Friday, April 19, 2013

It's Friday, let's grab a coffee!

Since we can't sit face to face, and cafesito hour is nearly upon us, let's just pull up a chair and talk over a cup of Costa Rican coffee, virtual style.

If we were having coffee I'd tell you how the simple act of having just hung Brody's freshly washed curtains has me dripping sweat. Who needs working out when you live in the tropics? ;)

If we were having coffee I'd have to tell you about the fact that after I'd taken down Brody's curtains I went back into his room to find two demolished, minuscule eggs that must have fallen from said curtains. Gecko eggs in fact. How do I know? Well I'd then have to tell you about the poor little gecko fetuses we found on the tile floor, and about how that turned into a pretty cool biology lesson for the kids.

If we were having coffee I'd tell you how thankful I am for the breeze blowing on me as I type this blogpost. There's something incredibly amazing and refreshing about home styles here. It feels as though we live outdoors even while inside.

I would also spend some time telling you about the book us staff ladies just started reading for book club. It's called "Dancing With My Father: How God Leads Us into a Life of Grace and Joy." Don't you just love it when a book meets you exactly where you're at?

Oh, and speaking of books, I'd also have to mention that one of my very favorite scents is that of books. I could never go completely virtual with my library because I'd miss that smell too much. The best smelling book as of late? A VERY old copy of "Little House in the Big Woods" that we read as a family.

As I near my final sip I'd spend some time working through the emotions of having recently celebrated one of the most exhausting and gratifying Easters ever. I'd tell you a part of the "best ever" is the image of Ashlyn painting her orphan-friend's toenails, and how it brings up, over and over, in my mind's eye, a picture of love and service that I'll never forget.

Finally, I'd tell you how thankful I am for this time in Costa Rica - for the good, the bad, and even the ugly. It is all so much a part of who I am now. I can't imagine not having been here, right now, for a time such as this. I often wonder how I'll look back on this time and how I could possibly begin to qualify and quantify just how it's changed me, grown me, stretched me, and increased my view of our amazing God.

Coffee and thankfulness. They go together well!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

These Are the Days

This morning started out normally enough: early to rise, breakfast of homemade banana bread, the juiciest of pineapples, and yogurt (keep this menu in mind as I proceed). The kids had just finished clearing their morning dishes from the table, and Brody and Ashlyn had headed out to lounge in the hammock in the backyard till school started. I was at the sink washing dishes, which so happens to be a chore I don't mind one bit.
As I watched the two littles perform their normal kid antics, I heard Ashlyn's voice, full of shock, yell, "What's Lucy doing?" I looked up and out the window above the sink to see Lucy squatting to accomplish her morning duty in the backyard. What I failed to miss at first glance was what Ashlyn's sharp little eyes had spied. "Oh mom," she screamed, "I'm going to throw up!"
I emptied my hands and leaned forward in an attempt to get a better look at what was so horrifying about Lucy's very normal activity. It was then that I glimpsed it, the very non-typical neon green string, that was very much NOT a normal part of this normal dog activity. Within moments, Lucy seemed to finish up, and quickly began to jaunt away from the scene of the crime. As she did so, something stretched from her backside toward the ground. As her distance from the scene increased, so did the tension in the neon green string. Now taut, something attached to this green string jumped from the ground and slapped the unsuspecting Lucy on the haunches.
Commence the dry heaves and wretches that so often proceed an all out vomit fest...from both Brody and Ashlyn. As Lucy ran, helter skelter, to escape whatever was pursuing her and slapping her as she ran, Brody and Ashlyn came rushing toward the back door threatening to evacuate their stomachs. Ashlyn made it further than Brody, who ended up losing his just-eaten breakfast on the threshold of the back door. I heard Ashlyn make it around the corner into the hallway and it was there that I heard the tell tale splatters on the tile floor.
As I rushed to assist Brody at the back door, Lucy met me as she continued her attempted escape from the neon green assailant. And then the horror, oh the horror! The duet that met me on the threshold was the thing nightmares are made of. Brody, still in the midst of projectile vomiting, with Lucy standing beside him, soiled, neon green sticky frog glued to her side, string still trailing from somewhere deep inside.

It is worth mentioning that for the last few weeks I have had Proverbs 31:25 up on my fridge, as a constant reminder to myself, "She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come" (NIV).
Touché, Lord, for in that very moment I began laughing like never before. I was laughing so hard that big ol' tears streamed down my face. Meanwhile the retching and vomiting continued in surround sound, Brody before me and Ashlyn behind. All the while Lucy tried to make a mad dash into the house to hide under the kitchen table.
I did all I knew to do in that moment. I shut the back doors. I shut the doors. And I laughed. Oh, did I ever laugh. The situation was unbelievable. Truly, truly, truly unfathomable. Oh if only I could have kept that door shut and not faced the reality of what awaited me on the other side: the clean up and the extrication of the stretchy green frog from the backside of our dog.
My one-day-a-week house helper snapped me from my reverie of insanity, having come running in alarm at what must have sounded like nothing short of pure pandemonium. I retold the story the best I could through giggles, snorts, and dripping eyes. You should have seen Liliana's face. I saw shock, horror, alarm, hilarity, disgust, and a whole other gamut of emotions pass over her face as I spoke Spanish words I've yet to use together, recto (rectum), jugette elastico (elastic toy), pegado (stuck), and vomitando (vomiting). Sweet lady she is, she half-whispered that she would help. "No," I told her, "no, this is my job."
I'll save you the details of untangling the stretchy poo-covered frog from Lucy's long fur. I'll also save you the details of the extraction of the string from her innards (suffice it to say that stretching, poo, and being slapped in the hand, rubber-band fashion, were involved). I'll save you the details of the vomit clean up. I'll save you the details of the smell. Lawdy, the smell!
Horrific as it all was, this is one story to remember. Epic in proportion., outlandish in details, and like no other story I've ever heard. Indeed, "these are the days I'll remember" (cue the 10,000 Maniacs song)!
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad