We had some good times and a few very down times this week and weekend.
A friend and I took our oldest children to a tea house on Saturday afternoon. I had slight trepidations about taking four children to have tea at the local tea house, but we thought they might enjoy it. When the tea menu was overwhelming and the service very long, I got a little worried. But, the kids were wonderful. A pad of paper and two pens kept everyone happy and enjoying the time until tea arrived. They loved the different teas (except for mine which was “too spicy” due to the ginger and pepper in the masala blend). They enjoyed the experience much more than I even thought they would, and not just because they got to have Nutella cookies with tea! I think it was a new and different experience that made them feel a little bit grown up.
This weekend (right after we got home from tea), Steven and I got a stomach bug that is going around. It did not seem to slow Steven down very much, but it laid me up for all of Sunday – and Sunday proved to be the prettiest day of the weekend, sunny and slightly warm. I was sad that I could not get out for a run or some work in the gardens. William said it was his best day of the week, that he got to do everything he wanted and had fun all day. This made me feel a little bad since I was out of commission in bed almost all day and it was one of the few Sundays I did not insist we go to church! Ha! But, I was really glad he enjoyed the day so much.
William put up a hammock chair in the living room, which has promptly become Hythe’s favorite place – not to sit, but to swing, spin, and put the cat. Another one of William’s projects was setting up a fire pit in our back yard. It is nice and large and we had a good time around it last night. Once I was feeling a bit better, I put together a rice and kale casserole and William and Hythe cooked sausages over the coals. Best sausage ever. But, I think just about everything cooked over a fire tastes better. I am looking forward to more meals cooked over the fire.
The hardest thing we have gone through this week was the loss of our friends’ daughter. Aida had been missing for just over three weeks. We had prayed for her every day and she was on my mind often. A friend of Aida’s had also disappeared the same day, but to think they had run off together was not in accordance with her personality. She was found on Tuesday in her car, with her friend, in the French Broad River. It appears the car careened into the river on the night they disappeared, but was not discovered until Tuesday evening. Aida came to our community with her family when she was 3 years old. Albanian, living in Kosovo, they were escaping the war and genocide occurring at that time in the region. Aida’s mother became a friend over the last 7 years when our children would play together, we went through a pregnancy together, and she would help me around the house. Aida often helped me as well and I got to know her as a sweet, kind, hard-working, smart girl (she was also gorgeous). We are heart-broken for their family. The Muslim cemetery in NC would not accept the body because it had been autopsied, so her parents and 4 siblings are going to Kosovo to have her body buried in her native country. I have been to visit the family twice this week and Mexhide, Aida’s mother, told me that a few days before she disappeared, Aida had two dreams where she saw her grandfather (with whom she was close and who died in Kosovo a few years ago after living with them in America for most of her life). In the dreams, her grandfather asked her to take his hand and sit with him. They sat in a beautiful park and she was happy. Aida will be buried beside her grandfather in Kosovo.