Of course, the most fun is the welcome from our grandkids. I haven't seen them for 8.5 months. (W saw them in October when he was working on a national committee.) Miss K is now a verbal 3-year-old and her little brother is a mini moving track-hoe. We enjoy their antics and their hugs and kisses.
|Waiting for our airport pick-up|
After a 9-hour stopover in Korea, the flight is uneventful and we encounter no problems entering the US. Our suitcases are among the first off the plane.
Timothy picks us up and whisks us to his place. The rest of the tribe shows up shortly after. My head goes round and round with noisy reunions, good food and beautiful tulips - thanks to d-in-love Rebekah, and travel lag. (It is a dear friend's birthday but I actually don't coordinate my brain and intentions about calling her until Tuesday.) We call our parents and enjoy our children, nephew, and the grands.
One of the weirdest sensations is the cold drizzle on our hands and face. Seattle greets us with showers and clouds. We haven't missed that part of this wonderful city. The air feels cool and fresh. The streets look empty and the neighborhood is so tidy.
W has erupted in his typical "out of routine and pressure's off" cold. In the evening we drive to a drugstore for medicine and a hot water bottle.
Oh oh. I've left my PJs at home in Bandung. Find clean trousers and a long-sleeved t-shirt and get to bed. I pop in earplugs. Grandparents have only good obligations, to love and spoil the grandkids. We don't have to wake up at night with them. Poor Levi is up during the wee hours, crying for his parents while we sleep on.
W is headed to a conferral in Springfield, leaving later tonight. So we get as much done as we can, driving into the city for a breakfast meeting at Citizen Coffee. It's encouraging to get Bill's counsel and hear the process of urban church life in Seattle. My caramelized onion, avocado, apple, and goat cheese crepes are amazing. What big portions even in this "healthy" restaurant. On the way back, we drop by a Walmart for PJs (none available with long sleeves) and shampoo ... and we skip lunch.
W has afternoon coffee with a university friend while I drive to a discount store for PJs. I'm staggered by the number of decorative items in the shop. The shelves seem empty after the chaos of Bandung shops and the aisles devoid of shopping crowds. At the checkout I discover I haven't brought my money; I took it from my tote and got distracted. It never made it into my purse. Sigh. The clerk tapes my business card on the bags and home I go. It's amazing how fast traffic is moving as I'm driving (!!! I'm driving !!! all by myself and feeling relaxed). What a treat.
Melissa has cooked dinner so granddaughter Miss K and I whistle through our food and then hop back in the car. At the store, she chooses PlayDough over a puzzle book and I pay for my purchases.
W heads out about 9pm and I sort through storage bins for clothing, a fluffy duvet, and toiletries before bed at about 11.
Of course I'm wide awake at 3am and can't get back to sleep. The WPPRs - my accountability group - heads for the Lyon's Den in Bothell at 9am. Willy buys my breakfast sandwich and tea and we begin to catch up.
We four began to meet in the fall of 1993. We've shaped each other in so many ways, brainstorming, considering life and consequences, and praying together over our families and our activities. This past year, before W and I moved to Indonesia, one of the group relocated to California. She's been back on family business and she extends her trip until tomorrow so we can meet. How special to have this time together! It's as though we haven't been apart.
They surprise me with an early birthday cake and lovely gift. I hand over a silk scarf and a wooden spoon to each. Between beauty and cooking, they will remember to pray for us!
It's definitely nap-time when I get home at 2. The phone rings after a half-hour: a political solicitation. Ugh. But I finally remember to call my friend for her birthday. (Remembering at 10pm hasn't been helpful the past two days!) We're excited about meeting later this week.
A lot of things are still in the basement. We had no idea what we would need in Indonesia, so we packed bedding and clothes into a few plastic storage boxes and left household items in the suite. It takes me a scant half-hour to locate what I want to take home = some of my paintings, cooking pots that were a wedding gift (and don't work on the induction burners downstairs), and a tea cup and saucer. I'll wait to see how much room we have in our luggage: there's no sense in pulling out what we have to put back.
And then it's off to supper at Très Hermanos with several Northwest University couples. What a treat to see their faces. But the food portions! I only manage to eat two of my eight pieces of quesadilla. From afar, W regrets missing the dinner. I'm too distracted by good company to take pictures.
Just before 2am Wednesday, I start feeling sleepy. Little Levi starts crying upstairs. Poor mama and dad! Let's all try to sleep through the rest of the night. I have a morning appointment. Time to pop in my earplugs.