"Dang, there's the bell!" Anna Rae declared about half way through our phone call today. Then she said "But it is o.k. we can keep talking." It seems they have a dinner bell and it rings precisely at eight every night for dinner. She told us that the timing of dinner NEVER varies. Let's say she has plans to be at a concert or theatre performance at 8:00. Her host parents are in a tizzy saying, "Well, what about dinner?" sounding helpless as to any solution such as eating maybe at 7:15 or 7:30. It drives AR nuts. At our house if you aren't around at dinner we say, "Fend for yourself." meaning you reheat left overs or think of an easy alternate dinner for yourself if you need to eat early. Dinner time varies by as much as 2 hours at our house. The only rule that Chris asks me to adhere to is: we must be eating before 8:00. This rule is rooted in the opinion that sleep does not come easy with a full stomach. I have friend whose husband did not like to eat before 10:00!! I definitely prefer Chris' 8:00 ultimatum. One hour of eating is not superior to another. It is just one of the little things that can be irksome to AR. Hearing her refer to the dinner bell brought many a childhood memory to mind. I remember standing on the back porch on summer nights hollering at the top of my lungs, "JEFFFF...DAAAVID, TIME TO EAT!!!" Then at some point my mom had enough of this uncouth bellowing and she and several other neighborhood families instituted the 'bell system' (this was the '60s and our block probably had 40 kids under the age of 12). We were expected to know our bell tone and come running. When we were up at the cottage we had cowbells and iron triangles to clang that served the same purpose.
Anna Rae had just returned from another day of snowboarding when we called. She was delighted that her new long underwear and snowpants kept her totally dry. In her opinion her snowboarding skills are improving as we well imagine they would with all the slope time and lessons that she has been having. In the morning they are given 3 hours of instruction which she could opt out of but she has found very helpful. Today's instructor referred to her as bilingual and that really made her happy. Comments like this show us how far she has come with the language. She was happy to get the surprise Valentine's Day box from us although she suppressed a chuckle saying she can't foresee when the weather will warm up enough to wear the short sleeve shirt and cotton skirt I bought for her.
I was hit with my first whopper of a cold on Friday afternoon. I have been on a steady regimen of sudafed since then and tonight I can actually breathe through both nostrils. Last week there was something EVERY evening and I managed to still get up every morning at 5:15 to do my usual exercise at the Y. This was my schedule:
Monday: St. Vincent de Paul Meeting; Not everyone in attendance but we spent extra time on the spiritual aspect of our meeting. We had an interesting discussion about our thoughts on just what heaven might be and in the process learned more about each other.
Tuesday: The Campaign for Youth dinner/meeting at the YMCA
Wednesday: An 8:15am Student Intervention Team meeting, A 3:50 podiatrist appointment to pick up my orthotics (YEAH! They feel great!) 6:15pm Assist with the serving of dinner at Hospitality House (South King County's only homeless shelter for women without children)
Thursday: Chris and I were invited to the home of one of my student's for dinner. This was fun and the dinner was scrumptious East Indian vegetarian with delicious Indian tea with cardamom to top it off.
Friday: Collected and counted money raised at our Tsunami Relief Performance held at West Seattle H.S. Several elementary schools unicycled, tumbled, jumped rope, and danced to raise money for World Vision. I left just before it ended and at that point we had counted $3500.
Aside from Valentines being exchanged in the classroom tomorrow, this promises to be a quieter week. At least I hope so!