30 September 2011


This is Anyen. In Kreyol, her name means "nothing." That's the first name I gave her, the day we found her on the property at the old house. This was the expression she had on her face, pretty much all the time. That is, if you could get close enough to see her expression. It was a big property, and she'd just run away if you tried to come close.

I thought about having her put down. She seemed pretty...useless. She was skinny and her fur was falling out all over the place. According to the landlord, the people who had rented the house before us just left her there. She survived for weeks? months? on mangoes and rain water. I fed her some leftover beans, but she still wouldn't come within six feet of me.

And then, we had to change her name. Someone tried to come over our wall--pulled down the razor wire--and she protected us. So, David suggested Anyen's name be changed to Onesimus...from "nothing" to "useful," just like that. I call her Nessie for short, and several other adorable nicknames, the best of which is "Happy-Ness."

Some of you may remember that we moved last weekend. Our first dog, Grace, waltzed into the new yard, sniffed around, plopped herself down the in the gallery and fell asleep. Nessie wasn't so sure. First of all, she was just sure we were going to leave her. Just sure. So when we piled her into the car with the dog food and the toys, she didn't dare hope.

The days that followed have been...a little rough. She was never an escape artist...before we moved. She'd never have sneaked into the house...before we moved. (You should have seen her trying to get footing on the tile floors as I dragged her back out. I would have been amused if I wasn't so mad.)

If we leave, she cries. If we go into the garage where she can't see us, she cries. If I feed her, she cries. Let's see, maybe it would be easier to list when she doesn't cry: when I'm petting her or when she's sleeping. To be fair, there are other moments...but they feel few at the moment.

Out of pity, I tried bringing her down to the garage when I worked on screening the back door. She seemed a little happier, but thought she'd be even more happy crawling under the front gate. Sigh. When I finished the door, I picked up her leash and started up the stairs...only to find myself rudely jerked backwards. She looked up at me...and lay down. "Come on, Ness, let's go." No response. No tail thumping against the concrete. No smiles (see above). Nothing. She put her head down on the concrete.

As I carried her up the stairs, much to the amusement of several Haitian onlookers, I realized I must really care about this dog...or she'd be back out on the street. Please pray for patience for us as we all settle in!

Other than Nessie's tough adjustment, things are going pretty well, thanks to help from our neighbor Todd especially. As a nice change, this house actually gets city power (unlike the last one, where they inexplicably cut us off for two months...thank God for generators).

I'm supposed to go back to work scheduling on Monday, but we're both home sick today. Please pray for quick healing, as there's still a lot to be done around here.

25 September 2011

Move = win, First night = fail

The move was a complete success--thanks to all who helped and those who prayed! As far as I can tell so far, only one breakage (and a very cheap one at that). The group started at 9:00 and was done by 11:30, except for the generator. We'd planned to have friends from church come and help with it, but these missionary guys--once you get them on a project, they don't stop until it's done! So they powered through and finished it off. We polished off a few peanut butter sandwiches with some Cokes, and they all went on their way.

Well, not all of them. Jeff, a guy I just met, stayed to help us break up a waterbed. It was not a fun task, but he gave up a trip to go sightseeing to stay and help. I seriously cannot tell you what that meant to me. It was unspeakably helpful.

And then came night...where we realized that electricity without fixtures that work still equals darkness.

My dog whimpered all night and threw herself against the gate.

I went out in the rain trying to help my dog and got soaked.

We couldn't get the bed frame together (after finding all the pieces, we finally did).

I killed five cockroaches and got bit by mosquitoes.

David didn't really sleep.

So the move was a win, but the first night was a bit rough. Thanks for your prayers as we settle in, unpack, and start to fix this place up and make it home.

24 September 2011

Moving Day

It's 5:22 AM, and I don't know why I'm blogging. The Hurricane is still asleep, or I'm sure we'd be madly throwing food into coolers and taking apart the bed. We were up pretty late last night (okay, so it was like 10:30. That's late for me), so I'm glad he's still sleeping. When I woke up at 4:30, he woke up momentarily.

When I woke up at 4:30, there was a crescent moon framed in my window, with an echo, because the windows overlapped. I got up to look out, and the neighborhood was dark. Just a tropical forest's silhouette against the breaking dawn. Not a streetlight, not a headlight, not a security light to be seen.

As the sun came up, I took a moment to say goodbye to the house. The roosters were crowing (which just means they're not dead), and my dogs stayed fast asleep.

I still don't know why I'm blogging when they are pictures to be taken off the walls...but thanks for listening.

21 September 2011

Wordless Wednesday

 Part of the pile...it's a growing pile. 

The view from above. Might need more boxes.

My faithful helpers. Dogs sure know how to live.

15 September 2011

On the Move

There is a power drill in my kitchen. There are ceiling fan blades in my entryway. And when I went to grab a Pyrex bowl, there were none to be found.

Something's happening around here.

I think it has to do with moving. In eight days, fourteen hours and seven minutes, I'm moving. It's not far--less than a mile--but in many ways, it's the weirdest move I've ever done.

For one thing, I was friends with the previous tenants...that's new. For some reason, it's made it more important to make this place "our own," maybe only because I've seen it under different circumstances. I keep catching myself calling it their house instead of mine.

It's my house. Mine, mine, mine.

But so is this one...and I'll still have to drive by this one every day. Every other time I've moved, I've left town--literally. I don't even have to change my mailing address this time.

It's weird. I'm trying to pretend it's easy, but it's not. It's weird.

There's a joke that MAF stands for "Move again, Friend" instead of "Mission Aviation Fellowship." I knew it was a good possibility...but we've already moved three times since we got here. At the same time, there are good things about the new place that I'm looking forward to.

For instance, I'm looking forward to being next door to...the pool. Well, and the friends who own it. We'll have our own basketball hoop. We'll be off the busy street. We'll have hot water. (And all our guests say "hallelujah.")

But I'm leaving the entryway that Simeon, Cathy, Randy, Sandy, and Carol painted for me. And I'm leaving the plants I put into the ground. And I'm leaving my awesome kitchen, my indoor laundry hanging spot, my dedicated workout room.

Since MAF's already put money into the new house, I guess I'll go through with it. The funny thing is that once my cookbooks are on the counter, I'll probably never look back.

Thanks for sticking with us, move after move.

14 September 2011

Wordless Wednesday

This little truck is far pretty from home...just like us.

05 September 2011

Funny Food

It's a bird! It's a plane! No, it's SUPER SEEDS! (Super powers not included.)