The family's been waiting for this day. Lemuel, my nephew, graduates from NU. He's an accomplished debater and has loved his time at the university where W used to teach. He's our last personal tie to the institution and has done us proud. The family gathers in Seattle to celebrate.
The day starts with a study on our porch. We plunge into the book of Luke, one of the gospels that is recommended reading for Muslims and Christians alike. It's always interesting to discuss how people responded to Jesus and his teaching. Everyone is welcome, regardless of religious affiliation. We've become a family on a journey together.
Scott and Sarah are here for her doctoral studies. She's a sharp young woman, and they're looking for a university placement for language. Their lease at the Airbnb is over. They move in upstairs for the week. They are no trouble and participate wholeheartedly in everything that goes on at the house.
Our book group loves to do birthdays together. Right after the study, Dr. Hanna and I head into town. We have two celebrants and of course, the company and the cake is wonderful. And The Hummingbird restaurant has good tea and appetizers.
The neighborhood women are meeting in their arisan. We hand in our fees: three women "win" part of it for their own interests, and the rest goes toward a neighborhood project. I've grown to love the women who live nearby.
It should be noted that many of the ladies no longer live here, including the former owner of our house (the beautiful woman in a floral dress below). But they've all been friends for 30-50 years. I'm the newcomer and they've welcomed me in.
We have a sad event to attend in the evening. A member of the Monday study group lost their step-dad yesterday evening. Praying for you, Reza. The memorial service is tonight and the open casket is draped with lace. The cremation service is later this week.
Hard to believe that tonight we'll host another dinner-and-a-movie night. Our online sign-up list (70 names) filled within 15 minutes on Monday and we have 25 on the waiting list. We love having people in, and they seem to like coming over.
Tonight, traffic is bad so we start late. It's Ascension Day - commemorating when Jesus arose returned to heaven and to his Father. It's a national holiday and everyone seems headed up through the city to the hills for the long weekend. About 70 show up nevertheless.
Here's typically the kind of big meal we eat. I cook from 7-11am and then relax until people show up for dinner at 6 or 6:30.
We have desserts at intermission. I used to bake everything myself, but the helper has mastered pumpkin pies and cookies.
This month, we're watching Brother Where Art Thou? and asking, "What would give your life meaning, and what would you do to find that meaning?"
The highlight for me is seeing our Indonesian son Agus. He's come back to Bandung to accompany his niece to her university intake exams. He brings her and some friends to the evening. I get lots of hugs and we take lots of pictures. He has a special place in our hearts. He sends a few pictures with, "I'll be back as soon as I can. Take care!"
I can hardly drag myself out of bed, but Scott, Sarah, W and I head around our hill and across the river for a slow loop walk. We see a neighborhood store, just a few steps down and off the path.
The village across the river is a poor but colorful neighborhood.
Some of the houses down our hill are basic, with tin roofs and gathered materials for walls.
There's an orphanage and community center along the way.
Garbage piles burn unattended everywhere. No one worries about fires spreading to homes or trees.
Our Vanda orchid is reblooming. The fragrance is incredible. It fills the whole porch. When the door is open, you can smell the perfume from the kitchen in the back of the house.
W and I walk a mile down the hill before he hikes back up with the dog. He has a few meetings over coffee.
I call a Grab car, riding up to Lembang with Sayaka. We're meeting Andrea, who's prepared a beautiful tea and delicious homemade pumpkin bread for us.
Over a year ago, Kirsten left a black dress here and said, "Give it to someone, Mom." It fits Sayaka perfectly.
Andrea's husband is a creative designer and builder. He created their paradise from a flat yard.
We meet in the Balinese-style guest house at one end of their yard, a park-like setting of pools, fountains, and gardens. Andrea's decorative eye enhances the spaces.
Sunday: Mother's Day.
I call my mom and talk to one son who has taken his famiy to Canada at Grandma's house. (Heroic with 4 kids, Melissa! You're a jewel.) Our daughter calls to wish me Happy Mother's Day. (Thanks, Kirsten!) Another son texts greetings, and one forgets about the day. We are far from home and I miss my mom and our kids.
After W teaches in the morning, we head for lunch at Bumi S. We start with a few orders of potato skins, as usual.
And I try Es Teler (crazy ice) for dessert. It comes with jelly, bubbles, and sauces - over ice - and is huge. I put a bit into my plate and pass the rest around.
The morning study is wonderful but DrH, Alice, and I have to leave early for a wedding reception. I pull a silk batik wrap under a Nordstrom blouse, and I'm ready.
We meet our book group at NuArt Gallery. We're celebrating member Bulan and her new husband Nono. They've been friends for years and recently married. She's the premier dancer and teacher of Balinese traditional dance. So of course, everything is beautiful. (Below: typically, everyone else around us crowds into the picture with white-gowned Bulan. Indonesians do love photographs.)
Andreas Camelia is the artist in residence at NuArt. He paints by dotting canvas or paper with a Rotring fine-tipped pen. We pose in front of a mural he created for the gallery. I'm staggered by his ability.
|Magnify to see the closeup dots|
*We give thanks to You, O God, we give thanks! For Your wondrous works declare that Your name is near. Psalm 75:1
*The Lord is good to all, and his compassion is over all that he has made. Psalm 145:9
*Creation itself will be set free from its bondage to decay and will obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God. Romans 8:21
*You may proclaim the mighty acts of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 1 Peter 2:9
Moravian Prayers: Creator of all that is, seen and unseen, we join with all creation in praising your holy name. Make your church a source of light in this dark world. Grant that the light of the world is always reflected in our lives.
Our hope rests secure in you, gracious God, whose compassion is unfailing. We eagerly anticipate a future where all creation is renewed. Give us patience while we wait for the fulfillment of your promise. In the name of Jesus, the redeemer of the world. We ask this through your son, Jesus, the light that no darkness can overcome. Amen.