Miss K, Levi, and Isaac stop for a short morning tea break after being outside. Kinsey (4) chooses her own version of a teapot: a dog-shaped creamer. I fill it up a few times because it's so small (as is her cup and saucer). Levi (2) chooses a rooster but gets a plastic cup instead of a teacup. He's not impressed by the peppermint tea.
Sharon and I meet in Kirkland at 11. The sun's out! It's warm (75o). She shows me the new walking path where we used to skip on railroad and we walk a few miles and stroll between Google headquarter buildings. A young woman instructs a handful of young men, swinging from hand rings to straighten their posture. She's pretty - and they're oh so attentive. Amusing to us old ladies.
And we walk past Lake Washington's beautiful shores. A few hardy souls expose themselves to the sun. Bikinis in June. Silly girls: not good for their skin. In Bandung, the women hope for lighter skin. Here, we tan in full sunshine. I feel my 70SPF sunblock dissolving in perspiration as we walk.
Lunch at the Beach Cafe is good - I am loading up tastes as well as smells. It's amazing to order a fresh salad or juice at any restaurant without worrying if it will make me ill. A lone paddle-boarder strokes his way past our window.
Phyllis, another sweet friend, picks me up and takes me back up the hill to the car. I have a few things from Indonesia for her - but we have time to chat as well.
I'm talked out when I get home at suppertime.
At night, a fly zooms by and startles me. It is the first bug I've seen in the flat in 2 weeks. I open the door, turn off the lights (the basement goes black), and never see it again. I don't know if it flew out the door or died in the dark.
Jono swings by in the morning and we go for lunch with my parents. I love the time we have together. Our son is moving soon - when we come back, he will not be in town. My folks are willing to travel almost 2 hours to meet us for lunch.
"My mom's still beautiful and my dad handsome," I think to myself. But what makes the trip worthwhile is their encouragement and new ideas ... without strings attached. Possibilities without obligation. Life lessons without expectation of conformity. What a blessing!
Our parents helped us find our individual callings with occasional pep talks ("You can do it") and sound advice. The best thing is that their counsel comes with gentle pressure to be our best, not to conform to someone else's "box" or control. When we siblings do something our parents wouldn't recommend, they let us take the consequences without, "We told you so!" Instead, they shrug or shake their heads, "Those kids!" and may make other suggestions. We've always felt loved and cheered for, even when they disagree with us.
|The sweet twosome we remember|
I gave Missy and Ziggy to a family when we started itineration for Indonesia.
Two weeks ago when I left Indo for obligations in the States, W put my American SIM card back into my cellphone. Up popped a message from a few weeks back: the dogs' family was divorcing after having the dogs for 3 years. Could I take them?
I sent an SMS immediately. "I'll come for them. I can find them a new home. Let me know where I can pick them up, please!" It would be a joy to have them for a few weeks while I was here.
|What a difference a haircut makes!|
Where did our cuties go?
I called WAIF immediately. It took a few days to straighten out what had happened. They told me I couldn't have the dogs. The little beasties were getting excellent care. It would be "too hard" for them to be with me for a few weeks. And they had a better chance of a good placement through the professionals.
But did I want to visit? Yes I did.
And today Jono and I finally saw Missy and Ziggy again. I wouldn't have recognized them. They're so little! (12" tall?) Their hair has been weirdly chopped with strange tufts on face and feet (as they were matted and dirty upon arrival). They've needed dental work and have been cleaned up, though. One has lost 3 lbs since he lived with us. Otherwise, they seem in good health. And the shelter's care IS excellent. Whew.
The two dogs bounce around the room and enjoy the petting. Ziggy tears apart a toy hedgehog and plays fetch just like he used to. Missy turns her nose up for a few minutes and then settles into her doggy-massage.
|A stormy coastline|
I want to plead, "Please specify people who will groom them properly!" Poodles need regular maintenance and care. (I cut my own hair but I figured dog grooming cost me a lot less than my girlfriends paid their hairdressers. "It all comes out in the wash" = evens out, somehow.)
I was sad as we left. Seeing Missy and Ziggy reminds me of many things we have left behind in our transition. And not everything can be put in perfect order. Some things have to be entrusted to God and good people.
|Washington State ferries are excellent|
After dropping off Jono, I drive out again for three free tubes of sand for the kids' play area. Hurrah for Freecycle. The tubes weigh 70 lbs each. I can't lift the last one into the back of the SUV. A neighbor watches me struggle, but when I plead for a strong man's help, he is kind enough to come over to put it on the mat. When I get home, I plop them into a sturdy bucket. Job done.
Then it's time to test out a food blender Dad passed along today. A supper of mango-berry-Earl Grey Tea smoothie ... delicious!
*He has redeemed my soul from going down to the pit, and my life shall see the light. Job 33:28 ESV
*Declare God’s glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples. Psalm 96:3 ESV
*I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Psalm 143:6 ESV
*Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28 ESV
*God raised the Lord and will also raise us by his power. 1 Corinthians 6:14 ESV
*Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 1 Peter 1: 3-5 NIV
Moravian Prayer: God, we walk as though we have no hope in you. Your word declares that nothing can separate us from your love which is in Christ Jesus. Melt us, mold us, fill us, use us in your ministry as we journey on our toilsome way here on earth, for you are our faithful God.
We pause to say within our hearts that we need you, God. Troubles come our way, burdens are heavy, and we can no longer walk the path. We feel like giving up, but you remind us that you carried the cross to Calvary for us and took all of our burdens. Refresh our spirits, Lord, and have mercy on us. Amen.