DIDN’T SEE THIS ONE COMING – & The 4th of July

Last two years we have been at  several governmental agencies. Last year March my passport renewed for my art shows trip to Holland. After we came back my drivers license renewal. This year,  green card renewal – every 10 years (a legal alien needs that to legally work in the US – don’t lead me into temptation to talk about the other aliens). The first phase is on line and pay $600 (really!) and the next step of the digital fingerprinting and picture taking is done at one of the INS (International Naturalization Services) offices. And a week ago for Social Security and Medicare (now I’m receiving money:) ).


Coming through the door, strict security rules followed. No cell phones allowed. Spouses and children who are US citizens are sent away once you enter into the office. One cannot stand waiting. One has to sit – until certain numbers are up. These people have to stand – till it’s their turn. “Sit here. Place your bag in the seat next to you.”
You get the picture.


Talking about pics …





Firework Abstract_6194

This Pic …

Happy 4th of July!   Taken by hubby at Disneyland on one of the assignments of his photography class.
Didn’t see that once coming!








The sun reflected the ironwork on the opposite end of the hall way (behind him you see the same pattern)



Always viewed himself as noncreative, but 6 years ago he became interested in cameras, after he bought one for me (so I could take pics of my paintings and print them).  After he enrolled in his first photography class, he was a goner. Some asked him to be their model (to get their assignment done, lol). One of my kids wrote me, “staunch must be in vogue.”





HibiscusJac 030

Hibiscus.  So much for him being non-creative…



The “class” is more like a club, because they all keep retaking the same class,
go on trips, and some of the members make their living with photography.
The areas of interests  vary  from sports games to fashion, to weddings,
but for every semester they all need to do a class assignment in groups.
Back to the Green Card story –

… I didn’t see this one coming either …


Went in with the same mood as to renew one’s driver’s license.  Cooperate and smile:)  After a long time in line,  I was directed to sit with an INS agent, who typed the info of my card on the computer. When we went to a specific computer to do the fingerprinting,

the INS lady (50ties) turned to me and said in Dutch (since she now knew my info), “Are you an Indish girl?” (Indish means a person having a Dutch as well as Indonesian heritage – since Indonesia once was a colony of Holland before it became an independent country and Islamic).

“So you are too,” I responded.
“How do you know?” the INS person wanted to know.
“Because you said it in Dutch to me!” I smiled.
Then she told me from which part of Indon. she was (Indonesia has many islands).
To my big surprise, …  next came the stories about herself, about her family, about her health, asking if I was going to the yearly Dutch festival, while she was doing the digital fingerprinting
as if she had known me for years. (Was I really at the INS office? I pinched myself!)
This though is typically how Indonesian people relate. When they like you (often a first impression), they REALLY like you and you can ask the shirt of their back, even though you maybe strangers. When they don’t like you – good luck!
In this strict office she left me with “Well see you in ten years, if I’m still alive.” I assured her she would be!

She said goodbye to  us with, “See you at the Dutch festival!”
One of the other (American) INS officers faintly smiled as I walked passed him.
My thought was, hm, he has watched this whole thing unfold.

Walking out of this feared (by some) government office, I was blown away when I realized what just had happened.
I came to renew my green card, but I left a friend. I didn’t see this one coming!
These kinds of things normally happen to hubby, not to me! I guess today was “my turn.”



Realizing on  Friday of this week it’s Independence day for the Americans, and since I live in California …



probably one of our stops we’ll make on the 4th of July (this one is in Santa Inez, close to Solvang)






firwork sky_1021

And who knows the sky itself will give us this weekend a firework sky like this one at the end of the day!






or just a great weekend!



Thanks to All the hosts

Blue Monday   Travel Photo  * Whim. Windows & Doors * Mandarin Orange  *
Our World  Blo-Ma  Nature Notes  * Signs  *
ABC Wed. – Y  *  Outdoor Wednesday  *
Thurs. Little Things  Share the Joy  Alphabe – G  * Up Down View  *
Sky Watch  Weekend Reflection  * Friday Photo Journal  *
* Floral Friday Foto  * Flowers from Today  *
Maleviks Showdown  *





47 thoughts on “DIDN’T SEE THIS ONE COMING – & The 4th of July

  1. Do you speak Indonesian? I speak a little Malay being from Malaysia. Its been 30 years. I have my US passport but am looking to trade it in for something else but don’t know what yet. Happy 4th!


  2. Interesting experience. I was born on foreign soil to American parents, and the certificate of citizenship was much harder to get than a passport. I’m glad I don’t have to go through that repeatedly. The fireworks photo is cool, I don’t know how to take them. Two years ago we were going to Avila Beach hot springs for the 4th of July but they closed early on us so they could go watch fireworks.


  3. Hello Jesh,

    It’s odd to realize that you have to go through so many hoops, while hundreds are sneaking across the borders! (sigh) I’m glad you finally found a friendly person. They should all be friendly as they represent America.

    Independence Day is actually Friday, July 4th. I know you’ll be celebrating with us. Perhaps your husband can capture some blue fireworks.

    Thanks for making Blue Monday special.

    Happy Blue Monday!


  4. I loved the story told here. It affirms that there are indeed living, breathing, feeling human beings behind bureaucracy. We don’t get to see that very often, but if sure feels good when it happens. i love the photographs as well. The fireworks and the one of your hubby with his camera are two of my favourites. Thanks for sharing your experience and talent!


  5. I love your sense of humor AND this story was fascinating.

    Isn’t it exceptional when you capture unseen images!

    I enjoyed this link to the letter E exceptionally much!

    Thank you for linking.



  6. What a great story! Loved reading every single word. As for “my” story, Lorne got cold feet back in 1973 so I moved on – he married someone else less than a year later! (what a fool he was then after us being together for well over 3 years!) Anyway, he phoned me 5 years later, but too late cuz I already had a 2-year-old. Then in 2008 a friend urged me to call HIM. He answered and Bob’s yer uncle. Except that we had to wait because of a diagnosis of cancer. Don’t know how long we will have together but are living every moment! Just thought I’d tell you cuz it’s not a secret – you must have just missed the story earlier. Have a great weekend – we’re celebrating Canada Day today!

    abcw team


  7. Wonderful photo of the fireworks! Jacob is a really creative photographer! Thanks for visiting!
    The one but last photo represents tulips indeed. I think they are double tulips.


  8. I love how you’ve woven the different stories nicely as if they happened together! I also appreciate the manner you appreciate your husband and his creativity. And I laughed at the INS-Indon story. So….you are from Indonesia? Haha


  9. My immigrant parents played by the rules, too, and it’s so frustrating…never mind I won’t go off on current immigration either. Nice post!


      1. My parents immigrated from Iran but they were immigrants in Iran, too, having fled Russia in the early 30’s.


  10. It is nice to see a ‘real’ person rather than an ‘official’ in these situations. I’m sure that oftentimes they would like to be more friendly but are probably told to stick to being the official. Great photos. Love the one of the hibiscus, particularly 🙂


  11. Its so nice when things turn out so much better than you thought they would, plus meeting a new friend. Love that photogenic post office, I’m always envious that in some US post offices you can get special cancels on your mail.
    I’ve replied to your request to use my photos on my blog but thought I’d pop over to say I’d have posted more angles of the tarn if I’d know it would be an inspiration to a painter. So yes feel free to use them.


  12. Bureaucrats don’t have to be rude and short tempered. You found a good one.
    Your husbands photos are great and so is your photo of him taking a photo…


  13. I’m glad the green card thing went well and you made a new “friend.” I take terrible pictures and I’ve thought about taking a class, but then I’d probably have to splurge for a new camera too. Perhaps one of these days.


  14. No, didn’t see that one coming at all, Jesh 🙂 Friends are great, wherever you find them.
    Your husband’s my kind of non creative. I love that hibiscus shot.
    Do you have a separate blog for your artwork, or am I missing something? (I usually do!)


  15. Such a wonderful story! Love the photo with the iron work shadow on the wall and behind the photographer. Great eye! Wishing you a Happy 4th or at least a good weekend.


  16. Dank je voor je mooie verhaal! Toevallig werkte ik enkele weken terug op de Tong Tong Fair in Den Haag, voorheen Pasar Malam. Nog steeds het grootste Indo-evenement in Europa! Hoe zeg je eigenlijk ‘Happy 4th of July!’ in het Bahasa? Vast iets met Selamat…Groetjes van een (halve) mede-Indo!
    Terrence looks at the sky


  17. What a fun INS story. I know how daunting these offices can be. Our children were born in Thailand(by me) and we had to go through a whole rigmarole to acquire their citizenship. A right by birth, but took 6 weeks to rubber stamp it and make it official. I’m glad you found a new friend.


  18. Our world can be such an odd place at times, but thankfully there are good moments and folks to soften life’s struggles. A very happy celebration for you too!


  19. That is a lovely story Jeannette. I enjoyed reading about your experience. It brings to mind mine when it was time to renew my own green card, full of nerves and angst. I didn’t meet any friends but everyone was polite and I was always glad to go home with my renewed card.

    Thanks for linking with Today’s Flowers. I am back from our vacation in Europe and enjoying visiting again. Wishing you a very happy weekend!


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