From Amman to Birmingham – Part II

The Supreme Court of the United States. The body that made our move possible!

The Supreme Court of the United States. The body that made our move possible!

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 Milkingbetter 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.

LRP_7912The 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”.

LRP_8003Sitting 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!

At the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC

At the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, DC

Zeek and me at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC

Zeek and me at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC


About Ol' Big Jim

Ol' Big Jim, has been a storekeeper, an embalmer, a hospital orderly, a medical biller, and through it all, a teller of tall tales. Many of his stories, like his first book, New Yesterdays, are set in his hometown of Piedmont, Alabama. For seven years, he lived in the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world, Amman, Jordan where he spends his time trying to visit each one of the thousands of Ammani coffee shops and scribbling in his ever-present notebook. These days, you can find him back stateside, still filling notebooks.
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9 Responses to From Amman to Birmingham – Part II

  1. Yvette Crumpley says:

    Lovely, Cousin. I am surprised not to see pictures of the two of you in front of the Supreme Court, though!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ol' Big Jim says:

      I’ve looked high and low, Yvette, and I can’t find it! I thought Guy made one of us, but perhaps not. So, I settled for the one of Zeek at SCOTUS.


  2. Such a nice welcome back. Glad all is working well.


  3. Norma says:

    As always I enjoyed this post. I am so happy to have you back over here there are not words enough to express it. Keep up the good work and finish changed tomorrows I’m looking forward to it. Love you a bunch


  4. Thomas says:

    Stumbled across your blog, and it looks like you’re going to be getting to know Alabama pretty well. I’m a Peace Corps Volunteer and am looking for people to help me out with a project for my English class in Mozambique. There’s more info on the Postcard Project tab on my blog. Let me know if you’d be able to help out. Haven’t gotten anything from Alabama yet.


  5. Hi,
    I found your blog on an expat website. I had been to Jordan in the past and loved it, and I have a BFA in Creative Writing, a CELTA certification, and I’m just finishing my TESOL certification. I wanted to speak with you further on what you needed to work in Jordan (if you were teaching ESL), and what you feel I would need before I start applying for jobs. I’m American but single, Muslim convert and speak basic Arabic. Live in the Northeast and have worked on Wall Street, with overseas hospitals, and currently work for the Dept of Public Health. I have experience living/traveling in the Middle East, so my issue is more about licensing and what schools/companies are looking for. Any help would be appreciated! Your blogs are great!


    Leanne Scorzoni

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ol' Big Jim says:

      Sorry for the delay, Leanne. I’m sorry to say I can’t really give you any answers because I was a free-lance teacher. My students came to my flat, so I didn’t license myself for working in schools, etc. With your permission, I will pass your email on to a friend who teaches at the American School in Amman. He may be able to provide more information than I can.


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