Saturday, May 16, 2015

Tree stumps and good food

"How many men does it take?" In this case, in our neighborhood,
it takes a few guys in flip-flops with a chainsaw to do the work
and a bunch of onlookers.
Friday, May 15
We leave the house about 9:30am, walking to town with our friends. Men are clearing a tree to make way for a parking lot outside our gate. A neighbor asked for a community garden but the consensus was that parking would serve everyone better. We hope the location (top of the hill) will not shunt water into all our yards. We ask if the stumps are available to make stools for the porch, but the men are making sure the wood - used to make musical instruments: drums - is cut to the right length. Cool. The tree has been been hauled away by evening; the leaves are smoldering in a slow-burning, unattended fire outside our hedge.

It feels good to be on our feet again. W’s walked several places but it’s my first trip down the hill. We climb 40 or 50 stairs while crossing the park and watch our feet as we traverse the rough sidewalks. We adjust our pace for the kids, especially since they're not accustomed to the long distance and non-standard surfaces. It's fun to listen to them notice things that are different than Seattle. W and I have definitely begun to take the surroundings for granted.

A typical thoroughfare: a narrow alley
between houses or neighborhoods
First, we stop at ACE Hardware for a bit of this and that. Bundas buy a fan, dish drainer, and other necessities. We stash things behind the counter and head off down the road. What a treat to have first guests who are determined to help set up the space. Paul moves a dresser, rearranges, and makes things better. Laura guides the homeschoolers and pitches in with meals, while the kids (13, 11) are cheerful and willing to explore.

We have lunch at a café with a butterfly theme. For about $15, we have good food and drink. My ayam mimosa turns out to be chicken rolled in croutons and crumbs with a flavorful gravy and fries. Yummy.

Then we go to a clothing outlet where Royal Robbins travel clothing sells for 80-90% off retail. Father and son acquire nice blue shirts. Laura, the kids, and I hop into a taxi, pick up the purchases from ACE, and head home. The guys walk and take the angkot (public mini-vans) back. We have 5 miles on our soles. The guys have more.

We're not sleeping well, usually up for a few hours in the night. We call our kids to wish them a happy anniversary before W leaves on a quick errand. He has his fourth “encounter” with the car. This time, he swerves to miss a motorcyclist who is speeding through our neighborhood. The curb slashes the sidewall of the tires. He finds out how to change a tire in Indonesia, a block from home. Yup, this is why I don’t drive here: too much can happen that we can’t anticipate.

We inherited a warped Formica counter beside the kitchen stove. I put two 24” square tiles on it and the handyman cut to size part of an old teak door for a cutting board between them. Pak E didn’t remove the finish so W’s spent hours on the porch, acclimating to the climate while scraping the finish off by hand – well, with a plane and scraper. It’s looking good and will be very useful.

Tanya left us a box filled with flat sheets and other bedding. We prefer duvets and covers, but they’re expensive to buy. I explore the button box sent for Christmas by the women of Canyon Creek. Then I plug my Bernina sewing machine into a transformer for the first time and away we go. Between errands today, I measure two sheets for the duvet cover, sew the buttonholes and attach buttons. By evening, it’s satisfying to pack up the new cover, put away the sewing machine, and tidy the office. But I’m surprised at how much work it was. In the past, I’ve whipped up things with a quick estimate. This time, I measured and re-measured, fussed around, and took a long time to get the simple cover done. How weird. I haven’t sewn for a few years, but still…

A good time was had by all!
We’ve been invited to Josie’s house for her homecoming. She spent 3 weeks in Europe with her mom. What a feast her mom has cooked! Sisters, cousins, and grandkids chat and eat together. The Bunda family joins us, their first experience in an Indonesian home. I cook a dish to share: chicken breast, sausage, sweet Italian sauce, and diced apples/pears/strawberries - and return home with her mom’s delicious cooking stashed in the washed pot.

We take a little detour to another ACE to see if we can find a bug sprayer. Yup, there it is. We will put the vegetable and tree spray to good use. (Ants march up and down the branches of the guava tree in a steady stream, carrying disease here and there. The rest of the garden is being eaten by caterpillars, mealy bugs, and other critters.) After an hour of walking, we pause for tea and a sweet at JCo in the mall.

We’re home by dark. I stay awake until 9 to attend an online conversation. When it ends at 11, I'm tired. Happy Weekend, everyone.

Read more:
*The Lord said, “Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever!” Deuteronomy 5:29 NIV

*Only fear the Lord, and serve him faithfully with all your heart; for consider what great things he has done for you. 1 Samuel 12:24 ESV

*You, God, are my God, earnestly I seek you; I thirst for you, my whole being longs for you, in a dry and parched land where there is no water. I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory. Because your love is better than life, my lips will glorify you. I will praise you as long as I live, and in your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:1-4 NIV

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. Zephaniah 3:17 NEV

*Jesus Christ gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purify for himself a people of his own who are zealous for good deeds. Titus 2:14 ESV

*It is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace. Hebrews 13:9 NASB

Moravian Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, you are so good. We do not have words enough to thank you for your word and your promises to us, your grateful servants. Grant us today your wisdom, mercy, grace, and love.

Merciful Lord, we seek to bring witness to the world. May we spread and proclaim your word with freedom and power. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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