September 19, 2006
I feel like I have a baby who keeps waking up in the middle of night needing feeding or changing. Only it happens during the day. And it's not crying that fills my ears, it's rapid plaintive beeping. Every few minutes. Yesterday it was every 4 minutes and 23 seconds religiously. Today it varies: every 1, 2, 3, 4, or 7 minutes. My poor dryer is deluded. It thinks the lint filter needs cleaning that often. There's nothing in there, honey! If I don't go and open and close the dryer (or turn it off and on again), it stops after those few unhappy beeps.
This makes getting anything else done quite challenging. I guess it's the interrupted lifestyle that makes me think of my baby days. Baby cries, needing something, and everything else is pushed to the side.
I'm babysitting my dryer. So right now, I am actually sitting on a stool in the laundry room. I've gotten tired of all that walking back and forth, hoping this time it will be a longer interlude sans beeping. I do need these clothes to get dry.
How glad am I that the dryer doctor is arriving tomorrow morning between 10:30 and 11am. Which is between the Grade 3 (excuse me, there's the dryer beeping again)...parent meeting and the new parent orientation with the school counsellors, helping families with the transition of moving to a new country and new school at the same time. They do keep us busy.
In the meantime, I've taken to talking to my dryer while I'm walking towards it.
"Here I am, dear! I'm coming. It's going to be okay. Just keep drying. One turn after another...there. You'll be fine."
September 18, 2006
5000 Days and 5000 Nights
Exactly five thousand days ago today, I woke up at 9am in my parents' house in the little town of Harvard, Massachusetts. I had been sleeping alone for the last time in my own room above the garage of that house in the woods.
I smiled, got out of bed, and took a leisurely bath. At 11am, all dressed in shimmery white brocade, I walked down the aisle of a little white New England church on my dad's arm.
Forty five minutes later, my name had changed. My life had been irrevocably improved. I had become part of two new families, by forging a very little brand new one, and enlarging a bigger, long-standing one. I had given my word that I would never back out of this firm commitment I was making.
All my friends and family surrounded me, supported me, rejoiced with me. We danced, we sang, we looked at baby pictures, we ate, we drank, we were silly, we were serious.
It grew dark on that northern winter afternoon, and the honeymoon called. We bid our goodbyes, extended our thanks, exclaimed at the shaving cream on the rental car, and left.
Five thousand nights ago...what a night. I was finally one with the exceptionally fine, worthy man who waited for me.
Stay tuned for the ten thousand days post coming in the year 2020.
September 13, 2006
UK Driving License Marathon, etc.
Here in England, my United States Driver's License is good for one year after officially moving into the country. That means I have until August 11th, 2007 to finish pursuing the complicated process of getting a UK Driving License. The process involves:
- driving 30 minutes from our house to the DVLA (DMV equivalent) in Reading (a city to which I've never been so far)
- having them sign the back of my photo because I haven't yet lived in the country for two years (otherwise I could do this at a local post office nearby)
- surrendering my U.S. Passport to them, and letting them mail it (along with a signed form & the photo) to the DVLA in Swansea which processes applications for Provisional Driving Licenses
- not seeing my passport for 3 weeks while in a foreign country (this makes me nervous, not to mention my passport wandering around the country in the mail)
- receiving a Provisional Driving License, which enables me to apply for the Theory Test
- booking a time slot for the Theory Test online, which usually has a 2-3 week wait
- studying the British Highway Code so I can pass the test (must get 30/35 correct, and without any studying I got 28/35 on a mock test, so I don't imagine it will be too hard with a little studying)
- passing the theory test (including a special section of that called the "Hazard Perception" test), which enables me to apply for the Practical Test
- booking a time slot for the Practical Test, which can have a wait time of 4-8 weeks
- booking some driving lessons, which have a wait time of 2 weeks or so in my town
- taking the driving lessons and learning to drive the particular British way they require for the tests
- taking the Practical Test
- passing the Practical Test (I hear it's not easy), which then enables me to send in my Provisional License, my Theory Test certification, and my Practical Test certification to the DVLA Swansea, and wait a few more weeks until they send me my Full License.
I think I'd better get started, eh? All those wait times add up to about 17 weeks or so - 4 months?). So far, I've:
a) figured out this much of the process (if I'm wrong about anything, please let me know; I'd love to hear they'll just send me a license if I wish it hard enough)
b) bought the official DVD/CD-Rom set to prepare me for the theory test, the "hazard perception" test, and the practical test (to know what to expect)
c) taken the shrink-wrap off the item mentioned in b)
d) talked to a local post office, the central post office answer line, the DVLA in Swansea, and the driving instructor
e) booked two driving lessons for 2 and 3 weeks from now
f) filled out the provisional license application form and found a passport photo and clipped it slightly to be the right size
g) prayed to ask God to help me get the license, to take away my anxiety, and help me trust Him with the whole process (I'm just a little worried...)
In the meantime, I also somehow took on being the Room Parent for my son's 7th Grade class (mostly an email responsibility, which is why I agreed), so I spent all day sending welcome emails to class parents asking them to verify all their contact information, typing up a class list, and devising a class Emergency Telephone Pyramid. Now this is right up my alley - organizing information on paper/computer and chasing down details. Just don't ask me to recruit people or get people to give money.
And a new friend lent me a 474-page novel which I want to read quickly as a gesture of growing the friendship. I'm on page 46.
And my desk has still NEVER been truly cleared off since we moved into this house 2 months ago. I REALLY want to get that done.
And I have six scheduled events tomorrow:
- take kids to school
- go to the first meeting of a women's interchurch Bible Study
- go to a Room Parent meeting to learn how to do that
- go to a sweat-producing meeting with all three principals of the school (Lower School, Middle School, High School) and 5 parents about the miserable French program at the school (that's another saga - I'm still trying to find a French tutor for my kids)
- pick up son at school
- pick up daughter at friend's house
I hope to get back to posting regularly sometime this year.
September 06, 2006
In our 7th Grade son's class of 16 kids, there are:
- 4 Americans
- 3 Brits
- 1 each from 9 other countries, including Australia and Italy.
That's 11 nationalities out of 16 students! Pretty international!
In our 3rd grade daughter's class of 13 kids, there are:
- 6 Americans (although one's parents are Japanese and Mexican)
- 3 Brits
- 1 each from Denmark, Mexico, the Netherlands, and Germany.
That's 6 nationalities out of 13 students. Still quite diverse :-)
We have neighbors on our street from Belgium, USA, UK, and one family in which the husband is Greek and the wife Italian.
We're loving living in England.
September 05, 2006
Floor Plans & House Photos
By Very Special Request, my longest-running, non-blood-related friend, Katherine B, received rough sketches of the floor plan of our new home (created by moi), along with some photos of the house inside and out, so she can imagine where we spend our life now. If you are family, friend, someone I have met face-to-face OR you have commented more than five times on this blog, feel free to request these items by email or in comments if you're interested.
Only One Thing I'd Change
If I were to go back thirteen and two thirds years in time and get married again, there's only one thing I'd change.
I'd marry the very same man
on the same day
in the same dress
with the same attendants
in the same church.
But I'd stand up for my bridal rights at the florist shop and insist I get some purple flowers in my bouquet, instead of being browbeaten into submission and settling for all white as the "professional" told me brides must have. At least the bridesmaids got purple.
Still the best choice of my life, that wedding.
Guest with Centerpiece
The benefits of having a house guest who attends a wedding while staying with you...she brought us back a lovely centerpiece from the Midlands to enjoy. Thanks, Rachael!