Day of the Kings

January 6, 2014

I don't dare go outside.  There is no need.  The sun shines low, sparkling the ice crystals covering the windows.  Because the wind chill is 50 degrees below zero, school was cancelled and there's rumors that it might be tomorrow too.  It's Andrew birthday so Roseanna in pajamas painted a banner while we waited for Izzy's crepes.  Izzy got frustrated with Roseanna wanting to flip the crepes and then he got frustrated trying to flip the crepes so Roseanna took over and served them with powdered sugar. Andrew waved his hand toward the staircase and started in again about hanging up more old family photos, so I cut him off and said I'll do it for his birthday.

January 7, 2014

Suddenly, I'm so interested in writing again.  Writing what?  I never know until I am writing it.  Not a recommendation.  If you can come at it a different way, do.  I don't keep an immaculate house.  I rarely bake bread any more.  Izzy said we're the type of people who just make the stacks neat when we tidy up.  The boy rearranged his room.  Why did you hang up a bunch of pictures of people we don't even know, Izzy asked.  The girls want to make sushi for lunch.  Before sunrise, we played Quirkle, huddled by the fire after I came home from yoga.  It's twenty degrees below zero and there were more people in my 5:30 a.m. class than there ever have been.  There is no school today for the second day in a row.  You wonder how people survived in teepees, dugouts, and hogans.  I chatted on FB this week with Joseph, one of my former students when I was a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Central African Republic.  Four days ago, he took refugee along with 15 others at the U.S. Embassy in Bangui where he is a clerk.  His uncle and cousin were assassinated.  The rest of his family is at the airport.  Planes have started to fly out.  He wants to leave, but is afraid of losing his job.  They hear gun fire in the streets.  He has no news from Carnot.

"How are you getting food?"

"They authorized us to eat some MRE.  Meal ready to eat."

And my kids complain when I give them whole wheat bread.

Andrew was a good sport about not getting more for his birthday than some photos hung up on the wall.  Fortunately, the neighbor stopped by with a birthday song on his ukulele and the gift of a new harmonica.* Izzy said it seems like birthdays aren't really that fun when you're an adult.

Joseph in his office at the U.S. Embassy in Bangui looking very much like the young boy
who always sat in the front row at full attention, eager to understand every strange word I said. 

* It sounds like something Mark would do.  And you are right, but not the Mark you are thinking of.

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