What does burned fish, flies, and a bird all have in common? They were all somehow invited into my life last week. Where to even begin…
Tuesday, Eunkyung and I wanted to cook ready to eat Korean side dishes, so we don’t have to spend so much time cooking. So, we started to make a dish that’s main ingredient is young anchovies. That is when everything went wrong. As we started roasting the dried fish, Ben started acting up and I got frustrated. I decided that he needs to go out of the house, so I decided that we do some shopping for some cooking needs. Well in a haste we left and forgot to turn off the stove.
Now this probably wouldn’t have been a big deal if we only left for a few minutes, going to the grocery store and back. But after grocery shopping, we went shopping to prepare for our Cancun trip. But instead of going home, we did more! It was getting near evening, and I decided that we should just go to a restaurant and get something to eat. We went to Panera and ate. So about 4 hours later we return home. As we came home and I started to make my way through the side door, I can tell something was off. I could already smell that something was burning. That’s when I ran into the house and found out the food totally burned on the stove. It smelled so bad! So naturally we opened all the windows and all the doors. What happened next was like an Alfred Hitchcock movie.
I learned that flies love the smell of extremely burned fish. I felt that every fly in Blair County found their playground in our house. So, if you are wondering if there seems to be a decrease of flies in your area and you live in Blair County, you’re welcome. I know I killed at least 50 flies that evening. And about 20 more the next morning. It was freaking gross.
Even with the fans blowing and windows wide open, the smell was nauseating. Also, the rain started, which also meant our house had the humidity at about 80%, according to the temperature monitor in our home. So, on Wednesday, our home smelled like burnt fish and had the humidity of 80%. Also, the lights weren’t working well, my computer was running subpar, and the printer had a hard time working due to the high humidity.
Also, if you are wondering why there is a shortage of candles at TJ Maxx, that is because of us. We didn’t have any candles in the house, so Eunkyung bought all the candles that were in the clearance isles at TJ Maxx. Also, there might be a shortage of air fresheners at Walmart as well. So, by Wednesday evening, our house was in darkness, with a ton of smelly candles, baking soda and vinegar. It seriously looked like we were doing some sort of weird ritual.
On Thursday, the smell was around, but it stopped smelling like burnt fish, instead it smelled like we have been smoking for about 10 years. Our house smelled like old cigarettes. The smell was so bad, that I found out it got on to all of our clean clothes! My clothes, Eunkyung’s clothes, Norah and Ben’s clothes. I mean, Norah and Ben smelled like that took on a new habit! I can’t take them to school smelling like a chain-smoker! Somehow that smell got into all of our dressers and closets! So, I took down all the curtains and drapes, took out all of the clothes from everyone’s closets and dressers, and decided that I will do laundry nonstop.
So, by Thursday evening, our house, still in darkness, candles lit, no curtains, windows open, fans on, baking soda, vinegar, and intensely humid. If you were to look inside our house that night, you would think that we are continue this weird religious ritual.
Friday rolls around, the smell is getting less, and laundry machine on the entire time. Clothes and curtains getting washed. It was a war against this smell. Fast forward, it is now Tuesday of next week. The smell is still unfortunately around, but not bad. The windows are closed, the candles are off and baking soda is still around in a couple of places, and the laundry is done. Curtains are going back up, if I can remember where each one goes. And tomorrow we leave for vacation.
Oh, I didn’t mention that on Saturday night, a freaking bird entered in our church sanctuary. Nice. That’s all I really needed this week! By God’s grace I was able to capture it on Sunday morning. But the dang bird knocked off all the dust from our high ceiling and covered the pews and organ, piano, and carpet. I spent Sunday morning from 6:00am vacuuming, and cleaning bird poop. But didn’t have time to wipe off the pews. So, if any church member that got their clothes ruined because of the dust on their pew, sorry, the turtledove/ mourning dove really messed up a lot.
So, where is God in all of this? Well, I can laugh about the week. The ongoing battle with burned fish, the flies, the humidity, the bird in the church, the laundry, the candles, and every emotional distress tells me that sometimes, when life goes off the rails, it takes time to get back on your feet. Sometimes there isn’t a quick fix to problems we face in life. The “smell” lingers. But it all gets better, we just need to roll up our sleeves, and get to work. And even when we are in the middle of a messy situation, we run into a “bird.” It seems that life just keeps on getting more and more frustrating. One thing after another. But again, God has given us the ability to do hard work, and the spirit of perseverance.
Hey this is Rev. Brian Choi's random thought throughout my week. Most of this stuff, will probably be about family, church, fishing, music, movies, food, whatever I think of, hopefully it will have some sort of theological reflection (maybe).