Lest you think I’ve forgotten about you, a wee update on our progress so far. The past month has been a nonstop flurry of activity! Apartments, utilities, cars, jobs, furniture… to say it’s been overwhelming is a colossal understatement! We are emerging semi-victorious, though.
Our new flat is quite cute with its hardwood floors and the promise of lovely views. At the moment, the view isn’t that spectacular, unless you count the Corinthian columns on the front of the Loveman house next door. The darkly skeletal trees are still and foreboding. But I know that after a few more days they will begin to dress themselves in every shade of green and really show off their new spring clothes. I’m practically dancing in anticipation!
Car and furniture hunting has been going far more slowly than we’d anticipated, though. And the job back at Cunningham has turned out to be rather anticlimactic, for lack of a better word. It’s not the laboratory I left, for sure. There’s some truth to the words “You can’t go back home”. After leaving the farm and seeing gay ol’ Paree, there’s just no joy in planting and milking anymore, is there?
Our stop in Harper’s Ferry, West (by God) Virginia was the high point of our journey. Cousin Gail Murray Lumpkin and her grandson, Ridge came up to meet us, and our friend Lori Weinkauf came from South Dakota to help us celebrate. We were received and welcomed warmly by cousin Yvette, her husband, Guy Crumpley and their astonishingly wonderful family, Josh, Kaila, and Laura, and an amazing cast of friends. Theirs is undoubtedly the happiest, most lively household I’ve ever had the privilege of encountering.
The Crumpleys (‘Crumplies’?) managed, oversaw, and advised on every step of our journey to become One. They hired our officiant and we all pitched in on cooking the wedding feast. Laura, who is a photographer, made some breathtaking pictures. It was a day I’ll never forget and we will be forever indebted and grateful to Guy and Yvette and their family for everything they did.
Have I mentioned the snow? I think I told you we landed to deep snow in Toronto, and again in New York. Well let me tell you, it was no warmer in West Virginia. Several inches lay on the ground when we arrived and we got another 6-8 inches while we were there. I’m telling you here and now that I’ve seen quite enough of it and hope never to walk in it again! ‘Nuff said on that subject, I reckon.
Birmingham, Alabama. Be it ever so crumbled, there’s no place like home! I got to see Mother and was shocked at how much weight she’s lost. She told me she’s down to 79 pounds. It was almost like hugging a breath of air. But, like breath, it was warm and welcoming and full of love and it’s so good to know that after all these years she’s back in reaching distance. I don’t want to ever be that far away from her again as long as I live.
Zeek is missing his Mother, though, like I did when I was in Amman. But, thanks to the wonders of the age, and Magic Jack, he gets to talk to her every day. We’re both missing his brother, Ayoub, and we’re actively searching for a wife for him. Someone who’ll love him and make him as happy as I know he’ll make her. If we can find someone, and the chemistry happens we can get him over here to pursue the “American Dream”.
Sitting here, typing at the dining room table and looking through the slats at the coolish, grey and wet morning I’m reminded to be grateful for the many blessings in my life. Mother and some other family members, friends, an income, and familiar surroundings are among those blessings. A true and faithful and absolutely undeserved Companion who takes far better care of me than I do of him makes getting out of the bed every morning worthwhile. He’s my breath of life, the spark that makes my heart beat.
Easter is coming soon, and I’m taking Zeek up to Ave Maria Grotto. I’d love to share it with him when the dogwoods and azaleas are in bloom. It’s one of the most beautiful places in Alabama. Stay tuned for that story; it will have a ton of pictures!
To sum up, life in Birmingham, Alabama, United States of America is shaping up to be good and we’re both looking excitedly toward a bright and promising future. Stay with us, won’t you? It’s bound to be a fun ride.
Soon, I’ll start sharing a few more stories from Changed Tomorrows the exciting sequel to New Yesterdays. You won’t want to miss that!