with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Preparing for Tea and Packing

After an insane yesterday spent back in the storage room and sorting through all the boxes again, going through and checking them all off the list and searching…well, I’m getting ahead of myself as usual.

I woke up yesterday morning at five with a pounding heart and sinking gut. I just realized that there was one item not in all the boxes we’d been through the whole day before. One serious item. The antique Singer sewing machine my dear friend, Ruth, gave me. I had pointed it out to the movers and it was one of the first things they packed up. I insisted that they pack it with care and that I wanted it to arrive in one piece. Well, it didn’t arrive in pieces. It just didn’t arrive.

I went through the manifest and it wasn’t on the list, but then, they weren’t really specific with the things on the list anyway. The big ticket stuff was singled out like the camera equipment, VCR, laptop, and printers, but most of the rest of the stuff was vague. All clothing and fabric, table clothes and such were just marked “linen” and all the dishes, kitchen items and knicknacks were all “household”. Not very specific.

Kent and I went back to the storage room and went through every box, accounting for every box number and opening up every one that felt in the slight bit heavy, since this steel sewing machine is very heavy. Nothing. Every box accounted for.

I called Brent and he went through the paperwork and found that the sewing machine was listed on the customs form and the insurance form, serial numbers and everything. So this morning I was on the phone with the shipping company in New York asking what to do next.

They’ve send the information to Israel and maybe I’ll hear something the beginning of next week. What a pain.

The weather is amazingly warm here, highs in the mid 70s but I know it is much hotter. The cars are boiling when you get into them and I got a little sunburned from the two days out in the bright light going through all the boxes.

I really thought everything was great until this….ugh.

With not much else to do other than pack up the stuff for the VanFossens to take to Brent in their motorhome in a couple weeks on their way to Florida, and to pack for the plane trip tomorrow to Seattle, I spent the morning at the church helping Linda Kay, Brent’s mother, prepare their quarterly tea, a mission to recruit people for their church and an outreach program. The last one before Thanksgiving had over 500 people, but this one is supposed to be much more low key. Only about 300 people. My goodness.

I chopped up bread into little cubes for something they are calling a French Toast Casserole and sliced up some oranges. The ladies are just too cute and funny and all cheerful and fussy at the same time. They’ve been doing this together for so long, while the clash and spin, they know each other well enough to get through it all with a smile. Amazing.

Brent’s mother just adores all of the fuss and excitement. It’s a tremendous amount of work but she practically sings her way through the process with a smile. Amazing. The whole familly pitches in. I helped Brent’s sister, Lisa, and his mom to decorate the table with trees and snowflakes – simple but charming. Then Lisa and I went out to a fast lunch before picking up the littlest one, Hayden, and heading back to the house. At Lisa’s house, I took a try at their leaking toilet, something I’m quite the experienced fixer of, and managed to target the problem but I couldn’t fix it. It’ll have to come out to be fixed. Pain in the buns, but at least the leak isn’t in the tank.

Anyway, I came back to the house and packed up all the stuff to go to Seattle and back to Mobile and finally got a little rest to sit here and write this.

My sliced up finger is actually doing fairly well. I ignore it and it causes me only a little annoyance. It is actually quite painful, but I just be quiet and live with the pain. Tough broad!

It has started to get some, shall we say, action, and it occassionally has a mind of its own. The other morning it was jerking and dancing around so much, I warned Brent’s parent that if my little finger did something obscene, I couldn’t be held responsible for it. They assured me that there wasn’t anything I could do that was obscene with my little finger. “Oh, yeah, maybe not in this country, but somewhere!”

So tomorrow I’ll do the tea with the ladies of the church, all 300 of them, and then head to the airport and off to Seattle. Lots to still do.

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