The loveliest face

The hand of an acquaintance may tremble and shake, but the grip of a friend is strong.

The eyes of a stranger confuse, but the brow of a dear one is a beacon.

Ten friends may scatter when lice comes into the household, but the eleventh draws near.

(I made those proverbs up, by the way.  They’re not in the Bible.  Just so you know.)

Our friend is here!  Renee arrived on Thursday, and we have now had eight cups of chai together, sometimes with digestive biscuits, which are delicious.

Part of the process of deciding to come here was an attempt to relocate a little community to a place where there are many international travelers.  We were not trying to give up on community.  However, relocation of a community is more difficult than you may imagine, especially if you are leaving the known continent of North America and entering the unknown continent of Monsoon.  Or the subcontinent of India.  And since we've been here we've realized just how spoiled we've always been, with good friends living close to us and next door and in the house and spilling out of the windows.  We long for this enough that we fell on Renee's neck weeping when she showed up.

(The monsoon is back.  It arrived with Renee and now we are submerged in water.  We are very wet.  Our sheets are wet, our towels never dry out, our pillowcases are wet, and I am dreaming about having a dryer, since we dry our clothes by hanging them in the kids’ room with the fan going at top speed.)

So anyways.  For now, this little community consists of the crazy short ones, AKA the kids, Chinua and I, and the brave, formidable, Renee.  Soon more friends will join us.  Because we all really, really like each other.

And to welcome Renee, on the first full day that she was here I brought her to the crazy surgeon’s office, to accompany me to my first Indian surgery.  (Minor- I’ll tell the whole story later on the other site.)

Not really the greatest welcome, Rae!  Hello!

She has already completely baffled me by claiming to be cold.  Cold!  My husband tells me that I’m the one who is hot all the time.  It’s true that I have a furnace attached to me, one that is fully engaged.  In birth speak, that means that the baby is in position and ready to come.  I’m thirty-seven weeks now, so it could happen any time.  However, my babies always seem to get ready waaaaay before they come.  And I have to walk like a cowboy, because there is a skull in my pelvis.

Now this little family hunkers down, waits for this baby, and tries to keep dry. (Ha!)

By the way, the lice are done and gone, thank goodness.  The kids never got them, which is amazing, but we have no sofa or soft chairs or stuff like that, so I guess it was just the Superstar Husband and myself, sharing them back and forth on our pillows.