On Wednesday, the day we were scheduled to leave for West Virginia, we got an email from my dad saying their internet was down. (He was writing to us from school.) The internet stayed down the whole time we were there so I wasn’t able to do the on-line reading I had saved just for that purpose. Nor could I work on my writing projects. Two hours before we left to return home, it came back on, so we all gathered around the computer to Google Earth our new digs (too blurry to see well) in Guatemala.
I don’t think I’ve been unplugged for that long in months, maybe years. Also, I don’t think I rested so deeply in a long, long time. What think you? Might there be a correlation?
While in WV, I went on a walk, laid on the sofa, drank lots of lemon ginger tea, visited, took oodles of pictures, feasted royally, and read an entire book. It’s been a very long time since I read a book from start to finish in little more than 24 hours.
A note about the book, Does This Church Make Me Look Fat?. I wasn’t too keen on Rhoda Janzen’s first book (I wrote about it here)—it was cute, sure, but she struck me as shallow and not very self-aware. The new book is different. She writes with the grace, humor, and wisdom that was missing before. Also, the book is religious, and as a fairly skeptical person (religiously speaking), it was refreshing to read about someone who went from being a skeptic to a, um, Pentecostal, I kid you not. Reading about her process gave me some much-needed understanding, though I still have trouble comprehending some of the theological hurdles she leaps. In summary: the book made me reflect and laugh and I needed that.
When I was done with the Fat Church, I started a book on the Maya resurgence and the K’ekchi’ experience in Guatemala. Not quite as entertaining, but educational nonetheless.
My son got his first deer!
He took a hunter-safety course this summer and this was his first time carrying a gun. The story of how he shot it isn’t very pretty. Let’s just say he didn’t get it on the first shot and leave it at that.
My brother skinned the deer while my son mostly watched.
The little kids perched on the hood of the van to watch.
The next day, my son and daughter cut the meat off the bones.
They worked at it for hours, mostly by themselves, I think. We’re splurging and having the meat turned into bologna. I hope we like it.
That evening my brother built a fire and the kids roasted chunks of venison.
They thought it was wonderful, the best meat ever.
I thought they looked like a pack of cave people, what with their fingers black from the smoke and greasy from the bits of charred meat.
In other news, Lloyd The Freak paid us a visit.
He’s very serious about staying on top of current events.
My brother brought along his clay piggy bank, (intentionally) dropped it on the porch, and then let the kids sort the coins.
While in the midst of squeezing lemons for a batch of tea, I spied a nifty photo op.
It’s a reflection of my mom and me working in the kitchen, see?
On the way to WV, Charlotte puked herself silly. We knew she’d get carsick, but that carsick? Come on.
At my parents’ house, she rode around on my daughter’s hip like a real baby.
My mom let her in the house as long as someone was holding her.
“Keep her butt off the furniture!” she’d squawk.
The kids listened, mostly.
(Right before our return trip, my husband gave Charlotte a bit of Dramamine and she didn’t throw up once, glory beeeeee.)
We roasted hot dogs in the wood stove.
There was a turkey, of course. And a whoopie pie cake. And pies.
And lots of other incredibly delicious stuff, like banana bread and sauteed chard and corn and mashed potatoes and sweet potatoes and fresh fruit and stuffing and gravy and apricot pudding and whipped cream and blueberry bars and cole slaw and cranberry relish and beans and rice and Shirley’s sugar cookies and, and, and … GROAN.
I laid on the sofa and snoozed and then woke up with a terrific craving for chocolate so I sent my younger daughter out to the kitchen to beg some chocolate from my mother. My daughter returned with the message that there would be chocolate cake later. I sent her back with the message that I really needed chocolate, candy bar chocolate, right now. So my mother dug around in her kitchen and produced a bar of chocolate and my husband and I snarfed the whole thing down, with some cashews on the side.
I wasn’t the only one who rested and relax-ed.
My brother did yoga demos.
This white-haired angel earned herself the well-deserved nickname of The Virginia Screamer.
Yes sir, this girl has got some serious lungs. She’s merciless.
My aunt drinks two cups of coffee every morning.
Postscript: The day after we returned home, I got hit upside the head with the mother of all head colds. As in, sleep-with-a-roll-of-toilet paper-in-my-hand. As in, don’t-tilt-the-head-forward-to-look-at-the-floor. As in, lay-in-bed-and-watch-back-to-back-episodes-of-Mad Men. As in, I’M-DYING-WHEN-WILL-THIS-BE-OVER.
Don’t worry about me too much. I’ll probably make it.