For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime. Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.
Psalm 30:5

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Grow some love and friendship

When this one year in Nashville has become a completed chapter in our lives, and we look back to remember with gratitude the people who have blessed us, I know that H & J will be quick to come to mind.

I like to think of them as "Grandpa" H and "Grandma" J, although they are far from my grandparents' age, because their grandkids were visiting that first time we went over to their home for Christmas lunch, and I can't seem to think of them for long without thinking of them in their roles as model grandparents.

H & J's thriving herb garden

Also, H & J have a lovely backyard garden, where they grow their own vegetables and fruits, such as zucchini, arugula, and cantaloupe. They also have a thriving herb garden full of aromatic herbs. Walking through their garden, in the midst of going "Wow!" every so often at the sight of another bulging squash, and the taste of yet another interesting herb, I found myself remembering with much fondness those few but precious school holidays spent at my grandmother's farm.

Do you see the Zucchini?

It's been interesting being the outsiders here in Nashville for the past nine months or so, since we've both been used to being on home ground most of our lives, and definitely for all of our married life thus far. When at home, we know that we are to constantly be willing to extend hospitality to those for whom home is far away. We know that we are to extend warmth and friendship to those who are new to our church community. Having experienced some months of being the ones far from home, we may now be able to say that we have a better idea of some of the needs of those who are living in a foreign land.

Seedlings. Back in April, we saw them still hidden beneath their soil blankets, or as tiny two-leafed baby plants. Now, some of them have grown up to be healthy plants, full of the energy and drive of youth!

I am writing this primarily because I would like to look back in the future, and remember what H & J did for us, so that I will remember what I can do for others in a similar situation. There can be so much more than saying 'Hi' in church on Sunday. For us, it all began when H & J invited us to their home to Christmas lunch. However, as their grandkids were around, and a grand feast had to be prepared, and a tree-ful of gifts had to be opened, they felt that we weren't able to spend enough time have quality conversations with each other that visit. (Plus, I was completely distracted with the grandkids, demanding that they let me read to them, and play games with me) So they invited us back again, and again, and again.

Last Saturday, H & J prepared a fondue feast for us. So, we pretended we were on the ski slopes of the Swiss Alps as we enjoyed each others' company and dipped hunks of bread, broccoli florets, whole mushrooms, fresh shrimps and scallops into hot, melted cheese, and at least five different dips. Ahhhh!

Part of the fondue spread! Doesn't it look like a fancy hotel?


Another thing we love about visiting H & J is taking a tour of their garden. Especially since I had seen the apparent barrenness of winter, the sight of all the green growing things filled me with wonder in spring. What a miracle it is, to consider that the cantaloupe and honeydew vines will be heavy with fruit within the next two months!

H's newly-installed watering system. Each plant has its own little sprinkler. 

Petunias which sowed themselves. Apparently Petunia have to be resown every year, but these ones came up from last year without J having to do anything

What a miracle, too, to consider the miracle with the seeds of friendship, once tiny and unremarkable, now flourishing!

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