PES-KES News 1992 (July)
We’ve been back from Australia now for almost 3 months, so I think it’s time for another newsy letter. Peter had jet-lag for about 10 days when we returned to Atlanta (i.e. woke up at 2:00 every night, singing and playing). It was fun, anyhow. Next time we do that long a trip, we plan to spend a night overnight in the middle somewhere (Hawaii?).
Karen’s dad got married to Ardell on the 9th of May in Youngstown, Pennsylvania, so we got to fly up there too. It was a very nice wedding – Karen got to read out a Bible passage, and brother Eugene was best man. Unfortunately, Peter decided he wasn’t about to sit still (or quietly) for that hour, so Paul and Peter got to see the wedding from the outside foyer! We didn’t get much of a chance to get to know Ardell that weekend, but since then have spent quite a bit of time with her, and she’s great! We feel that she is just the right woman for dad (as does he, obviously). She has 2 daughters and a son too, aged 30, 28, and 21.
We spent the rest of May and early part of June gardening, relaxing, and enjoying being home again. We had a lovely spring this year with lots of cool weather and occasional hot days. We’ve been busy planting whatever we can lay our hands on, and even went as far as to put down pine bark on several garden areas. Paul has also been able to play golf a couple of times. Next week he starts his summer golfing league with people from work, so he gets to play every Monday afternoon.
Karen’s sister, Ellissa, came for a visit from mid-June to mid-July, with 2 weeks in the middle spent with Eugene and Christine in Washington D.C. It was great to have our sister / auntie / baby-sitter around for so long! She loved Peter, and Peter loved her (she looks and talks just like mama!). She is talking about the possibility of coming back for a visit in January after she finishes her residency, so we are hoping she can! We had a family reunion on her last weekend here up in South Carolina, so she got to see all the other rellies too.
Dad and Ardell were staying at Harold’s and Hildegard’s around the corner for most of the time Ellissa was here, so we got to see them quite often and got to know Ardell. They are currently back in Pennsylvania, deciding on where to live, where to work, etc.
Peter is still growing rapidly, and changing every day! He is a constant joy and delight to us, and we never tire of watching his boundless energy and excited play-times. Paul is still his favourite toy, and yesterday he managed to get out a “dada” (in the middle of a string of “nyah nyah ba ba”, but nevertheless sounded like “dada” to us). Peter can pull himself up now, crawl around a room, stand holding on to things for as long as he wants, and walk around furniture. So I’ve been busy babyproofing everything. He was eating solids from about 5 months till 6 months, when he decided he didn’t really like them after all, and is still just on mother’s milk. I guess he’ll start back when he’s good and ready. He isn’t exactly on the brink of starvation, as he weighs about 22 pounds (now 7 months old). He has slept through the night 3 times so far, so still enjoys his middle of the night feeds. He loves to swing on his outdoor swing (in the front yard hanging off a tree), play with the cats (I wouldn’t be surprised if “kitty-cat” was his next word), swim in his little blow-up pool, drink from a cup (he can just manage it on his own). Of course, as a doting mother, I could go on and on about my little son – he’s so precious to us!
We are still enjoying the Vineyard very much. For the past year, our church has been going downtown to a housing project every Saturday to give out groceries, play softball, and just be friends with the people. The 3 of us went down one day recently, and really enjoyed it. It is traditionally a pretty high-crime area, but during the past year, the people have started to get a much higher sense of community, so things are looking better already. Paul is involved with operating slides most Sundays, and doing Saturday night set up every week. Karen plays piano for worship intermittently, and is becoming more involved with the choosing of new songs that people in the church write. We still host our Wednesday night kinship group, which has been growing quite a bit lately, both in numbers and in commitment.
We still work at the Norcross Cooperative Ministries (food and clothing pantry, money assistance for the needy) twice a month. These days we are doing more office work help, and general clean up, as we can do this in the evening hours, which suits us better with a little one.
Paul recently got 2 different job offers out of the blue from people he had worked with before (both job offers in Atlanta, but one of the people he had worked with in Australia). He turned down both of them, but they got him thinking about the possibility of contracting somewhere down the road. Karen is going to be learning C++ (a computer language) in order to stay “up” in the field.
Karen got to play in a wedding in late May (the first one I’ve played at since being in the U.S.A., so was pretty nervous). It was just me playing (a baby grand), and it turned out very well. I’m playing at another one this weekend, with a violinist this time, so we plan to do several classical pieces as well as traditional wedding music. It’s still a dream of mine to one day play the cello again.
We hosted a baby shower for our friends Jeff and Lisa (they had a girl, Anastasia), and a surprise 40th birthday party for our friend Wayne (80 people, including children, turned up for the birthday party!).
The room that used to be called the dining room is now the music / sitting room – a lovely sunny room. The dining table now occupies half of the den. We painted the music room a lovely peach colour, and plan to do the living room in the same colour. It makes such a difference from the drab off-puce that was there before!
We are thinking about getting one of those baby backpack carriers so we can do some hiking (easy walking) with Peter. They come in handy for around-town stuff as well as going to the mountains. Friends of ours have just started a new group called “Branches” – an outdoors ministry group (hiking, camping, biking, etc.). We kind of miss going to the mountains every couple of weeks, so we’ll most likely start doing that again soon.
When we came back from Australia, I realised that I did miss not having a clothes line (hardly anyone here has them, and they don’t seem to have the regular Hills hoists), so I got one from a catalog (no store has them). It is sort of like a Hills hoist, except that the lines are all parallel. Hopefully our electricity bill will go down significantly (after summer weather / air conditioning season, anyway). There’s nothing quite like fresh sheets dried on the line. I think with the right marketing approach (green earth, recession, etc.), someone could make a bundle selling aluminium hoists over here (mine’s PVC coated). I guess one of the problems is that people are too busy to bother hanging clothes out, so would rather use a dryer.
As always, if any of you are ever coming our way, feel free to stay with us. We miss all of you and would love to hear your news whenever you get a chance to drop a line.
We love you!
Paul, Karen, and Peter