “That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh” I try to think what does one flesh mean. Is it two people being duct taped together for the rest of the life? That would be so hopeless- hopeless to be bound together due to reasons other than love and commitment. Then I remember the process of pearl making:  
“The formation of a natural pearl begins when a foreign substance slips into the oyster between the mantle and the shell, which irritates the mantle. It's kind of like the oyster getting a splinter. The oyster's natural reaction is to cover up that irritant to protect itself. The mantle covers the irritant with layers of the same nacre substance that is used to create the shell. This eventually forms a pearl.”
Mr. H, I feel like I am the foreign substance in your life. No doubt, I did a fairly good job in irritating and annoying you (and vice versa) through the years. However, your endless layers of patience and understanding gradually transform me to a pearl. Can’t say that I become perfect (actually I never attempt to become one), but definitely a better person. Thank you for your shell of anchor, which allows me to shine bravely in your heart.
I love you.

Truly yours,

Summer’s Footprint:
“Oh Sweet Lorraine”-The story of a love song written by a 96 years old man whose wife recently passed away. Enjoy.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Home Countries

Walking around with air conditioner water dripping on my body from nowhere, the free hair compressor from the super air curtain at the doors of the malls and shops, the suffocating humidity and getting drown in my own sweat. That pretty much sums up my memory of the summer time in Hong Kong.

Aside from the weather, I cannot think of one thing that I hate about Hong Kong.  Hmm… take it back, maybe the traffic. It’s such a wonderful place and I am proud to say that Hong Kong is my hometown. So when I was 17 years old seeking education here in the U.S, there were some cultural gaps necessary for me to cross over.  One of the biggest differences that occur to me is personal space. Considering a population of 7 millions sharing 423 square miles of land, six times the size of Washington D.C, people in Hong Kong are squeezed all the time. Rubbing elbows is just an understatement. Human forced and packed like sardines to the subway trains, buses and elevators are not an unusual sight.  Hence, to say “Excuse me” in the U.S before I pass in front of someone two feet away is something I need to remind myself consciously.  Because I did learn this lesson the hard way by inviting some angry looks and someone saying “Excuse you!” while I was puzzling “What did I do?”

Another phrase that I need to get myself in habit of saying is “Bless you” when someone sneezes. What is the benefit of being blessed after sneezing? And if I don’t bestow the blessings would be perceived as rude does not make sense to me.  I thought blessing is arbitrary. Personally, I would rather save these blessings when I am under unpalatable situations such as crawling out of the bed at the cry of Kylie in the middle of the night, or the sheer sight of washing poop when Keke’s ass decides to explode in his underwear.  But that’s just me I guess and now I’m conformed to the world of abundant blessings.

To top my list of ever-confusing phrase is the term “Politically correct/ incorrect”.  I recently found out the word “Oriental” in the U.S may considered offensive or politically incorrect to some Asians because the term is based on the geographic relationship of Asia from a Western perspective.  What?! How come I did not feel offended at all even though I am a 100% Asian breed? A lot of times I am still learning what is correct or incorrect in this culture, offensive or defensive or whatsoever.  To add another level of correctness is like listening to Vincent talking endlessly about the torque, horsepower, and the engineering of various cars bla bla bla-all mumble jumble. 
Interestingly, after all the cultural adjustments I encountered in the U.S, it’s ironic to feel like a foreigner every time I go back to Hong Kong for vacation now that I have spend more time living here than in my home country. There is no escaping the fights for space both physically and emotionally is simply consuming, if not exhausting. 

On the other side of the horizon, it’s humbling to be a part of the collective, yet diversified cultural experience, and subsequently loving the people who make up this piece of land called United States of America.  

Summer’s Footprint:

The famous scene of Hong Kong is the nightly neon skyscraper. It represents productivity, prosperity and glamor.

But the poor and the disadvantaged are also the many faces of Hong Kong as the result of economic disparity. My heart went out to the two children in the following article, which depicted a boy sleeping and his sister studying on their exclusive  moveable area-the upper level of their bunk bed.

Monday, July 15, 2013


With Keke's new found ability to ride his tricycle comes the constant request of riding it to the local park.  Looking from the back of Vincent and Keke walking side by side, it gave me visceral emotions of how Keke has grown from a sitter, to a crawler, then a runner, now a rider. It’s funny how the perception of time differs with the two of them. When I look at Keke, it feels that the two years passed by in a nick of time. However, when I turn to Kylie, suddenly everything seems to be in slow motion and what? She is not even one? When will she be able to talk? Play catch with her brother, and usher her first word of “mama”? 

Anyways, when we went to the park, Keke quickly got himself acquainted with a buddy about two to three years older than him.  They followed and chased each other in the park like rats running in a cage.  Kids just have bottomless energy. The only thing that’s missing was a spinning wheel.  Then Keke went up the playground structure and about to pop his legs and slide down.  But down the slide was his buddy climbing up from the bottom.  A stern tone from behind yelled “Bad choice, think again!”  This little boy looked at his mom and slowly climbed back down the slide. As opposed to telling a child yes or no, allow space for independent thinking and culture own choice making are more effective ways of parenting in my opinion. 

In the past, there were certainly times I stumbled out of the gate and suffered the consequence, but only in retrospect do I learn to make more wise decisions and be a better parent today. If mistakes and bad choices are prelude to self-realization and growth, it’s a path I am willing to take.

Summer’s Footprint

My dearest son and daughter, 

It’s not your achievement that makes me proud. But how you own your mistakes when you fall, wipe your tears knowing that you are loved regardless, and get back up with your head held high.      
Love always,

Keke's first day of riding his bike.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013


Five.  That’s the number of times I have applied to Starbucks. I did not expect it to be so difficult to land a part time job as a Bearista.  What’s wrong with me? It’s starting to get personal. The first time I was logged out of the system because I filled out the online form incorrectly. The second time I send in my full resume, then the third time I deleted my graduate degree, the forth time my work experience was cut to a bare minimal, then my last resume was nothing left but my volunteer experience and a college degree. Still, I am in square one and get no response.

Looking at this piece of paper with all the experience, abilities and qualifications, I feel so…...simplified, for lack of a better term. The first impression of me in a professional world in the past twenty years defined by 200+ words, how limiting this can be. If there is another format of writing resume, I wish I could say something like: My name is Summer but I am not born in summer and my sister’s name is not winter.  You are probably spinning how to pronounce my last name (Ng) also.  It’s ____.  Yes, it’s a painful last name to carry around but got stuck with it since birth. Too often, I have many spontaneous ideas, yet too lazy to follow through. I am extremely forgetful and have lost countless things. It is my belief that my head will probably end up in one of those lost and found stations if it weren’t connected to my neck. Comprehension is not my strongest and I do not get jokes. I would laugh but in the back of my mind thinking why is it so funny? I wish I have bigger eyes but they seem to work just fine. Being judgmental is a personal disease and recently had a watershed moment that it’s a burden to carry.  I try to do the right things for my kids but lack the patience needed. Above all, I have many weaknesses and if there is one word that can define me perfectly, it’s “sinner.” Only the blood of Jesus Christ can square my debt.  There is no way around it, only through it. Finally, when the end draws near and it’s my turn to come face to face with God, it will be my pinnacle of achievement to say that I have fulfilled His purpose for me in this life.  

That’s my version of the resume, what’s yours?

Summer's Footprint:

will work as food

(Due to Mr. Smarty Pig's grammatical mistake, he lands a job in the food industry)