Day in the life

 

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Today we started with no appointments, and no plan, so sat down together and prayerfully started making a few phone calls. This is how things shaped up:

  • Visit to Sister A (who is due with #4 in two weeks). We stayed an hour and helped her with FamilySearch questions, and happily consented to be on her call list if Baby arrives in the middle of the night or when others are unavailable to help.
  • Visited Sister B, who was in the middle of a cupboard reorganization project, so we did the heavy lifting and completed that project. She invited us back in a couple hours for lunch.
  • After picking up more windshield wiper fluid, we visited Sister C.  Elder Park topped off her car, and I visited with her toddler as he ate (played with) his lunch. We learned of her desire to do more with FamilySearch, so Elder Park volunteered my services again for a return visit next week. We were rewarded with an invitation to accompany her to her appointment to learn the gender of child #4, due the same month her husband returns from his 6-month deployment. (“It’s more fun if you have someone to share the news with other than a 2-year-old!” She said.)
  • We picked up Sister B as she finished with her appointment and drove her home, and was re-extended the invitation to lunch, which we gladly accepted. We noticed the previously cleaned off counter from the earlier project was once again piled high with items…this time from her pantry. Project #2 was underway, so we jumped in to assist. Two and a half hours later it was an amazing transformation: a place for everything and everything in its place.

As her family arrived home from their busy day, and oohed and aahed over the newly organized areas, we said our good-byes and made our way home, with tired muscles but warm hearts at being able to be of service another day.

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A Special Kind of Missionary…

We got a call to help a sister whose husband is away. She needed to attend Ward Council and had no one to watch her children while she was gone. We readily agreed and arrived with all the materials for making gingerbread houses. Mom left and we laid out all the candies for decorating their creations. Elder Park said enthusiastically,

“Isn’t it great to have missionaries visit?”

“That depends…,” said the 9-year-old boy.

“Depends?! Depends on what?”

“Depends on the kind of missionary…There are the ones who come and give a lesson…and then there are the ones who bring candy for you to eat and play games with you and let you stay up past your bedtime.”

We are so happy to be THAT kind of missionary!

 

 

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Simple Kindness

Within a few weeks of arriving here we visited the Huntingdon Ward for the first time. I met an older, British sister there who was from Liverpool. I told her how much we liked the Beatles and that we had gone to Liverpool just to visit sites from their past. We recently returned to the Huntingdon Ward and this sister came up to me and said, “You are the one who likes the Beatles, right? I brought a postcard for you…” and handed me a postcard that said,  “Liverpool–Home of The Beatles” on it. It has been about 2 months since we were there last, so this sister must have been bringing this postcard to Church each week in the event we returned so she could give it to me. I was very touched by her simple, thoughtful gesture.

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Yankee Ingenuity

I wanted to check out the little artsy knick-knack store down the road for a table-top Christmas tree, as the large one in the shed out back is too big to fit anywhere in this house; I can’t imagine where our predecessors put it. We drove the 15 minutes over there but no luck. I knew what I wanted–a miniature version of the one at home in my living room…

Home once again, my eyes fell on the two wooden canes by the front door (also left by our predecessors…)…With a few of the branches from the tree in the shed, I could put together an acceptable table-top tree…

Three hours later and my efforts were rewarded with the perfect little tree. I wedged the “trunk” into the basketweave of a small child’s table and tucked in 4 linen napkins around the base. Then the string of colored lights completed the picture. Maybe a few more decorations later on, some sort of angel for the top, but for now it is sweet. My companion and I then strung the white lights around the front picture window and we are officially festively decorated for Christmas!

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Happy Guy Fawkes Day!

We are hearing the fireworks and saw a few in the skyline on our way home tonight–

Bonfire Night...The Lewes Bonfire Society's parade through Lewes, in East Sussex, as part of their bonfire night celebrations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 5, 2013. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Bonfire Night…The Lewes Bonfire Society’s parade through Lewes, in East Sussex, as part of their bonfire night celebrations. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday November 5, 2013. Photo credit should read: Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

Remember, remember, the fifth of November
Gunpowder treason and plot
We see no reason
Why Gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot ….

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The Top 10 Best Things About Being Married

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A few days ago as we were driving the Sister Missionaries to an appointment, one of them (out of the blue) asked, “What is the best thing about being married?”

Now that is a question to ponder! Which I have done for the past few days, and now am ready to share the fruits of that ponderizing…The Top 10 Best Things About Being Married are (in random order as I think of them):

  1. Having someone who knows you so well and loves you unconditionally anyway.
  2. Having a built-in Buddy System–I don’t know what would have happened to me if my Buddy wasn’t with me on Mt. St. Helens that day…)
  3. Having someone to share adventures with (“Oh, look! A…sunset/mountain/deer/castle/etc.”)
  4. Having someone who is always looking out for your interests. (The other day in the BX we were wandering around separately when Rich found me to “show me something.” He’d found a pair of Clark’s shoes just like the ones I have for the mission and are quickly wearing out. He didn’t know I’d put a “watch” on Ebay for them, as I couldn’t find a pair anywhere to buy before coming here. Knowing how hard it is for me to find shoes that fit comfortably, he insisted we buy them, as “you never know how long they’ll be available or when they’ll be back.”)
  5. Having someone to eat up the goodies we’re given and politely accept, but I can’t/won’t eat.
  6. Having someone to “divide and conquer.” Whether that is in volunteering (I answer the phones at the chapel, he rakes the leaves; I read the stories at the library, he shelves the books) or housework (he is so much better at vacuuming than I am, and is the self-designated Laundry Guy) or a myriad of other things, two make work not only easier, but more enjoyable. This has been especially evident in negotiating the driving over here. He tackles the mechanics of left-side driving and keeps us alive, while I navigate and keep us on track.
  7. Having someone who helps you improve and become a better you. This applies to everything from editing my writing for blogs, to gently pointing out shortcomings and encouraging efforts to overcome.
  8. Having someone to take care of you when you’re sick. (“let’s try this essential oil on your cough/back/injury, etc”)
  9. Having someone who shares your goals and dreams, both temporally and eternally, and helps you along the path to reaching them.
  10. Having someone who shares your values and supports your Big Ideas (“Let’s sell our house and buy a BIGGER house that will accommodate family reunions better!”)
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The Norfolk Way

Brussels Sprouts Stalk

Brussels Sprouts Stalk

Went to the farm stand this morning for some garlic for pesto and saw this lovely stalk of Brussel sprouts. The vendor told me this is the “Norfolk Way”: they get the whole stalk and set it outside. It lasts for months and you just pull off what you want at the moment (“For instance, ‘I think I’ll have a few in my stew today…'” she says).  I couldn’t resist and walked home with the garlic and the Brussel sprouts (and pears and peaches…)

I’ve always wanted to know about rosehips and how to make rosehip tea and today, as I looked out my kitchen window and saw the rose bush going to seed…I did a bit of research, gathered them up and voila! Rosehip tea and syrup; (discovered that ladybugs like them too!)

a stylish stile

a stylish stile

“There was a crooked man, who went a crooked mile; he found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile…”

On our visit to Swaffham Prior (which, technically is in Cambridgeshire, not Norfolk at all…) this week we came upon an honest-to-goodness stile!

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Things that make me…

Traffic flowing smoothly!

Traffic flowing smoothly!

…ponder

Every day as we head out in the car, there will be a new spider web attached to both side mirrors. No matter if you wipe them off or flush them out with the hose, there are two new webs the next morning.  We’ve discussed this anomaly with several other people and they all experience the same phenomenon.

…awed

Turned the front porch light off when we got home and stood in the driveway looking up at the “billions and billions of stars!” So many more seem visible here than back home. I sometimes complain about the lack of streetlights on these rural roads, but this is definitely the upside of that. It was beautiful.

…laugh

Following the Garmin today along a rural farm road, we are the only car to be seen for miles…and suddenly (and for the first time!) Ms. Garmin blurts out, “Traffic is flowing smoothly on your route.” Yep. Got that one right.

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Learning new things

Our dangerous daily departure driveway

Our dangerous daily departure driveway

Creep and Peep: This is what we do when we leave our driveway each time–edge out slowly, creeping/inching our way as we look one way then another for that sudden rush of a vehicle going 70 mph on our small barely-wide-enough-for two-cars lane. It’s the same process entering any road, where more than likely there are hedges blocking one’s view of the road.

Lemonade is Sprite: okay, I’m a slow learner–twice now I’ve asked for “lemonade” in a restaurant and have been given Sprite. I’m now sticking with water.

Women never wear the pants in a family: because “pants” is the word for “men’s underwear.” Women wear trousers. Yep. I made that mistake once in a conversation with a British woman and was quickly corrected.

We are in a protective bubble:  a) I am the navigator; the eyes-on-the-road for sudden dangers. So it was my fault when I said, “all clear” as Rich backed up…and hit a pole. BAM! CRUNCH! I truly didn’t see it, but the damage was done…or was it?? We got out to assess and saw that the pole was now leaning a bit away, but there was not a scratch on the car! Miracle! and…b) I noted the rear tyre (yes, I spelled it correctly) looked soft, but Rich said he’d just checked them and they were fine, so…off we went to London, 2+ hours away. There and back again, and we checked the tyre pressure when next on base: 9 pounds of pressure in that tyre! We filled it up, drove it home, and it was already down again. Luckily we have a garage next door and Braun found a nail in the tyre, which must have been there 3 days ago before we headed to London, yet it held for all that driving until we could get back home and get it fixed. Miracle!

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Making Discoveries

Here’s an update to an earlier post.

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After checking with the landlord, we learned that there is weekly pickup of green waste. We had overlooked these cute little bins outside, (which from the looks of them, had never been used before by previous tenants) meant for our food waste. We’ve cleaned the very little one up and tucked it under the sink for easy access.

Bought some clothesline and pins, established a clothesline in the backyard, and now it’s done nothing but rain….but we are ready for the next breezy/sunny day!

After preparing a few “Sunday roast”-type meals, I felt I needed to obtain a gravy boat. A ward member told me the little second-hand bric-a-brac shop next door to us actually had loads of dishes, tea cups, etc., so I walked over to have a look. The side building contained loads of stuff and after gingerly rummaging around (cups with dead bees in them and one with a live spider!) I found a perfect gravy boat for “only two quid”! The proprietor also had a lovely chocolate lab in the yard, which she (jokingly, I hope) said I could also have for two quid. I was sorely tempted.

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