Friday, September 30, 2011

Remembering in Full Color

Such a beautiful picture of summer Mr. Grahame renders with his words:

In the winter time the Rat slept a great deal, retiring early and rising late. During his short day he sometimes scribbled poetry or did other small domestic jobs about the house; and, of course, there were always animals dropping in for a chat, and consequently there was a good deal of story-telling and comparing notes on the past summer and all its doings.

Such a rich chapter it had been, when one came to look back on it all! With illustrations so numerous and so very highly coloured! The pageant of the river bank had marched steadily along, unfolding itself in scene-pictures that succeeded each other in stately procession. Purple loosestrife arrived early, shaking luxuriant tangled locks along the edge of the mirror whence its own face laughed back at it. Willow-herb, tender and wistful, like a pink sunset cloud, was not slow to follow. Comfrey, the purple hand-in-hand with the white, crept forth to take its place in the line; and at last one morning the diffident and delaying dog-rose stepped delicately on the stage, and one knew, as if string-music had announced it in stately chords that strayed into a gavotte, that June at last was here. One member of the company was still awaited; the shepherd-boy for the nymphs to woo, the knight for whom the ladies waited at the window, the prince that was to kiss the sleeping summer back to life and love. But when meadow-sweet, debonair and odorous in amber jerkin, moved graciously to his place in the group, then the play was ready to begin….

~ Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows, Chapter 3, The Wild Wood

Pure poetry.

Friday, September 16, 2011

New Rhythms

~morning serenade of the Jordanian national anthem (Long Live the King) by the boys school across the street

~frozen lemonade cups in the afternoon
Such a simple idea (thanks Trish) and so amazingly refreshing. If you are aren't patient enough for it to thaw a little, you can put forth the effort to shave the lemon ice. We've enjoyed one every afternoon since we've were introduced to them, and we try to keep enough in the freezer for drop-in guests.

~the gentle and rhythmic cooing of a nearby dove

~dusting, dusting, and more dusting
Living in Amman for many years I am no stranger to dust, but it is mild compared to Mafraq dust. A dusting cloth mostly did the job in Amman, but since moving to Mafraq we have armed ourselves with the bouquet of microfiber dusters shown below:

Two large dusters for general use with one hanging at the ready in the kitchen. Tayta and Artist Son have their own smaller duster for their room and I keep another small one by the computer.

~the whir of the fan over the stove and a new-to-me dishwasher
I haven't had an stove fan or dishwasher since moving to Jordan so after washing dishes for a family of six and hundreds of guests by hand, a dishwasher almost seems superfluous, but my friends who have one tell me it most definitely is not. Tayta concurs. A generous US embassy friend gifted me hers when her husband finished his Amman post this summer. When we first installed it a Swiss electrician, who works in Mafraq and was checking our electricity, pronounced it unsafe (putting out a high unprotected voltage, or something like that) and didn't think he could fix it but with a couple hours of work and a new part, he did. Thank you Christoph!

~a room with a view--actually, a few
Guarding our front garden wall stands a sentinel of green, albeit dusty, pine trees, and lemon and pomegranate trees refresh the views from bedroom and kitchen windows. Behind the garden wall and trees: more dust, lots of empty chip bags and candy wrappers from the students of the boys school and a graffiti covered concrete wall. I'm thankful for the trees and for the foresight of our landlord.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mafraq or Bust

Well, we just about did bust, but by God's grace we are are now living in Mafraq, Jordan.
Located in the northern desert of Jordan, it is about an hour and a half away from our old home in the capital of Amman. I'm finishing most days completely out of steam but I wanted to let friends, family, and other passersby, know that we are alive and mostly well--just MIA for awhile.

Our move was made two weeks ago today, though Dear Husband has been faithfully working on our new home, himself and directing laborers, for over a month. He's also hauled many of our belongs, including a truckload of garden plants and rocks--bless him!--before the moving vans arrived on August 29.

The first 48 hours in our new home were a grueling blur, but we have since passed through survival, then exhaustion mode. I am thanking God for warm water, a working washing machine, a garden space full of potential, lemon trees out my kitchen and bedroom windows, a hard working husband, happy kids, and new kitchen cupboards--everything but the kitchen sink, which will hopefully be installed this week.

I'm also thankful for the many friends who have packed boxes, made a meal, given us an internet fix, and sent words of encouragements and PRAYER. And, thanks, Suzanne, for these words form the movie Hope Floats (which I haven't seen!)

Beginnings are usually hard
Endings are usually sad
It's what's in the middle that counts.

That about sums it up right now