Monday, April 23, 2012

the thread that binds us

I finished some pockets to send on to Lori, who is heading to Namibia soon.  She will take them along as small gifts when she visits a Himba village.

The local children keep asking if this one is theirs. I am sure these little gifts will be welcomed and appreciated!

I am so glad that she gets to go; I want to show everyone here the beauty of that little-known nook.

When friends come back with insights and stories that I never heard or saw, just always living there, I cannot help but wonder if others see the goodness of this country the way I do. If they realize how they are as strange and amazing...

It is all a tapestry of light and darkness.

My heart will be traveling with Lori, and she will bring back amazing stories and pictures to share.

(Christian is much better.  He does not talk about his finger.  Martinus, however,  used him as a handy conversation starter at church: "Can I tell you what my big brother did?")

Friday, April 20, 2012

All's well that ends well.

I was sitting under the Live Oak, knitting the third pocket, listening to the boys playing in the dust, enjoying the perfect temperature and the light breeze.

I stood up from the chair and went in to put barley on the stove, to have with the roast that I put in the oven an hour earlier.  I felt chuffed.  Look at me, meal planning, knitting for strangers, children playing outside...

Jean met me in the den, ashen. "I tried to crash the fire ants but Christian put his hand..." Next thing I see is Christian, tears streaming, and the red on his shirt.  I picked him up, rushed to the bathroom, rinsed his hand, and turned it over... I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror; ashen.

I never miss home as much as when there is a crisis like this.  I miss the neighbours, and knowing that when I come back from where I have to go with this child, the others will have been fed, bathed, and in bed.  I miss knowing the road to the ER at Pretoria East Hospital, knowing that it will take me exactly 7 minutes.  If I speed. I miss my grumpy pediatrician who told a nurse after the first one was born "just leave her with the baby, she will do fine, she's a mother."  I even miss the little signs on the wall in the waiting room, warning about the most dangerous traffic intersections, two of them between our house and the hospital.

Mercifully, Jacques was home and I could just wrap gauze around his finger, load him in the car, and head for the urgent care center.  (In the car, the CD player continues where we left off, and we listen to songs of the Westminster Catechism.  I do not pay attention, but after a little while, between his whimpers and tears, Christian asks: God makes people Mamma?  He has meat? I explain as well as I can, he loses interest and starts shivering.)

I went to the same medical center where we did our medical examinations for our Green Cards.  On that day we spent a stressful 6 hours in a small room, filling in forms and receiving vaccinations.  The physician on the day was so amazing that I bought her a gift that I delivered the day I went to pick up our documents - a Debbie Bliss knitting pattern book, I cannot remember which one.  See, she was a knitter. She started talking about socks and I could see her checking herself, and refocusing.   And tonight, when we walked in, she was there, again!

We spent 3 hours, did x-rays (no fractures), tried butterfly strips and glue, and ended up with 5 stitches, on the pad of his right middle finger.

The strangest thing is - he insisted on watching.  He leaned in, made suggestions, warned her about coming too close with the scissors.  Of course he cried when she gave him the shots to numb his finger, but after that he was like a medical student.  At the end of it all, she turned to me and said "Now this was one of the most interesting nights I have spent in a long time.  Not even grown-ups watch with so much interest."  The nurse was amazed, too.  They greeted him "Good night, Dr Loock."

Back home, at 9:30pm, everyone eating ice cream around the kitchen table, he explains to Martinus that he is going to be a Doctor some day.  Martinus exclaims: But you're going to be a man, Christian!  Doctors are "tannies" (ladies)"  Oh boy, do not get me started.

He will be fine, the stitches has to come out in a week, and while I guess tomorrow will still be rough, it could have been so much worse.  I remember my dad often saying "Thank God for small mercies".  I always thought that he said it only half-serious, but he was serious. I was just not old enough to understand.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

completed and finished

I need some positive feedback, please.  Every time I show my husband these adorable pants, he tells me that he really cannot stand that color.  Or something clever like - "that is a great color for baby pants - you will never notice that the diaper leaked."  I happen to love the color, but I know that my taste in color is somewhat, well, different.  It is crème brulee, and yes, I bought it on purpose.

He does not want to get excited at all - not even when I show him the brilliant finishing, the nifty turning row and the perfect casing for the i-cord that I knit without breaking a sweat.

But I know y'all will be impressed. (See, I'm turning into a Texan).

I found the pattern in One More Skein.  I am very glad that all knitting books are not available on the Kindle, I would have bought far too many...

I finished another children's book: Because of Winn-Dixie.  I actually read it while knitting and watching Celebrity Apprentice with one eye (I consider some reality TV as an important part of my American Assimilation).

My favorite part is the part about the Littmus Lozenges:

"How do you get that taste in there?"
"That's the secret," she said.  "That's why Littmus made a fortune.  He manufactured a piece of candy that tasted sweet and sad at the same time."

I have been a bit melancholic the last couple of posts.  But life is really sweet.
 (joining with Ginny's yarn along)

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I finished something.

A cotton cardigan for a brand new baby in Namibia.

See?  I have not been doing nothing.  Quite the contrary, I have been very busy.

Things are settling down, the boys are not asking where the grandmothers are so much, and I have not picked up much around the house because I wanted to sit and mostly just knit, to feel better.  Oh, and then there are the left over chocolate eggs, and coffee, that all go very well with knitting and sitting.  I did do the laundry.

I have missed the blog, I will return to it now that things are back to abnormal.