Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer

Grabbing a Half Day

While most of my time has been spent joyfully grandmama-ing, I was feeling increasing anxiety about one thing. I am flying back to Doha to pack, and then I am flying back to Pensacola to close on the house, and wait for AdventureMan to join me, and then all our furniture and household goods that have been in storage a lifetime – twelve years – will arrive.

Oh oh. Where do we sleep until our bed arrives? We COULD invade our dear son and his sweet wife once again, but don’t you think enough is enough? Would you want your parents and in-laws living with you, week after week, with all our well-intentioned advice, and stories about our son when he was young?

No? LLOOLLL, me neither!

So yesterday, I took an afternoon to myself.

First, I had learned that the Pensacola Quilter’s Guild was having their bienniel (once every TWO years) show this weekend, Friday and Saturday. There is little that can take this adoring grandmama away from her most adorable brand-new grandson, but I will admit it – a quilt show – that is beyond temptation. I had to go, even just for an hour. I went, joined the guild, hurried through the exhibit, which was GLORIOUS! and then I went furniture shopping.

Furniture shopping is not what it used to be. I have some lovely furniture in storage, but not a huge amount of it. Some of it we sent off with Law and Order Man when he went off to law school and needed some basics. Some of it is just outdated – like televisions from the 90’s! I figured I would just look for the basics – bed, mattress and table and chair. We will have a place to sit when we are not sleeping, and we can buy the TV’s together, later, with our son’s help. We need the help of the high-tech-savvy to get us up to speed on what we will be needing, phones, TV’s, cable connections, phone plans, internet connections, oh, it is as bad as buying a new car!

When we were still in the military, we found a dining room table and chairs, gorgeous, at an auction, for $169. We found marble topped antique oak nightstands, gorgeous, at the flea market in Metz, and paid $60 for the pair. We found a gorgeous buffet/credenza in a used furniture shop in Leavenworth, KS for $50 + $10 for delivery, all these are furniture pieces we still treasure. I am telling you this so you will understand what sticker shock I get when I go to look at new furniture.

I am quick and clear about what I want and need, but the prices require me to summon all the courage I can summon when I go to write the checks. I am good at saving. Letting that money go is so HARD. It took me the entire afternoon to find pieces I knew would work for us.

Here is where you will sleep, the guest room bed, when you come to stay with us:

It was on sale. I love it because, with the inlay, it sort of reminds me of the Middle East, of Damascus:

I also bought mattresses. It was difficult, too, because I don’t like these pillow tops. We like a good, firm bed, and I like to sleep cool, I can’t get to sleep if I am too warm, and these pillow tops are too warm. It took me a long time to find a good, firm mattress set for the bed.

Then I went looking for a table and chairs for the family room/ casual dining area. I knew what I wanted. My long-time Chinese friend told me the best table for families is the round table, no one sits at the head, everyone is equal. My sister Big Diamond (Little Diamond’s and Sporty Diamond’s Mom) has a HUGE, gorgeous round table, and I have seen how people love to gather there. So I knew I wanted a round table that would be inviting and comfortable, but not so grand as my sister’s. I have been looking online, checking out a lot of models. When I found one here in Pensacola, at a reasonable price, I was hooked. It is light teak – light in color, heavy in weight. OOps. Then she reminded me I would need chairs. Aaarrgh.

There weren’t any other customers in the shop at the time, so we took our time. As I learned from you, my Middle Eastern friends, we dickered a little, comfortably and amiably – and she gave me a discount, and free delivery.

The chairs are amazing. You would not believe wood could feel so comfortable. The table and chairs together remind me so much of all our times camping and in lodges in Africa, in Zanzibar, in Zambia, in Botswana, where the furniture is both comfortable and well made. But I almost choked, writing the check. Some things are just worth buying new; sturdy, comfortable furniture is one of them.

Here is the guest bathroom:

It has a spa tub and a walk in shower. 🙂

Last but not least, I found some farewell gifts for friends I have had in Doha for a long long time, and a bolt of muslin for a friend who knows I am coming back with suitcases almost empty. 🙂 It was a long day, and a fruitful day, and I am resting easier knowing all these little details are coming together.

Today, however, my son and his wife are taking me to the kinds of places I LOVE buying furniture! The Waterfront Mission Store and Loaves and Fishes! Wooo HOOOOO!

February 28, 2010 Posted by | Adventure, Cross Cultural, Cultural, Doha, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Living Conditions, Local Lore, Relationships, Shopping, Values, Zambia, Zanzibar | 6 Comments

Keep Another’s Confidence

This is from a wonderful website by by Rick Warren, who writes about the Purpose Driven Life and who sends out daily inspirational messages. I love this one.

Connect be keeping someone’s confidence
by Rick Warren
“A gossip betrays a confidence, but a trustworthy man keeps a secret.” Proverbs 11:13 (NIV)

If relationships are going to work, we have to be confidential with information.
Are you the kind of person that someone can trust with confidential information? We tend to think of gossip as one of those little sins, a misdemeanor sin. But when God talks about gossip, He puts it on a list with things like sexual immorality and murder.

Why? Because it is incredibly destructive to relationships.

What is gossip? Gossip is talking about a situation with somebody who is neither a part of the solution nor a part of the problem. And if we’re honest with ourselves, what we’re doing is making ourselves feel a little more important at somebody else’s expense. We’re talking about their hurts and their problems, but in a way that makes us feel a little bit superior to them. That’s the danger and the hurt of gossip.

There’s a story in the Old Testament about a family that struggled with gossip. Moses had a sister name Miriam who one day got caught up in gossiping about Moses amidst the rest of the people. God called them together – Moses and Miriam. He spoke with Miriam and told her what she’d done wrong and immediately He gave her leprosy.

But look at what God did next; he invited Moses to pray for Miriam’s healing – to pray for the one who gossiped against him.

Some of you have been deeply hurt by gossip. The story of Moses and Miriam suggests God would say to you, “Pray for that person’s healing, the one who gossiped against you. That way you can be released from the hurt that’s come into your life.”

Perhaps you’re the one whose been gossiping. You’ve been the one talking about other people. This story is in the Old Testament to remind us how serious gossip is, how hurtful it can be to people no matter what side of the situation you’re on.

The truth is, when you keep confidences it makes your relationships healthier. It enables you to keep connecting with others in positive and genuine way.

What is so interesting to me is that Islam has the same prohibitions against gossip, called back-biting, and puts a high level of prohibition against it. The prophet Mohammed warned against it repeatedly.

I love it that Rick Warren puts it into context by warning that it destroys relationships.

February 28, 2010 Posted by | Character, Charity, Civility, Communication, Community, Cross Cultural, ExPat Life, Family Issues, Friends & Friendship, Health Issues, Interconnected, Living Conditions, Random Musings, Spiritual | Leave a comment