September 19, 2011
My Birthday Weekend
You know, the older I get, the less excited I feel about birthdays. The ones I expect to be the most difficult, though, end up working out a little differently than expected. Take, for example, #29--yeah, I'm one of those folks who dreads 29 rather than 30, 39 rather than 40. The year I turned 29 happened to come just after the 9/11 attacks, and the country was still reeling. To be honest, I was just thankful I was one of the people who got to celebrate a birthday that year, in light of how many wouldn't get another one. This year was 39, but after the accident that could easily have ended my birthdays, I was again appreciative to have one.
The fun began early because we were invited to a little buddy's 5th birthday on Saturday. This guy is the son of my Guarani teacher, Andy. Friday night, my leg really started hurting, to the point that Ken had to carry me from the kitchen to the bed. Serious pain. So I had this stinking feeling that it was going to rain and get cold. A few hours into the night, the bottom dropped out and the thunder told me the leg was once again a better weather forecaster than the local stations.
The rain continued all night and I woke up thinking, "Oh, well, no party today." Remember that in PY, rain generally = cancelled events/school/church/getting out of bed. I fell back asleep, then awoke suddenly with the realization that Andy is an American, and we DON'T hide from the rain! So we jumped up excitedly and took off for an adventure.
This party was going down at the same locale as my Guarani classes... remember? Long dirt roads up the side of a mountain, crossing several creeks, driving through folks' yards, a real off-road adventure. We managed it okay in the little Golf about half of the way, but we ended up having to get out and walk over one creek, through the mud, and over a half-built bridge thingy. In the rain. With a cane. In sloshy slick mud. Ken and I were REALLY close that day!! On the other side of the creek, Andy met us in his 4x4 truck and taxied us the rest of the way up.
Then we enjoyed a great day inside the home of the Bowens, meeting other missionary families, some Paraguayans from their church family, and a few old pals. It was sunny indoors, so we just ignored the rain and enjoyed ourselves a WHOLE lot. And when Timmy's mommy decided to make us homemade doughnuts a la Krispy Kreme, well, that day just topped my "favorite rainy days" list. The trip back that involved all that hiking through mud and over the creek and all that jazz (in the total darkness this time) almost did me in, but I kept flashing back to the doughnuts for my hidden, super-power, sugar rush strength! ;)
The next day was my birthday, and we enjoyed entertaining friends at our home. Ken and Saul cooked their famous homemade pizza for the guests. I hung out in the chair all day and really, really appreciated that God has filled our lives with friends.