Saturday, June 26, 2004


I don't drink it myself, though I do like the smell of it.

This week R. learned to make coffee, though she doesn't drink it either. That is now part of her job description at the office. She made coffee at our house last night, too. It smelled strong to me, but everyone drank it.

And I learned something about coffee this week from D. and A.: Folgers is old people coffee, while coffee in small foil bags with flavoring added is young people coffee.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

One way ticket to Africa

Today A. got word that he will fly to Nairobi one month from today. That seems soon. But we were that age when we left for the middle of nowhere, and we took the only grandbaby with us--who is now doing the same thing. But it was a little different for us: we had each other. I just wish he weren't going alone. Lord, take care of him.

R. had lunch with her friend Jessica. Jessica is about to go to China for a year. She is going alone too. Her mom is probably sad too.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Reading and swimming and working

R's plans for a regular reading night each week have fizzled, but she has found a book she likes (and it isn't a dating advice book this time!), so she is reading anyway. Good for her! She's acting determined to do some exercise too, so we've started swimming laps during the lunch hour. Her job has started, kind of, but we haven't yet had a typical day. If we can get it going it will be good, but it is a job that depends on me putting in some time to keep her busy and to supervise her. The pay is about three times what she's ever been paid at any previous job, so if we can get a system going smoothly, there is hope she could actually make some money towards her school bill.

And speaking of working, it looks like A. will leave for his job July 22 or 23. Now he's getting visa photos, making an appointment for a yellow fever shot, trying to get into the dentist, making plans to fly around the country to visit all his friends, and of course, going to some more baseball games. His dad got mad at him today because he bought a plane ticket to NYC to go to a Yankees-Mets game this weekend with a friend who invited him. I thought it was a silly thing to do, but I know he is a very social creature and saying goodbye to his friends is important to him.

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

Making plans to leave already

A. has only been home a few days, but today he got his marching orders from SP. SP's East Africa director phoned from Kenya and talked for an hour. He told A. how he was leery of him and his abilities, until he learned he was from Taylor U. and also got a personal recommendation from a mutual friend (his Harvard credentials weren't necessarily in his favor :-)

So it looks like he will leave at the end of July. He's going into overdrive now to do the things he loves to do before leaving: see his friends and go to baseball games. He's on the phone at the moment buying tickets to the Rangers' game for tomorrow night--a date with his little sister. And he just bought plane tickets to go to NYC for the weekend since a friend bribed him with Yankees-Mets tickets. And then a trip to Kansas city to see old college dorm friends and to St. Louis to see the girlfriend who never was. He just can't sit still.

He has to get yellow fever immunization, and cholera too if he hasn't already had that. And malaria pills. He's already been told there is bad phone and internet service (and you get thrown into jail if they catch you with a satellite phone)and common supplies aren't that easy to get either.

I think I'm starting to feel sad.

Monday, June 21, 2004

Doro's last night is a nightmare

When we got home from DFW last night there was a small copperhead snake blocking the door to the house. The car headlights lit it up clearly, so we were in no danger. The push broom was right handy so I shoved it off into the grass amid cries that I should kill it. Then Doro had a nightmare about it.

She had lots of friends come say goodbye to her early this morning. She is like a people magnet. Now that she has gone, our phone will probably never ring again. She got checked in at DFW with no problems at all, but she did miss her flight out of Atlanta due to bad weather, so that meant also missing her flight to Hamburg.

I spent the rest of the day rearranging our rooms and our lives to make space for A. and D. and all their stuff. Now I'm pooped and I still feel unsettled.

Sunday, June 20, 2004

Cemeteries on Sunday

We got to church early this morning, so I went for a walk in the cemetery next door. It was an unpretentious cemetery, with lots of room for new folks. The only thing I didn't like were the artificial flowers on some of the graves--too bright and too perfect. I mean, people have nice bodies for a while and then they die, and their nice bodies decay; flowers should do the same. A particularly loud bunch of colors caught my eye but when my nose caught a whiff of fragrance, I realized these were real flowers. The nameless grave was only a day old. The flowers were starting to die, but many of them were still beautiful. As I meandered through the rest of the cemetery I found a few wild flowers; they were the best of all.

Come to think of it, last Sunday I was in a different cemetery after church. That cemetery was very pretentious with signs and warnings and no flowers--fake, cultivated, or wild. It was full to the brim with Paul Revere, Mother Goose, and Ben Franklin's folks, among others.