Thursday, January 24, 2013

i love old people.


I titled it this to make Monty mad. I have adored every moment of being home. One of the highlights was meeting this crowd, the Hartwell Tennis Semi-Retired/Fully Retired/And All Amazing Group. God knows just exactly what we need. And I needed this little team to hit balls with me in the cold and rain three mornings a week. I needed an escape, exercise and to laugh. The constant badgering and heckling on the courts is such comic relief and for those hours on the courts I carry no worries, no lists, no pressure, except from Monty to stay out of no man's land and make no mistakes. Thank you guys for welcoming me in and loving me despite my pitiful game at the net. Thank you, Nancy for asking me a million questions about my personal life. Thank you for the hugs, Gene. Thank you for dinner Carl. Thank you for caring about my health and my kids in Mozambique. Thank you for reading up on where I live and giving to my little dream. You guys are great. See you in the Summer!

There were a few moments I didn't adore so much. Like this one in a creepy doctor's office. Most didn't look like Sub Saharan Africa or circa 1950. All in all I am going to be okay. But I have essentially been diagnosed with a kidney stone too large to pass that has now moved to the lower pole of my kidney and cannot be treated by lithotripsy, ovarian cysts and uterine fibroids. The only one I am concerned about is the stone, should it decide to try to move or shrink just enough to be able to. It could leave me in "pain worse than childbirth". I would not have access to intravenous pain medication, a hospital ER. So I am praying with faith like the Mozambicans for it to just go away and everything else with it. I am not used to sharing all my personal business with the whole world but there are no secrets in Hartwell. So there you go.  Thank you, Dr. Jeff Williams for taking such good care of me. 8 more days.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

i am not a wuss.

This really is so not blog worthy and I may regret every word of this. Yet, I have found in the past that sometimes it is best to just come here to say what I need to say and I find it to be my therapy in a way. I get it out. I say it and then it is said and I can leave it here to linger and no longer sit in my mind, bothering me, and waking me up. 

So here it goes. 

I am 35. Single. For most of my adult life I have lived alone. Maybe it is because I grew up in a quintessential, small Southern town, or maybe I am just naive, but I have never been afraid. Staying here now I have often left the key in the front door. I don't lock my car. I am not paranoid. However, I have never had the ever-living daylights scared out of me. I do know living in Africa has made me more jittery and I always assume every flutter, shadow or quick movement in the room are lizards or rats. But I am not a wuss.

Yet, the other night I woke up from a deep sleep to the distinct noise of furniture moving downstairs. I bolt upright. My heart starts pounding in my ears. My mouth goes dry. It sounds like a chair moving across the hardwood floors. Then I hear the teacups. The pretty white ones on the shelf. They rattle. It's raining outside. I think that perhaps it is a bird but there is no fluttering and these are loud thuds, furniture moving across the floor and dishes being used...or taken? I know that I have to dial 911 but I can't help but think, "This is going to be in the Police Report", the awful, comical, embarrassing Hartwell Sun Police Report. I adore The Hartwell Sun. They are champions. But I cannot be in the Police Report. It's such a joke. But, if you've read it then you would know, you can't make this stuff up. 

Then a hear the "beep" of the microwave. I completely, totally, utterly freak out. I grab the phone and dial 911. I whisper the words, "I think someone is in my house" with horrific fear and trembling. I try to rationalize who in the world would rob a house with not much in it really, the TV is circa 1995, and do it in the rain? Did they want things or did they want me? I am not a wuss. But there is someone or some thing downstairs. I hide behind a chair in my room out of absolute terror someone stranger is about to walk into my room any second. I put on a Patagonia fleece, my solution to not having to put on a bra, and fly down the stairs when the policeman arrives at the door. I expect to find it open, ajar, but it is locked and the key is not in the door this time, but safely inside. The brave policeman comes inside and walks over most of the house. Nothing. A teacup holding chocolates is overturned on the shelf. His phone rings, his ringtone, the Andy Griffith Show theme song. I am still too terrified to even laugh at that. He tells the guy on the other end that the house is clear and there is no need to send out the troops. (My words, not his). He tells me it must have been a mouse, but I want to say 1. This house does not have mice and 2. Mice don't drink tea and use the microwave oven or move chairs. I am still pretty much a big mess. I glance at myself in the mirror. I look awful. Sometimes eye makeup removal is just too big a task for me at night and I will forgo it until the morning. A joy of being single. I need not do this. A mouse? No way. It couldn't be. As he walks out the door I yell behind him, "Please don't put this in the Police Report". I don't think he knew what I meant. 

Before he could drive off, I hear noises again. This time they are coming from upstairs. It sounds like slow, steady, footsteps. At this point I am wide awake and all the lights are on and I am now almost certain it is not a person but my heart won't slow down enough so that my brain can even think. I sit on the sofa. I wipe mascara from my forehead. I listen. I swallow. I breath in and out. The noise gets louder and louder. Out of the corner of my now trained eye I see it. A flying squirrel, bouncing down the wooden staircase, each hollow step echoing throughout the cabin. My heart moves from my throat back into my fleece.

I try to go back upstairs and sleep. I know there is simply no way I can catch a flying rodent barehanded. I crawl in bed only to hear him coming back up the steps. Thump. Thump. Across the sea grass flooring. He then flattens himself and comes right under the door. Now we are in an enclosed space. Alone. Together. The intruder and I. The reason Jan. 17 A woman on Shae Drive reported a flying squirrel with Lindt chocolate on his chin had her trapped in her bedroom.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Vocational School Promo Video

video

done it again

i said i wouldn't do this. that i would rest and relax and take it easy and not stay in the car and in a constant state of going from one place to the next. but i have yet to learn the balance between seeing everyone i want to see and quality time with family and speaking engagements. i can't say no because these speaking engagements are how i am able to do what i do. i love sharing the vision and i love bringing others into the dream. but i am tired.

i have booked my flight back and will be leaving Georgia on Feb 1st. i am slowly gathering all the things i need to take back, which is embarrassingly long. i guess we all have our lists of "must haves" and mine includes walnuts, quinoa, a one of every lotion and body wash Target has to offer. a 6 month supply of toothbrushes and razor blades. i buy and store and pack and categorize. it may be an obsession. it's not easy to go from having access to not. but i stockpile and make lists and plan to arrive fully equipped.

it is time to go back. i miss the kids and life is too busy here. i am still hoping for a few more pajama days and time to rest. to watch brainless television. read a book. i have loved being home but there is so much work to be done. i will be back before we know it. sadly, coming home the hottest time of the year, August, which won't be fun at all. a cruel joke really, to finally reach a season of tolerance in Mozambique to enter hot Hartwell. and only to depart again as we reach fall and Pemba's temperatures rise.


thank you all for giving, praying and loving. -G