Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm home! It ended up being quite a trip home, between delayed flights, cancelled flights, my oldest getting stopped by security for a thorough search, running to make a flight, spending the night in the Ohare airport, sick teens in that airport, and flying standby the next day. But the week was wonderful, amazing, life-changing, and the list of adjectives could go on and on for a long time.

Haiti looks like someone bombed all its buildings. It looks like a war zone. There are tent cities and shacks upon shacks where people live. We would get in trouble for letting our dogs live in those conditions here. But the orphanage we were at was like an oasis in a desert. I didn't expect such loved and loving children. I didn't expect such well cared for kids. But that's what I found.

We all fell in love with certain orphans, each of us had a different favorite. For me, it was Wicherson. But that's the missionary's fault. She went to get him on Wednesday to bring him to live at the orphanage and asked some of us to go along. I wasn't supposed to go, was dressed to scrape paint off walls, but at the last minute I was jumping in the back of a pickup along with five of the teens. (The girls chant about riding in the back of an open pickup was, "Do it while it's legal!") We drove to the shanty where Wicherson lived with 8 other family members. Then we took him, his grandmother, aunt and cousin to meet with the mayor. While they were in their meeting, Michelle, the missionary, asked me if I would hold Wicherson. He's two and just a bundle of cuddle. I held him for probably two hours while the meeting took place, then held him all the way back to the orphanage. He fell asleep in my arms on the way. Back at the orphanage we found some new clothes, a pair of shoes for him and took him to the nannies. When I saw him next, he was running, laughing and being fed a snack of saltines by the older girl orphans. Michelle said this was a case where we literally saved a life. So as the saying goes, "I left a piece of my heart in Haiti," and a little two-year old boy owns it. When I get the picture of me holding Wicherson, I'll post it.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Livin' at the County Fair!

This week I’m spending my days at the local county fair.

Here’s my youngest friend’s 4H pig…

The days are filled with making popcorn to give away, handing out crayons made from soybeans, hunting down daughters who are hiding out in the pig or goat barns, eating snow cones, ribeye sandwiches, and lemon shakeups and watching friend’s children show their animals. Every year my daughter begs me to let her buy a bunny, every year.

The barn I volunteer in is located between  the Republican and Democrats’ buildings. I think that’s a hoot. We keep the peace. But really Farm Bureau works with both parties when trying to promote and educate people about U.S. agriculture.

If you've never visited your county's fair, you should check it out this summer. For anyone who thinks farmers don't care about their animals, the fair will change your mind. It's filled with farmers and their children proudly showing off their beloved pigs, cows, goats, chickens, rabbits, horses, etc.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's Almost Time to Retire

Saturday I took a trip to my mom and dads’ to deliver some flooring, paint, etc. for their bathroom remodel. 

This is how good a daughter I am – I walked in the house, saw Mom dressed up and thought, “Hmm.” Then I realized it was July 10th, their anniversary. So I told Dad I brought him presents for his anniversary. He’s a smart man and didn’t buy it. But he chuckled and smiled at me anyway.

This is their 62nd anniversary. Can you imagine being married to your husband or wife for 62 years?! Me neither. Dad said that at 65 they can retire. Mom laughed and scolded him with, “Marriage is a lifelong commitment!”

I think marriage is hard work whether you’ve been married 19 years like my husband and me, or 62 like my parents!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A New Driver in the House

Excuse my lengthy absence from blogging again. Sometimes living in the country also means living in the dark ages as far as the internet is concerned. We live as far from the tower as possible to still get internet. But some days it’s spotty, some day non-existent, and I’m not sure what causes it. I try, honest I do. But this is the life I live with, so I can’t allow myself to feel too guilty because it’s nothing I can fix.

So here’s the excitement happening at our house….

The oldest is now a legal driver! Uggh! But on her first solo trip, driving herself to her guitar lesson, the car overheated. I told her I caused it to overheat so she wouldn’t want to drive. But now she can’t drive until the car is fixed anyway. So I got my way after all, whether I caused it or not. Ha. She’s taking it in stride.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Haiti Bound

My oldest daughter and I leave for Haiti Saturday. A part of me is very excited, part terrified. Haiti is not considered a safe locatio And therefore that is exactly where I am vacationing"" this summer.
n to travel. In fact, the United States Department of State warns not to travel there.
Actually we're traveling to Jacmel, to an orphanage called Hands and Feet Project. We're not sure exactly what they will need us to do while there; but whatever it is, we will happily attempt it. 

That is if the heat doesn't kill us. From what I hear it's so hot that even the mosquitoes are dying off. That worries me a little more than a little. So I've got my wicking hat, my wicking bandana, my cooling neckwraps, and a ton of sunscreen. I've also spurged on a filtering waterbottle and two bottles of Deet bug spray.

I'll let you know in a week how well I survived.