Daydreaming in Pictures

I miss America sometimes. Living in China has been great, but some things you can only get at home.


I miss the countryside–well-kept homes butting on to freshly planted fields, tall corn nearly ripe for picking, clean snow for sledding or skiing.

White Christmas 2014

I miss seeing the seasons in action as plants come up out of nothing but a tiny seed and some warm earth. They turn into beautiful flowers or firm vegetables, swelling with their abundance of life. And then the cold comes and they die, returning their fertility to the soil to prepare for the next year’s cycle.

Wasn’t he cute?

There’s a beauty in the earth where you grow up. Roots, though not the plant kind, form to hold you to it. And when you move away, they still call.

And in China? The countryside is gray (though it probably doesn’t help that it’s winter). Skyscrapers loom over everything, abandoned and alone. They were never finished, and probably never will be.


There’s still some beauty, of course, even in the midst of winter death. But it’s all so bleak!DSC_0577

I’m glad I can be in China, learning and growing. It’s been a great place to be. But right now? Right now, I want to see a beautiful golden field that’s well taken-care-of. I want to see wild lonely spaces that tear at your heart by their untouched beauty, with no skyscrapers in sight.


I want to breathe clean air that’s not tainted by the smells of sewers and garbage and exhaust. I want to be able to talk to everyone I see (if I wanted to, which….knowing me, I probably wouldn’t). I want to see the beauty that’s everywhere in America.


And most importantly? I want to be home.

7 thoughts on “Daydreaming in Pictures

  1. Carol Johnson

    First, thanks for your blogs. I am learning so much from your experiences, and I love the way you express yourself. Will you write a book about this later? I predict that you will have vivid memories of this place for your entire lifetime. These impressions are becoming a permanent part of you. My husband lived in Africa for two years, about 45 years ago, and he speaks about it every day. Aunt Lorraine (Sonnenberg), who was your great-grandma Mary’s sister, was a missionary in China for many years and she spoke of it often. She kept up friendships from that time well into her 90’s. You are doing something that the rest of us can only dream about. Thanks for sharing!
    Carol Johnson (cousin of your Grandpa Manthei)

    1. Hi Carol,
      It’s good to hear from you! I might write a book about it later–it’s a good idea. And I know I’ll remember living here for the rest of my life too.
      It’s neat to hear about all the family connections who lived abroad too–I hadn’t known that about Aunt Lorraine. Thanks for commenting!

  2. RC

    I’m sorry you’re homesick Annta. I’m kinda homesick for my prairie home, and I imagine it’s a lot harder for you being so far away. 😦

    It’s crazy that they never finished building those skyscrapers! I know the reasons are probably complex, but it seems like if they got started it’s such a waste to not finish them. 😛

Tell me what you think!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s