Saturday, January 9, 2010

Oh yes, wait a minute Mr. Postman ...

“Please, Mister Postman, look and see if there’s a letter in your bag for me.  Why is it taking such a long time …?” ~the Marvelettes, 1961

 “Every once in a while, someone will mail me a single popcorn kernel that didn't pop. I'll get out a fresh kernel, tape it to a piece of paper and mail it back to them.” ~Orville Redenbacher


It’s official.  I am pathetic.

And I think I’m going to need a new computer mouse pretty soon.  The left button is getting worn out from clicking on “Send/Receive” no less than 2,196 times per day.

The good thing is, for a flat rate, we can be constantly connected so as to send and receive as much email as we want, and it’s even set up to send/receive automatically, if I’d ever give it a chance.

The bad thing is, as you may remember from the last post, I’m “not doing anything.”  And that leads to lots of extra time to feel disconnected from the world.  It was New Year’s Day before I heard about the Christmas Eve airplane incident near Detroit.  That’s how out of touch I am. 

Don’t hear me complaining, because I’m not.  I am thrilled to be here!  This place is beautiful, the people are precious, and we know God wants us here.  I’m just looking for new reasons to laugh at myself, that’s all. 

But, let’s face it.  Almost everyone reading this post lives at least 8,500 miles from where I’m sitting.

Now, while I am not as bad as, say, a certain snack food magnate, who apparently puts faulty kernels in his popcorn bags just so he can get a few letters in his box, I am still pretty pathetic.  We have message boards here where people can post things for sale, wanted items, etc.  I have found that if I post, for example, that I need to borrow a basketball pump and needle, that I will get three emails almost immediately.  And if I post that I am looking for a small piece of lumber to make a swing seat for the kids, there will be nine replies in my inbox within fifteen minutes.

One day I found myself looking for stuff I could sell.  I justified it by calling it “simplifying,” but on one very real level it was a desperate, backhanded attempt at attaining some kind of socialization.  When the new flip flops I posted for sale didn’t go (my son had outgrown them before we received our shipment), I amended the post to say “make an offer.”  I could have just said, “please, won’t someone send me an email saying you’ll pay me even a dime for these shoes?  In fact, I’ll pay you to take them!  Just so I get to communicate with a real human being ……”



I tried a different approach with the Turbie Twist:


“We got these for my daughter because she had a terrible time trying to wrap up her hair with a big towel after a shower.  She used the purple one briefly.  Now she just doesn't wrap it up at all, but I'll save my commentary on that.  :)

“It is a terry cloth head wrap thingy with a little elastic loop for holding the end after you twist it up.   Yeah, think "info-mercial."

“I've tried the purple one and it works just fine.  I'm pretty sure the problem was operator error.

“The white one has not been field-tested, but I suspect it will do the job.  I'll save the purple one just in case we have a break through.

“White Turbie-Twist


This attempt at lighthearted salesmanship brought no email replies.  :(


The Christmas packages sent by family back in the states finally started arriving last week.  It’s fine, of course … things just take a while here.  But, my son was despairing, and day by day, as Christmas approached, his desperation grew.

“Mom, can we go to the Post Office?”  (*insert pitiful face here*)

I didn’t want him to get his hopes up, and fortunately, he did eventually come to understand that the mailbox was more likely to be empty than it was to be overflowing with little yellow slips of paper indicating that packages were waiting behind the counter.  But, still the dream was alive.

“So what if something comes after Christmas?  Can we open it?”

Yes, honey.  Of course. 


It’s not been so bad since the kids got out of school for the holidays because, frankly, they don’t leave me much time to be bored.  They, on the other hand, are always bored, but that’s another story.  Still, in some slower moments I find myself going back and forth between Outlook and Skype, (*insert pitiful face here*) thinking, “Is anybody out there?”

Click. Open Skype. Click. Open Outlook. Click. Send/Receive. Click. Back to Skype.

Click. Click. Click. Click.



I’m sure the fact that it is the Christmas season has a lot to do with it.  Someone here in Ukarumpa called us on Christmas day to see if we were doing okay being away from family for the first time during the holidays.  I had to confess, though, that out of the last ten Christmas days, we have only been with family twice.  And out of the last ten Thanksgivings, never.  With Paul working at UPS so many of those years, and us living so far from everyone, seeing family on Christmas or Thanksgiving just didn’t happen. 

Instead we spent most of those holidays with friends, and as my mother graciously acknowledged, it was them that we really missed this year.  Not that we didn’t miss our families, too, of course, but you understand what I mean.

I’m sure this is a normal part of adjusting.  And I have come to know in the last few days that I am not alone.  Two other gals from my POC group have confessed to very similar feelings.  So, as pathetic as I am, I am glad to report that I am actually “normal.” 

I think.

Now stop laughing at me.

‘Cause it’s my birthday.

Which leads me to the final, long-awaited conclusion of this post!

I had written up to this point a couple weeks ago (it’s been edited since), but I could not find a suitable manner in which to wrap it all together in such a way that it didn’t sound like a shout out for mercy mail.  What I had so far was one big pity party, and that was not at all what I wanted to convey.

Then, a few days ago, I got three emails from people who should have had no way of knowing when my birthday is; each of them wished me a happy (early) birthday.

OK, someone’s up to something.

I accused my husband, but he denied it, so I figured it must be my mother.  Sho’nuf, she confessed.  Well, not actually confessed

The Skype conversation went something like this:

[1/8/2010 1:11:38 PM] Me: Did you rat me out?

[1/8/2010 1:11:55 PM] Me: You're hesitating ......

[1/8/2010 1:12:19 PM] Mom: huh???

[1/8/2010 1:12:59 PM] Me: that looks like a guilty huh??!

[1/8/2010 1:13:18 PM] Mom: I think it looks like a clueless huh!

[1/8/2010 1:13:45 PM] Me: You didn't tell people my birthday was coming up?

[1/8/2010 1:14:13 PM] Mom: moi???   (and then she added the little sweating emoticon)


Now, I know she took French in high school, but that was a guilty “moi???” if I ever saw one.


Anyway, so for the past few days, I’ve been getting birthday wishes from all over the world!  As of this writing, if I include Facebook emails, I’ve received 41 Happy Birthday wishes! 

Appropriate.  :)


Thank you all for filling my inbox and my heart. 

And we didn’t even have to bother the postman.  :)


  1. AWWWWW....I hope life gets more "social" for you soon!!! Adjusting to a new culture is very difficult. We moved from Arkansas to lower Alabama and it took me two years...ha. And I never adjusted to living in Texas...truly another country by Arkansas standards!
    Being able to connect to the internet is such an awesome change for missionaries worldwide. I remember hearing the old stories of long travels to radio towers just to get a message out.
    Still...the adjustments are there none the less.
    I just wrote a note to a friend a few minutes ago and it seems appropriate to you as well.
    We may be separated from family and friends, but who can separate us from the love of God?
    Romans 8:35 - 39
    Whether in PNG or Little Rock, Arkansas, God has a way of orchestrating our live so that we, at times, feel lonliness. Lonliness can His gift to cause us to find our ultimate relationship in Him.
    I pray for you that you will depend upon Him and develop your relationship with Him during this adjustment period...and He will bring blood and flesh relationships in due time!!!

  2. I'm absolutely terrible at facebook, blog and email these days as you can see by the lack of posting on my own blog. Just know we think of you guys often (your faces are on our frig) and we pray for you often. Love you guys!

  3. That should mean the package I am about to send should get there in time for Easter!!


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