Thursday, December 31, 2009

I do not like them, Sam-I-am...*

It's New Year's Eve and I should be contemplating the lessons of 2009 and/or planning the accomplishments of 2010. And I may do that tomorrow. But today I thought I would share a recipe for prosperity. Cause aren't you supposed to eat something green** on New Year's Day so you'll be rolling in the dough? I'm too lazy to look it up exactly, but this ought to fill the bill.

My dad has around 160 quarts of canned green beans. And, really, how often do you want to have green beans as your side dish? He's been looking for new ways to eat the beans and I think this one is a winner.

First, you put some of the green beans in a blender.



Add four eggs (be sure to hold your mouth just right)



Add one Ritz Cracker per egg (Daddy says this keeps the eggs from getting tough)



Saute some onions (I would also add some peppers at this point)



Pour the egg mixture over the onions



Add some shredded cheese



Daddy scrambled this, but you could make an omelet as well.



Add a Diet Sun Drop & you have the perfect green meal!



*This is not true - I did like them - they didn't taste like green beans at all - mostly they tasted like eggs with Ritz Crackers in them.
** You may have noticed that the eggs aren't really green at all. I was actually a little bit disappointed.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Random Dozen Meme



If it's Wednesday, it must be time for the Random Dozen Meme from "Lidna" at 2nd Cup of Coffee. If you want to participate just go to Linda's site to link up.

1. Do you find it gross to share drinks with family? Friends? Nope. Drinking after each other. Eating from the same bowl. Sharing a tortilla chip. It’s all good. In fact, Dr. M has to get on me about drinking after him when he’s sick. It never enters my mind that I too could get sick. I’m a ditz.

2. What have you learned this year? (You didn't see a question of that weight coming, did you? At least not for #2.) I wish I could say that I’ve learned something concrete – like Spanish. I did learn that I like living in a house – I always thought I’d be an apartment or condo person. And maybe after this winter & having to keep up with snow removal (I do plan to help sweetie!) I will change my mind. But right now – being able to howl with laughter & not worry about neighbors? Priceless.

3. When do you dismantle the Christmas decorations? Well, we aim for sometime in January. One year we left the tree up until MLK day (3rd Monday in January for non-US folks).

4. Something you wish to accomplish before the end of 2009 is: Clean out Dr. M’s office!
 
5. How do you feel about winter (after Christmas)? It’s not my favorite time of year. I really hate having to bundle up to go everywhere. But I just focus on my birthday (March 3) and soldier on…

6. Have you participated in after-Christmas sales? Not intentionally. Dr. M & I stopped by a craft gallery on Saturday & got a Christmas CD 60% off.

7. Do you have plans for New Year's Eve? I have a really strong goal of being able to stay awake until midnight. I may have to drink caffeine after 4:00 in order to accomplish that goal.

8. Is there anything special awaiting you in January? Adhering to a new budget so we can eventually afford to replace our Jeep (it’s getting kind of scary to drive). Woo hoo!

9. If your life this year was a movie, what category or genre would it be? (Romance, Comedy, Drama, Thriller, Suspense, Farcical, etc.) Drama with a few comedic episodes.

10. How much time per day do you spend blogging? Please do not lie. I will know. Well, when I’m at work I probably spend about three hours a day reading other folks blogs. I get bored in my job. Writing my own blog? Not really that much – maybe three hours per week, depending on how prolific I am.

11. Who runs your household? Dr. M! He just wishes I’d get up off my hiney & DO something every now & then. Actually, we’re fairly evenly divided on tasks & such. I do defer to him with some decisions out of laziness or due to his superior knowledge. Some feminist I am!

12. Share one hope/dream for 2010. Clean out Dr. M’s office! (Did you think we’d actually get it done this week?).

To summarize (stealing this idea from AmyRo!): I need to get busy cleaning out Dr. M’s office, stop futzing with blogging at work, stay AWAY from the office café where I spend way too much money, and keep my grubby mouth off of other people’s food!

Monday, December 28, 2009

Random Monday Thoughts

  • I’m back! We spent a week in NC mostly just eating as far as I can tell. Amy definitely kept me well fed. When I’m at their house I tend to eat leftovers for breakfast, just so I can eat more of her food. I can have breakfast foods any time, but spaghetti or turkey pot pie? Not so much.
  • We had a good visit with Dr. M’s mom. She knew who he was & practically levitated out of her wheelchair when she saw him. That was nice.
  • Both our trip down & our trip back were uneventful – we got to look at lots of snow without being inconvenienced by it. I avoided the infamous Mile Marker 59 Rest Area.
  • I’m glad I did the Christmas poem countdown – my family enjoyed it – but I’m ready to have a little variety on the blog now. I have to say that it was much more difficult to prepare those posts than I thought it would be. I hadn’t realized how many years we were working so hard to find the joy. And I didn’t even mention all of the problems with Dr. M’s family (health issues for parents and brother and sister-in-law). I guess we’re normal – almost everyone has drama in their lives – but I had created a nice little cocoon for myself so that I’m not bombarded on a daily basis (yes, I know that this is called “compartmentalization” or “denial” but it works for me LOL).
  • I am extra grateful for my job today. Sometimes I wish I had something a little more intellectually stimulating, but I realize how fortunate I am to have the job that I do. I will probably still complain when I get bored (my Myers Briggs score indicates that I’m a “present moment person” so I have a hard time remembering good intentions), but I will still be so very glad to have my job!
  • I have a very special post in mind for later this week. My dad made a “gourmet” dish for me while I was visiting and I just have to share it with you. Heh. I’ll bet you can’t wait.


Now I’m off to see what the rest of you have been up to!

Friday, December 25, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Eighteenth Day!




From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end. 

Ah, it's Christmas Day & the madness ends! Here is this year's poem & card. I think the cards will do - although I must say that I didn't take a lot of care with them. In fact, I had drafted a poem that began, "Poorly colored penguins..." Thank goodness Dr. M needed to procrastinate grading papers & wrote this gem!

P.S. The card stock was the same color for the inside & outside of the card - my scanner just likes to make up its own colors sometimes :)









Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Seventeenth Day




From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

Here it is Christmas Eve. Did you think this day would never arrive? I was beginning to wonder. I hope that you are all celebrating in a way that is meaningful for you.





Have you been keeping score? At this point I have written 9 poems & Dr. M has written 8. So this year it's his turn. It was touch & go as to whether or not he would have time (I even composed something to use in a pinch), but in the end he came through. Tomorrow is Christmas Day - and the 18th poem! Whew!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Sixteenth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

We're on the home stretch! I know I'm relieved - how about you? I sent out a few homemade cards this year, but everyone else got store-bought (well, charity-bought, actually). We did include a picture of a manger scene (purchased from Ten Thousand Villages) with a penguin placemat underneath it - we thought the incongruity matched the poem pretty well. The angel is a bridesmaid's favor from the wedding of the very cousin mentioned in the poem (hey Kim - up with penguins, down with bears!).

Penguins are in this year,
More so than polar bears,
Though dear cousin cares not
For this dreadful fad.
Worse yet, I bet you’ll see
Lots of pairs of penguins
And bears, though in nature
No such habitat exists.
Still, this is Christmastime
When miracles abound.
And as we cruise the cities,
Villages and towns filled
With lights and sounds,
I am amazed by the many
Displays that, in their own way,
Show respect to the simple manger,
Holy Crèche, where our savior saw
First light that winter’s night
In Bethlehem. Baby Jesu, verily
We have not forgotten you.

Mike & Dana Rhyne

Christmas 2007



Tuesday, December 22, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Fifteenth Day




From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

I think this poem speaks for itself - I was in a mood!

I’m cancelling Christmas
I’m just not in the mood
I’m going to mope for a month
And harrumph and brood


I won’t look at the lights
I won’t eat pecan pie
I won’t watch the Grinch
I won’t watch Burl Ives


The tree will stay boxed
The baubles stay packed
No Santas or reindeer
No toy train tracks


I won’t sing a carol
I won’t even hum
I’m not making a card
And not writing this poem!

Inexorably the words appear on paper…
Christmas comes –
I am a small voice swept along…
Christmas comes –


Christmas comes –
The babe comes –
whether I’m in the mood – or not!

Dana & Mike Rhyne
Christmas 2006






Monday, December 21, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Fourteenth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

This was our first Christmas without my Mom. We lost her in March. Then in May a friend was killed in a car accident. It was a tough year. Another friend had a premature baby in October. Ellie fought so hard for life - we were all in awe of that drive. She wasn't with us long - almost nine months, but for that short time she was our hero.

Striving to drive the blues away,
I play my dulcimer until, numb,
My hands can strum no more.

A simple gift, this music I make,
But I take nothing for granted
These days, believe you me.

We will sing our songs of Christmas
From an unfamiliar place this year.
Our worst fear came to pass last spring.

Then, with a sudden crash,
Another dear one departed.
Brokenhearted, we cry “Why, Oh Lord?”

Fleeting life, babe-in-a-manger fragile,
Certain death, awaiting even Mary’s child,
What hope have we against this foe?

Through a tiny infant’s birth
We are shown a path, and so press on,
Like little Ellie, to live, to become.

God’s children, we all already are,
Near and far, let our voices ring as one!
We sing our song of hope in loving memory.

Mike and Dana Rhyne
Christmas 2005




Sunday, December 20, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Thirteenth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

This is the year of my mother's kidney cancer. She was diagnosed in April and had surgery to remove a kidney in May. Unfortunately they weren't able to remove all the cancer. By the time we were writing the Christmas poem this year the cancer had moved to her liver.




Saturday, December 19, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Twelfth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.





Friday, December 18, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Eleventh Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

This was the first year that I tried my hand at making Christmas cards, and we actually made the poem the inside of the card (there were a couple of years where we were too wordy to do that!).








Thursday, December 17, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Tenth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

We were in Washington DC doing research for Dr. M's dissertation on September 11. On that morning, oblivious because we hadn't listened to the news, we tried to head to down to the National Archives. As you might imagine, we never got there. This was the first Christmas after the tragedy - and our first Christmas of trying to find joy amidst rubble.

How strange it is to compose
A poem for Christmas
This year, through tears
Of anger, pain, fear and dread.

Sunday, 9-9, Rehobeth Beach.
Great earth mother lapping
At our feet, her pups
Come home for a bath.

Our souls refreshed by the sea,
We gave no care or thought
Of what hell would be
Wrought in this land come 9-11.

Bright morning sun, a drive
In the park, a stop, a search,
Anger in a Ranger’s eyes,
Hints, then finally the news.

American Babel,
Now ashes and rubble.
God’s will? How ill I become
At such a thought.

On 9-11, God, Spirit, Son
Surely sighed and trembled
And cried for what those
Misguided children had done.

This Christmastide,
Spread far and wide God’s
Good news, a message not new,
Yet what can we do but sing it?

Glad tidings, great joy, how
We need to hear and feel you!
Peace and good will, please come
Now to all earth’s peoples. Amen.

Mike and Dana Rhyne,
Christmas 2001


Wednesday, December 16, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Ninth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

The tree is not so big this year,
A compromise, nothing near the size
Of the behemoth it succeeds.
Hard choices must be made,
Not all our old familiar friends
Can nestle in its finite boughs.

 
Remember Wake Forest, 1991,
A tree much smaller even than this,
Yet big enough for gifts we shared.
Sitting on the bed, one year wed,
Writing notes in some, not all, the cards,
Who knows what we said? Please tell us!

House, tree, bed, old friends, now gone,
We hold on to memories, mellowing
As they age in the cellars of our hearts.
“Our First Christmas” couple, as then,
Will swing in their heart from a limb,
Midst penguins aplenty, rest assured.

Foghorn Leghorn and Snoopy
And Hallmark keepsakes, by the score,
And souvenirs from far and near
And balls and beads and bells
And bows, red, gold, and purple,
Will trim the tree once more.

Other treasures we’ll set aside,
The joy they bring deferred,
Boxed up but not discarded.
How could they ever be?
Look at them, they are forever
Part of you and me.

With all our love on our 10th anniversary,
Mike and Dana Rhyne, 2000.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Eighth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

My soul is anchored
by the manger-
for isn’t it a new beginning?

Tomorrow I will look ahead to Easter
knowing that resurrection
is before us:
        miraculous
        God for me.

But for now, in the quiet
of the stable, in the stillness
of first sleep,
       (miraculous
        God with me)

knowing how the years
from this moment of birth
to that moment of rebirth
will change human history,
        my history,
I think of the baby,
and beginnings,
of the new year (I resolve…).

Advent is upon me.
Peering into the manger,
I am made new.

Dana & Mike Rhyne
Christmas 1999

P.S. Happy Anniversary dear heart! Nineteen years of wedded bliss - and all that other stuff life throws at you. How about another 19 or 49 more?

Monday, December 14, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Seventh Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end. Have you noticed yet that when Dr. M was the primary author I don't have much to say about the poem. Apparently I never asked his motivations at the time, & goodness knows we probably wouldn't remember now!

My life goes on in endless song,
A perverse lamentation.
I hear the real, though far-off hymn
That hails the new creation.

Far off, distant, beyond:
Divine clockmaker, piecing
Together our universe, setting
All in motion, then hiding?

How strange to build
A clock so grand
And not attend the grains
Of sand as we pass through.

Yet, still, it rings: Creation’s song.
Listen! Ere long you will hear it:
A song, carried by the wind.
Did it all begin with God singing?

And look, there, low
In the twilit sky, a strange new star
Signals us with its twinkling light;
We must not fight its call.

But where, how long?
The song does not say.
It only beckons:
Come, follow me and see.

And so we walk, alone, but lonely
No longer, for the song and the light
Grow stronger and brighter
With each passing day.

I think, this time,
We might find the long-awaited gift:
The Promised One whose love
Will lift our hearts and souls to God.

Above the tumult and the strife,
I hear its music ringing!
It sounds an echo in my soul.
How can I keep from singing?

Mike & Dana Rhyne
Christmas 1998

Sunday, December 13, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Sixth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end. This year's poem was inspired by Mother Paula Jackson, Rector of Church of Our Saviour Episcopal Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. This was the year we moved from North Carolina to Ohio.

Let all mortal flesh keep silence,
and with fear and trembling stand.

shh...

In the stillness I hear
the cry of a newborn infant.
Such wailing!
Can you see the tiny fingers,
tiny toes?
Can you feel his heartbeat—
the rhythm of new life?
New life!
Born in blood and water
like us.
Cleansed and clothed
and fed and wailing still,
like us.
Reaching out in blind trust
to the humans around him,
like us.
God’s child on this still night
of birth and promise,
like us.
...and not like us.
Word made flesh,
God from God
with us!

Alleluia, Alleluia,
Alleluia! Lord Most High.

Dana & Mike Rhyne
Christmas 1997

Saturday, December 12, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Fifth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

I take each ornament
from its box
and hang it on the tree.
The angel aunt Mary
gave me in its
special place,
Grandma Rhyne’s
old fashioned baubles glittering,
The purple bows Mike made,
“Our First Christmas,”
Each a symbol of hope
and promise
and past.
This green ritual!
This fragrant season!
I close my eyes.
Surrounded by a forest,
I imagine that God’s hand
places the ornaments with mine.
I am celebrating the birth of Jesus
with my memories.

Dana & Mike Rhyne
Christmas 1996

Friday, December 11, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Fourth Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

Oh come, oh come, Emanuel,
Ransom my captive heart.

I look for you in the lights.
I see Santas and Reindeer,
Snowmen and Tin Soldiers,
Crosses and Stars and X-mas trees;
Glowing white Mother and Child
Ringed by plastic wise men.
I cannot see you in the garish glare.

Oh come, oh come, Emanuel,
Pitch your tent within me.

I listen for you in the sounds.
I hear Carols and Classics,
Ancient noels and Santa songs,
Pop and Country and Celtic crooners;
Straining has-been voices
Sing old standards of the season.
I cannot hear you in the brassy blare.

Oh come, oh come, Emanuel,
My soul thirsts for you.

And yet I feel you in my voice
As I take up the old familiar lay.
And yet I feel you in my hands—
Shoe boxes bound for Bosnia’s broken children.
And yet I feel you in my heart—
Amazed at my own good fortune.
And so I feel you, with me.

Oh come, oh come, Emanuel,
Fill me with your glad Noel,
That I may sing anew your song:

Rejoice! Rejoice! Emanuel
has come to you (and me)!

Mike & Dana Rhyne
Christmas, 1995

Thursday, December 10, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Third Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

It is a season of silent expectation—

Shepherds, shivering in the night,
await the coming of the messiah
Adonai has promised them.
It is a season of ancient prophecy—
Magi, bearing royal gifts,
follow the light of a new-born star
to David’s city, Bethlehem.
It is a season of two-edged terror—
Herod, obsessed with usurpers,
has words of scripture on his mind
and thoughts of murder in his heart.
It is a season of great gladness—
Angels, foretold of the coming birth,
can hardly keep from singing to God
new-written songs of praise and love.
It is a season of heavenly peace—
Carry Christ-like reconciliation
with you into our embattled world.
It is a season of much rejoicing—
Our Redeemer this day is born!


Mike & Dana Rhyne
Christmas 1994

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The Second Day



From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. If you missed yesterday's poem, click on the 18 Days of Christmas button in my sidebar. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end. I was feeling a little whimsical when I wrote the poem this particular year. I remember my feminist heart being sad that I had to say "Man and woman" in the third to last line, but a W would not have worked.

Make merry this glad season!
Even midst your life’s confusion
Reach out to one another.
Reach out to yourself—
You are your own merry-maker!

Call upon your joyous heart.
Hear its song—it yet exists!
Retreat no more into gloomy sadness
If only for this moment’s reading
See the beauty of creation
Take pride in your beauty too
Man and woman, God has made us
And God’s child was born, Amen!
So, make merry!


Dana & Mike Rhyne
Christmas 1993

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

18 Days of Christmas - The First Day



Dr. M and I were married December 15, 1990. That first Christmas our friends and family were lucky just to see our smiling faces - we were writing thank you cards, not Christmas cards. The next year, 1991, we wrote personal notes in the form of poems in select Christmas cards. Foolishly, we did not keep a copy of what we wrote. Who knows - it might have been pure genius! It could happen. 1992 began a tradition that we continue today - sending out a poem with our Christmas cards. Some years are harder than others. We alternate who is the primary author (I keep a score card - of course!). Some poems get heavily edited by the non-author and are true collaborations. Some go out just as they were written. And at this point in the game, all I really remember is who wrote the first version. The way you can tell who wrote which poem is to note whose name is listed first at the end.

From now until Christmas day I am treating you to foisting upon you our collection of Christmas poems. If I made our cards that year I'll post a picture of that as well. Here's the first one - inspired by a sermon I believe...

It is a season of pregnant hope--

Mary, great with child,
wonders what glory
could come from her shame.
It is a season of reluctant faith—
Joseph, bewildered,
accepts the unacceptable,
embraces Mary’s miracle as his own.
It is a season of difficult birth—
Jesus, born a fragile child,
shatters ancient silence,
Immanuel in swaddling.
It is a season of bated breath—
God, through unexpected doors,
comes to us, abundant grace:
Wait! Watch! Listen!
It is a season of merciful action—
Take this Christ-child
serendipity into the world.
It is a season of remembered love—
We remember you.

Dana & Mike Rhyne
Christmas 1992

Monday, December 7, 2009

100!

Psst - I just noticed (well, I noticed yesterday but apparently it did not amaze me at that time) that yesterday's Zambia post was my 100th! Who knew I had that much to say? Family members will quitely refrain from commenting. Thank you.

I wish I had a giveaway or something to celebrate, but alas I am unprepared for the moment. Wait - I'll treat subject everyone to our Christmas poems for the last 17 years! Actually, I was going to do that anyway.

Starting tomorrow I'll post a poem a day until Christmas. This means that I won't be doing my usual Wednesday meme or Sunday in Zambia. I will sneak in an extra post on Friday to let you know how my "better health" objectives are working out.

Hope you enjoy the poems!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sundays in Zambia


This will be my last Sunday in Zambia until the new year. Starting on Tuesday I'm posting all the poems Dr. M & I have sent out for last 17 years - plus the one for this year which is has yet to be written. Ideas anyone?

I think I mentioned before that I would probably skip around some with these posts. I always think of my mother a LOT at Christmas, so I decided to skip to the visit that she & Mamaw (my dad's mother) made to Zambia while I was there. Most of the text of this post was written for the photo album - I'm just cutting & pasting. Although I'm going to add a couple of bits that I left out the first go round.

Mom and Mamaw came to visit for two weeks in January 1988. We had a wonderful time—even though finding food for them to eat was a challenge (well, it was a challenge when the missionaries didn’t feed us). I took them to Kitwe to meet a missionary couple from NC. I also took them to Victoria Falls. We had great adventures on that trip:

  • Let’s see, first on the way there I had to give a soldier from one of the checkpoints a lift…I sang the national anthem while I was driving: “Stand & sing of Zambia, proud & free.” I think he thought I was a little strange. 
  • Hoof and Mouth disease was prevalent in the country at that time, so along the way we had to stop to place our naked feet into a tub of grimy looking water that supposedly had disinfectant in it. Eww!
  • Then when we were almost there I started feeling really sleepy. This made me want to drive very fast (reportedly 170 kpm, but that can’t be right!) to get there quicker. I thought Mom & Mamaw exercised great restraint when all they did was ask if I wanted to stop & rest awhile. Oh yes, I wanted to stop on a deserted road in Africa when night was approaching…  Note: Mom wrote this on a postcard to Daddy: Can't believe it, not one fuss - even about her driving. I close my eyes a lot...
  • Then we went through a little drive-through game park where there were reportedly lions lurking. We didn’t see any--& it was a good thing since we got stuck in the mud. We had to get out & put rocks under the tires to make the Kombi budge… 
  • Then when I took them to the market in Victoria Falls Mom pulled out U.S. $ & the little ladies there went crazy—“Come here amai—I have some beautiful goods here!” I told Mom that it was illegal to spend American money here & the ladies just laughed and laughed. They enjoyed seeing me scold my mother.
  • We stayed in a nice cottage while we were at Vic Falls. Mom & I sat on the porch and talked late into the night. The next morning I counted 30 mosquito bites on one leg! I stopped counting at that point.

    The infamous "mosquito porch"
    The top of the smoke that thunders - with the ever present rainbow...
    Mom & Mamaw climbing to the platform on the Lookout Tree - you could see the falls from there
    Pretty impressive!
    Me!
Back in Lusaka, we went to a local zoo (a very sad speciman of a zoo) and I took a couple of pictures.


Mom at the zoo

Mamaw watching one of the missionary kids pet a deer.

One of the missionaries took us all to a local church & then on a tour of the city. She found a place where Mom could (illegally - cameras were NOT allowed downtown!) take a picture of the skyline.


After church - Mamaw, my housemate & me to the right of the picture



I loved having them there--& not just because they cleaned the oven & refrigerator while they visited. I was glad to have someone back home who had seen and would understand…

Mom writing postcards with my housemate's cat Mpingo.