Sunday, October 11, 2009
We spent all afternoon and evening with David and Julia and their son, James. James is very tall (6’4”) and lanky, like several members of our family, and good-looking like his parents. He’s also a very well-spoken young man, and has a lively sense of humor. When I asked which local charities were worthwhile, a twinkle came into his eyes and he said, “’Friends of Islam.’”
James administers local government benefits in a district where the textile mills have closed and immigration is high, and unemployment is 78%.
His parents hadn’t told him we were here, so when he came into their house, with us sitting in the living room, his father quickly approached him, blocking his view of the living room, and said, “We’ve something of a shock for you today, I’m afraid…”
James cried, “Uncle Theo!”
So the five of us had tea and biscuits. After a while, went to eat at a nearby farm. The farm family has converted one of its stone outbuildings to a café, and the food was quite good. Among the vegetables that came with our meals was a strange, green thing none of us had ever seen before. It was cooked and it was very good. Afterwards, looking at the fresh produce for sale, we discovered what we had eaten was a green cauliflower, very oddly formed. The farm also raises purple cauliflowers, shaped the same as the usual while ones.
I’m sorry; I never know how to describe the joy of being with people one enjoys so much. There never are words for it. We regretted so much having to end our time together to come home and pack and empty out the refrigerator and unplug things and in general, prepare for our trip home tomorrow.
One good thing is, our suitcases will be nearly empty. Most of what we brought will stay here in England.
We certainly have much to look forward to when we return to Ormskirk. For now, we are anxious about our neighbor in Richmond, Dickie, who in addition to pneumonia, has now been diagnosed with Hepatitis A. That comes from eating contaminated food. We are in a hurry to assure ourselves that he is better.
Monday, October 12, 2009
How wonderful to be back where it is still warm most days, and still sunshiny!
Our "balcony," as Demetrios calls it, was finished during our absence, too. It's a large, raised back porch, tiled in beige, with white railings around it, just off our sun room, or what the British call a conservatory. There is stonework around the raised area (hiding the cinderblock). It all looks very pretty.
Our neighbor, Dickie, is still in bed, but improving gradually, and it isn’t Hepatitis A after all, but B, which is a considerably better diagnosis. Frances has to be checked for it, too, she says.
Today, for us, is just for unpacking and resting.
Thanks be to God for a safe trip, and a successful and fun one was well, and for allowing Demetrios’ 45-year-old dream to come true.
Monday, October 19, 2009
Sunday, October 11, 2009