Well, my parents, sisters and nieces have come and gone. I don't know how to put all the memories into words. It all came together so fast. God prepared every detail (living accommodations, itineraries, transportation) perfectly.
They came and rebooted our lives. Laura and Sara first reconfigured my computer to English mode, then tackled the house with unrelenting determination. Their goal: turn us into minimalists. I want to be one desperately. They almost succeeded. They re-arranged things, emptied surfaces, basically magically made things look clean and cozy. I was stuck in a rutt; they pulled me out. I just need to take it to the end.
Dad and Mom turned our lumps of dirt with limp, dying vegetation into a beautiful, well nourished, fenced in paradise, full of thriving plants from which we are already enjoying a great harvest. Almost every day they toiled in the garden - mom, softening up the dirt and adding a cocktail of compost, potting soil, manure and rice husks to her perfectly shaped rows, and dad erecting the fence that has proven to withstand every creature that roams our yard. They often would work together, removing huge boulders with a pickax and hoe. How can senior citizens have more energy and endurance that their offspring? I felt a little embarrassed.
The cousins got along so well! They moved seamlessly through the overly polite stage, to the relaxed enjoyment stage, to the minor tiffs stage, and finally to the comfortable co-existence stage. Lydia and Evelyn bounced back and forth between the tiff and comfy co stage a lot. Anna loved Lenore with all he heart and soul. She held her hand and walked with her for long stretches of time. After their cousins left, Anna wandered around in a gloomy silence. There wasn't much more to do in life now that there was no small, living creature to take care of. (Ken and I have decided to let her get a kitten all for herself. She as a deep urge to nurture)
We had a ladies day to the city one Thursday. We went to my favorite coffee shop. Anna, Lydia and Evelyn behaved very well, while Mom, Laura Sara and I got to sit back, drink good coffee, eat good food and talk. Heaven.
Evelyn joined two of Anna and Lydia's ballet classes. A beautiful sight to behold - four cute curly haired girls floating around in pink confections. It was a dream come true, watching them enjoying each other so much.
Sara started telling the kids a story off the top of her head to keep them entertained. It turned into a ten part saga about two monsters constantly breaking out of the zoo, and getting caught every time. They started transcribing it towards the end.
The first Sunday we worshiped at home. Dad and Joseph took turns reading through Hebrews 11, the faith chapter. One of Dad's favorites. That image will stay in my memory forever.
Driving home from city visits, Mom, Laura, Sara and I would sing together. Only during these once a year (or two) reunions can I enjoy such harmony with such familiar hymns and voices.
Every morning, Joseph, Anna and Lydia would keep on asking when they were coming down (from Ken's friend's house up the road where they were staying. Our house is too small). Then, inevitably, we would hear a deep "Hellooo" from Babu, or a bright little "Hi Joji, hi Anna, hi Lydia!" from Evelyn, or some other cheerful voice coming from up the road. Then a whole new day of fun would begin.
Oh what good times we had!
Thank you family, for all you put into this trip - cost of travel, shared expenses, gifts galore, blood sweat and tears giving our life an overhaul. Thank you. Our lives have been enriched in the deepest sense of the word by your coming.
Pictures to come.