One of my all-time favorite movies is Angel and the Badman. It's as corny as the title suggests - a John Wayne film no less. I've watched it many times since childhood which is probably why I love it so much. Anyway, in the film, John Wayne - resident badman - has been shot and subsequently rescued and cared for by a Quaker family. Upon arrival to their home, he's put in bed and though nearly unconscious, he appears restless, like there's something he's missing and needs before he can find peace. The Quaker father runs downstairs, empties John Wayne's gun, returns to his bedside and places it in his hand. John Wayne immediately relaxes and passes out. That gun was so much a part of John Wayne's life, he couldn't relax without it.
Last night for the first time in several days, I slept well. I woke up this morning well-rested and even perky. Did I mention Brian's back? After a week of playing tour guide for some first time China visitors, he made it home late Thursday night. Yesterday was a normal day - him doing his things, me doing mine, our paths crossing for meal times - nothing special. But like John Wayne's gun, Brian has become so much a part of my Shiyan life, it's difficult to feel at home without him. I can't imagine next year making cinnamon rolls without him in mind or meeting any meal time without waiting on him to finally get his shoes on so we can go. Anyway, Brian, I love you, brother.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AMERICA!
We failed miserably at celebrating the Fourth of July in China. It would probably have helped had we been able to stop forgetting it was Independence Day. Here are the highlights of my first Fourth of July in China: I finished Jane Eyre (a reminder of what famous piece of literature we could have claimed as our own had we not declared our independence from using words such as "hither" and "thither") and later had a dinner of grilled fish - which did not compare in Americanicity with grilled hamburgers or hot dogs but was delicious nonetheless - watermelon, and ice cream. We ended the evening with an attempt to watch Independence Day illegally downloaded from a Chinese website, but it didn't work so we watched an episode of Monk instead and went to bed sans a grand Fourth of July Fireworks Show. But, we figure, we've seen enough fireworks daily in China since we've been here to last a lifetime of Fourth of Julys.
For anyone interested, I'll be back in the great state of Oklahoma Wednesday afternoon - the 9th. See you all soon!