Dear Mom and Dad,
I wanted to write you a heartfelt e-mail, letting you know that we made it back into the tribe, but I also really needed to get a blog post out before the weekend is over. Being as I am on the cusp of death as I type, I don’t think I’ll have time to do both. Please accept this dual-purpose correspondence as a substitute for a more sentimental salutation.*
This is the official last day of our “vacation.” As you can see, we have taken to using little quote marks when we refer to our time out in town. I now understand the pitying looks our partners gave us before we left, when we told them how much we were going to benefit from 2 weeks of rest and relaxation. What naive, newbie missionaries we must have sounded like!
Between trying to Skype call half the population of the known universe, buy and eat as much fresh produce as possible (as well as whatever new junk foods we could find), visit with friends on the mission center, buy supplies for ourselves and our team in town, make a video for a supporting church, and recover from my surgery,** our days didn’t always exude R & R in the way we had originally hoped. We did get a decent break from language-learning though, so that was a welcome reprieve. It felt great to not end each day in mental exhaustion.
I was sorry to hear about your mutual bicycle accident. Have you been able to confirm yet whether or not Dad actually tore that ligament in his shoulder or just stretched it? That doesn’t sound like fun stuff. You guys need to think about your age when you go out on these adventures! Remember, once you pass 50, you’re considered an antique. It’s a good thing that it happened while you were visiting Aunt Patty down in Florida. The Sunshine State is the assisted-living capitol of the world! I’m sure between Drew and I we’ll be able to find you a nice economy retirement community somewhere close-by. And don’t worry; I’ll make sure they serve rice pudding at least once a week. 😉
We decided to extend our vacation into the tribe a few days, since we ended up doing so much business/medical stuff when we were out. Ironically, these last couple of days have been the most relaxing of the whole stretch! This was our first time coming back into our set-up here, and we were hugely encouraged that we genuinely felt like we were returning “home.”
In the last couple of days I’ve been able to significantly whittle away at my long-standing “honey-do list.” I’ve been able to plant a small garden, baby-proof our front porch with a gate (Griffin is “Mr. Mobile” these days), install a fan in the wall of Griffin’s bedroom to give him a cross-breeze at nap time, and change out our downstairs spigot and install our hose! These may seem like inconsequential things to most, but for us, it’s been some of the last finishing touches that we’ve been wanting to get done on our house for months!
When we went to bed Saturday night, I told Rochelle that I was really excited that I’d been able to finish all the chores that had been nagging at me for so long, and I was looking forward to spending our last day doing absolutely nothing. Technically, I guess I got my wish, because as soon as daylight broke, I discovered that I’d been consigned to death-by-stomach-flu: chills, nausea, achy joints, exhaustion…you know, just the sort of symptomatic cocktail that gets you excited about an upcoming work week. Rochelle got knocked out of commission by it too, which was rough. We haven’t been sick at the same time for a while. That really does make taking care of the kids hard!
Williamsons and Tousches totally came through though! Each family took a turn watching the kiddos for us, so we could lie on the floor moaning piteously to our hearts’ content, without having a baby jump on our bellies and pull our hair. We love those guys.
Anyway, that’s been life for your second-born. Love you guys lots!
Seth and Rochelle
*[To anyone else, if this post strikes you as being more like the whimpering of a pathetic man-baby, rather than a cross-cultural missionary’s blog post, then try to cut me some slack. I’m talking to my Mom here!]
**[Sorry, but I have been strictly forbidden by Rochelle from going into any specifics concerning my “procedure.” She says that it’s not something that should be talked about in a blog. Personally, I happen to disagree with her. When a Dr. starts going to town with needles, knives, and wood-burning equipment in a certain area of my body, ON MY VACATION, then I feel VERY much like telling people about it! ESPECIALLY, since I have made considerable effort over the last 29 years to ensure that NONE of those instruments came anywhere even REMOTELY NEAR this specific area! But, like I said, I’m being censored, so I’ll let it go. Suffice it to say, you won’t need to waste any time looking for baby announcements from us in the future.]