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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

What a Sunday

I have just learned something: a mouse window does not work if you are wearing gloves. I haven't tried leather gloves, but these stretchy ones are confirmed useless on these mouse windows.

I'm sitting here wearing my beloved hot pink bathrobe, and my hot pink stretchy gloves even though I am indoors, fully dressed. We are having a small clash of cultures here. I am American and believe in the great American way of being warm indoors. I shut doors and windows, light a fire or turn on electric heat or something, and warm the space so I can sit and work in comfort. This is not the South African way!

The South African way is to dress really, really warm and then open all the doors and windows and freeze. It is fine if you're doing a job like waxing the floor or chopping wood, but blogging is not quite strenuous enough for open doors and windows. I can see my breath. The funny thing is, the delicate little birds outside the window look comfy. 

Other then the cold, we're having a good trip. The snow on the mountains around Oudtshoorn is gorgeous!

I'll paste an account of our memorable church experience yesterday:

Paul wrote--

Greetings from The Ostrich Capital. Last time we were here Evangel and Joshua rode an ostrich. (see May 2009)

We left home Monday for Plettenburg Bay where a church there put us up in The River Club, a very nice resort. A former principal scheduled me in four schools in those two days with appreciative principals and attentive, responsive kids. Then we had some good services in George. Now we're in Oudtshoorn. We've seen a lot of snow capped mountains, and it's been cold at night. In one of the schools the doors were wide open with the kids sitting on the floor at one degree above freezing. At another school it was pretty cold and windy as the students stood outdoors for the preaching.

Today I misunderstood the schedule that was emailed to me, and we arrived at the church 30 minutes early, we thought. But the service had already started. I walked down the side to the front, and the pastor asked what I was doing there. We discussed the situation while the congregation watched and listened! He was very gracious and scheduled me on the spot. It turns out I was not really scheduled anywhere. Afterward, different people said it was of the Lord; it was not a mistake. The pastor also scheduled us again for next Sunday night. The rest of our time here I'm scheduled in about a dozen schools.

Here's Vicki's version of the episode I copied from her letter to her mom:

I have to tell you our interesting church experience this morning. We got there 1/2 hour early, we thought, but there was already singing going on...not a good sign and the parking lot was full of cars...not good. So with fear and trepidation, we went in. Paul did not stop to talk to the guy at the door, but walked down the side aisle toward the front.

The pastor was speaking in Afrikaans, and what a gracious man! He stopped and asked what we were doing there, but very nicely. He knew he had not scheduled us. Turns out the schedule said we were supposed to be in another church of the same denomination on the other side of the Outeniqua Mountains! Oops.

Though later we found out we weren't actually scheduled there either, but it was on our schedule. Evangel never did come into the church, she was mortified over the whole thing. 14 is a difficult age for parents to make huge mistakes :-) I got the giggles, so Timmy and Josh were rather jolly too, and I had to keep poking Josh as he was rather too jolly!

So the pastor, under pressure from his wife and the audience, let Paul preach and then scheduled him for next Sunday evening again! And a lot of people assured Paul afterward that the Lord was in it, it was not a mistake, etc.

Personally, I think the audience enjoyed the drama of it all. They were expecting a regular Sunday, and in we walk, disrupting everything. Then Paul and the pastor discussed it right in front of everyone. It was tense for me, but probably just intriguing for the rest of them.


Paul for all

I hope Paul doesn't mind my sticking his letter in here. I'd better check with him before I do it.

In all this coldness, visions of Maine in August keep dancing in my head. My family writes of 90 degree weather while I'm shivering, and I want to be there!

One of my traveling challenges is getting the laundry done. The boys don't normally wear socks much, as they wear Crocs most of the time, but it's been so cold, that we're insisting they wear socks more now, so both of them ran out of clean socks, and then Timmy sprang a hole big enough for a teacup to fit through so it was time to do laundry.

Saturday evening, Paul read to the family, and I started washing out the socks in the kitchen sink. The problem is, I love doing hand washing, once I'm started, and I washed everything that was dirty, which was a lot.

Next problem, where to hang it?

I went outside and found some wash lines, but they were almost full. I was using a trash bucket for a laundry basket and put about 2 bucket loads out there. Now what?

Our windows in our little appt. had wooden cases over them, and they held 2 pairs of pants, a shirt, and some socks. The kitchen had about 5 hooks, and in the bathroom I hit the jackpot! There was a fold out rack which held Paul's long pants and about 5 shirts. I used the 3 hooks over Timmy's bed (living room couch) and hoped the undies wouldn't drip on him.

I thought I had our problem solved, but in the morning, nothing felt ANY drier. The socks could still wring out a lot of water. I'm not the greatest wringer. Evangel is a good wringer, but I'm a good laundry shepherd and Evangel is not.

After our embarrassing church episode, I whipped us up some whole wheat spaghetti for lunch (that's another whole story! Paul doesn't care for white flour as it sends him into a sugar low, but I love spaghetti so we were both happy when I recently discovered whole wheat noodles!) and then went in search of sun for our clothes.

I met a helpful maid, and she showed me a clothes-tree on wheels! How cool! It means you can chase the winter sun around with your clothes. It's the first time I've seen one of those. I filled it and left it.

I had to roll the whole tree away from the house several times to keep it in the sun. Clothes take a lot longer to dry when they're only wrung out by hand.

Finally we were at the shepherding stage. I couldn't roll that thing any further, but there was still some sun left on the bushes. I put our clothes in the bushes, which I know is a tacky thing to do in town like this, so I didn't dare go off and leave them. I got a book, and soaked in the lovely afternoon sun while I shepherded the clothes through the last hour of sunlight on the bush.

At one point, Josh wanted me to go throw a rugby ball with him down in a field. I gave Evangel the choice, did she want to shepherd the clothes for me, or go throw the ball with Josh for me? She made me laugh with her answer, "How could I tell my journal I was shepherding clothes?" She went to toss the ball, and I got to continue my peaceful interlude in the sun.

Finally I had to move the last few item back inside, where they are STILL damp after hanging over the curtains all night.

Such are the thrills of doing laundry.


  1. Sounds like the rainy season in Poptun...not fun. I learned a new phrase..."laundry shepherd". Did you make that up or is it something folks regularly do in Muizenberg?
    And what is a mouse window?

  2. A mouse window is that little window on the lap top where you guide the curser. I don't know where I learned that...maybe from James? But I thought it was for real.
    I made up the term laundry shepherd. It's a peaceful job. No, I don't do it in Muizenberg as we have phenomenal wind. For some reason this post appeared way out of order. It really happened in 2010, I think. We were in Oudtshoorn which is in the Karoo.