Friday, February 28, 2014

Pondering: A Happy Life

"I have had a happy life... the kind that doesn't make for an interesting story." - said by Colum McCann

This quote made me laugh because it's exactly what I say I want for my children - a happy life. Except now I feel like Marlin in Finding Nemo when he says (in the whale) that he promised Nemo that he'd never let anything happen to him and Dory says something like, "That would be boring."

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Everything is easier with superpowers

Some friends came to visit today and said our new fence (not up yet in this picture of Raccoon in our front yard) makes our land look like the Ark. Then she saw our 4 dogs (not really ours but they wandered over from next door and never went home), a hen with 8 chicks (also not ours), a hoarse rooster (ditto), two guinea hens (ditto), and our two kittens (actually ours). Yup, she said, it's like the Ark.

I've been looking for a name for our land, something amazing of course. I remember reading a book by Madeleine L'Engle and she called her country home Crossroads (correction: Crosswick). Laughing at Chaos calls her parent's home Wit's End. I wanted something like that, so I could casually say to a friend, "Hey, would you like to come out to _____?" The King wanted to call it Bonanza, but that's not exactly what I was looking for in a name.

I feel like what I should be writing about is how we are settling in, how the strangeness is fading, how we spend more time away from home than here and I want to change that, but names are on my mind instead.

Haven Hill is what I wanted to call it, but the King vetoed that. So on the search goes.

Speaking of naming, I can't seem to decide what to call our kittens. Raccoon wanted Flower and Chalk. I changed the first to Sunflower which stuck (she is going to be big and yellow, ha ha) but the other kitty has been through Ladybug, Lily, Ruby, Daffodil, Dandelion, Marigold, Pumpkin, and Tiger. I though another flower name would be nice. She's white and black and orange. What kind of flower has those colors? Okay, so I just cheated and googled "flower cat names."

And the winner is.... Tiger Lily (now why didn't I think of that, one of each from the King and I, ha ha).

On to naming our house, which is currently called "Our Land." Not so glamorous.

I wish I really did have superpowers, I think all mothers could use at least one. Awhile ago I think I wrote a post on which one I'd want. Tonight I'd choose superspeed. Hang those clothes before my daughter finds that bucket of water? Awesome.

This is a trivial post, perhaps even a tedious one, but I had fun writing it. Off to bed I go.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Finding Our Way

Planting trees.

This is what I have been doing to help give me and my family a sense of permanence, of belonging. My prayer is that in the same way the trees send their roots deep into the ground, so will we, deep into this new life. I pray that fear will not hold us back.

We are now looking for a name for our humble half-acre.

Kitty woke up so this post is now over.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Are we going to survive this?



The answer is yes.

I remind myself of that every strange new day. A lot of people would love to start over so completely so often, but I'm getting to the point where I just want to settle down, or at least I think I do. Making life for me and my family from scratch is hard. In the States, ww just jumped into my parent's life. Go shopping here, go to church here, go to school where my mom teaches, etc. They'd already plowed the ground, giving us a head start. There is none of that here and I remind myself that I am the adult in charge, I'm the one who has to figure this out.

Life will fall into a rhythm. It will not take me 4 hours to go grocery shopping. I will know how to get around and get places and connect with people. Kids are great for that. No matter how much I'd rather stay in my shell I need to make sure they're properly socialized. Ha. Am I? I wonder...

Anyway, I'm having some doubts about our land being the right place for us long-term. On Saturday, we visited my mother-in-law, ah blessed civilization and high-speed internet. Right up the street from her house is a pharmacy, bread store, video place, and restaurants. I miss that.

And then there are these kittens we took in. Not sure it was a good idea. I thought with a sensory-seeking son that they'd be a good fit, but he doesn't care for them all that much. Certainly not enough to justify the work that falls to me of caring for them. I feel like I don't even give my kids the attention they deserve, let alone have any left over for two needy furry beings.

Why is being a mommy of two so hard for me? It's been a year and I feel like I should have this down by now, but I don't. And the thought of homeschooling soon makes me want to hide somewhere eating donuts. Yummy blueberry cake ones. Will I be able to teach my son to read and do math? This keeps me up at night, even though it's the least of my worries for now. Feeding my complex child is top of my list right now.

We must survive this, and somehow learn to thrive again.


You'd think I'd be doing a better job, having chosen this, and having lived here since I was ten. But apparently having two kids is my tipping point.

If we weren't trying to get out of debt, I'd suggest a second car and moving back into town. For now, back to the almost- boonies I go. Check back in a month or so and I'm sure I'll be more cheerful. Yes.

I can't even remember my word of the year...

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Adjusting and Re-entry

Sometimes when there is too much emotion involved, it's easier to make a list, or two.

Things I mourn:

* being close to my family
* reliable high-speed internet
* feeling safe
* food that my son can eat. Being a resistant eater with multiple food allergies makes changing countries very difficult. On the best of days he only likes one brand and trying to find new brands he can have (and will eat) makes me want to cry.
* knowing how to manage life
* friends and things to do that are close to home. Everything is a drive now.
* life goes on, it did for those we left behind and they are also adjusting to our presence again. And life for my family goes on as they fill the hole we just left.
* not living in fear of allergies and illness and robbery and pets dying. Life is rougher here, more real somehow. The fragile human condition is more exposed. I miss my illusion of control and life's constancy.
* my children's losses - friends and the known and trust that they won't just be whisked away again to somewhere foreign.
* not really belonging here or there, caught in-between
* financial insecurity (another illusion really but on my mind more, maybe it's the cash-only system).

Good things?

* I love my little home out in the boonies. It is well-designed and great for kids.
* my husband's family, especially my sweet mother-in-law, ready with presents for the kids to ease the parting.
* my trees and flower garden.
* our new pets, two dogs and two kittens.
* being somewhere we are needed
* language and culture and a rich heritage for all of us, once we move through our losses.
* my kids are troopers, resilient and cheerful (mostly, ha ha)

Monday, February 10, 2014

We're Back!!!

Well, we made it back to South America. Then we all promptly got sick and have been fighting this nasty cold all week. We just got internet today and I'll be posting some pictures of us at our new home, Happy Acres (actually only half an acre, but Happy Half-acre doesn't have quite the ring to it). :)