Monday, October 21, 2013


Do refrigerators and furnaces only breakdown on weekends when you can't get a repairman - or does it just seem that way?  This summer the frig that came with the house died suddenly, something I didn't notice until all the food got warm and had to be tossed.  Then this morning my furnace quit heating, something I noticed right away as I shivered getting ready for Bible class.  I'm hoping this will be an easy fix but I had no luck calling someone today.  I guess Sunday afternoon in the country they just turned their phones off.  So tonight, I'm back to shivering.

But today was actually a good day.  The sun was shining on a gorgeous fall day and I figured out how to light the gas wall heaters that I had never touched before, no mean feat considering that the gas was turned off on the first one I struggled with but finally conquered.  The confidence boost led me to break out the hammer and nails for some other moving-in chores I needed done.

Cole asked me a few days ago if I had gotten used to living alone.  I'm really not sure what I told him because I'm really not sure if I have.  But I got a few things accomplished today that were totally out of my usual realm, so that was a step in the right direction.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013


Still in a South Pacific kind of mood, and looking at a few pictures from our last campaign.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Pacific Island

I heard a report on mission work in the Pacific Islands tonight - an instant recipe for nostalgia.  I thoroughly enjoyed living there and still delight my grandson, Cole, with stories about Samoa.  I tell him about the men wearing skirts, tatoos made with a shark's tooth, and houses that had no walls.  I've described the men cooking in the underground umus on Sunday mornings so that the whole island seemed to be filled with a smoky haze.  I've talked about drinking coconuts fresh from the trees, his Grandad eating octopus straight from the ocean., and another octopus that my sister, Carolyn, won't soon forget.  It sat whole in a bowl, cooked in its own ink and coconut milk so it appeared to be swimming in grey gunk each time the dining table was jiggled.  It swam quite a while beside my sister's plate before she got enough courage to sample a tentacle - an absolute must since the dish had been made by our Samoan friends especially for her.

Cole has heard about Hurricane Ofa that hammered us with horrific wind and rain for 3 days and left us without power or water for long after that.  I've shown him pictures of the Flying Foxes, the world's biggest bats, and told him about the giant centipedes that were terrifying when they got in our house.  I think I have even told him about how in the beginning I repeatedly got lost driving on the island even though there was only one road that went from end to end.  (Palm trees all look alike.  I would just forget which way to turn on that one road when I came back out of where ever I was.)

This week there was a new story as I unpacked yet another box to discover 2 starfish.  Julie had played with those starfish when she was younger than Cole on a day when the beach seemed to be filled with them.  It was the day that we first walked on the coral reef and discovered how awesome that can be with hundreds of brilliantly colored tropical fish swimming around your feet.  Still, we lived in Amerika Samoa for 5 years, so there are more stories to come.

Yet when I think about the island of Tutuila it feels like an incredibly long time since I've been there.  It came as a bit of a shock this evening when it suddenly occurred to me that it has been only slightly more than two years.  Jimmie and I were on Tutuila in May of 2011, our last campaign together.  So much has happened since then.

But, the place I'm living now has a few perks as well and no doubt stories for the future.  I especially like losing the heavy traffic jams.  After living in the Atlanta area for 14 years not being stuck in constant traffic either inching along or screaming down the interstate at 80 mph is wonderful.  And I like this quaint, old-fashioned town filled with homes from another era and open friendliness that I had forgotten existed.  And, of course, having Julie & gang so close is a wonderful perk all by itself.

Still, few places can compete with a South Pacific island for beauty.