Written on Monday 16 August 2010 8.45 pm
Letter to my SA family:
I’ve been at Nicki & R with all the kids during the week and then with Tania & W on weekends for the past 2. It’s meshugge (crazy), here during the week. Running around trying to help (hope I am) :), and playing with the kids, which is of course the reason I come here in the first place. We’ve decided to go to Lake Tahoe on Wednesday – all arranged yesterday… quick stix. Nicki & me and the 4 kids (nearly wrote 44 .. maybe because it feels like 44 most days!) will drive on Wednesday – Ryan will come on Friday night and Tania & Warren will drive up early Saturday morning to spend the last day with me. I’m busy packing at the moment – huge job – as I won’t have time when we get back on Sunday afternoon. I leave early on Monday morning – must leave the house by 6 am.
Also, I’m a legalised Green Card holder now … my permanent resident’s card arrived a couple of weeks ago. Yaaayy me! For what it’s worth. The fact that I can work here doesn’t make this whole experience any easier. Not even in a good economic climate would we be able to survive in this city.. so for now, we will continue to work for our air tickets in South Africa – and hope we can continue to visit our children in future years. At our age, we have a problem Houston!
I’ve had lots of good quality time with both my daughters & respective families. Yesterday was wonderful with T&W in Sonoma and we did the wine tasting at the Jacuzzi family’s winery – they are the family who invented the Jacuzzis… and Tania, Warren and I laughed all day. Weird and wonderful people I’ve met on my travels. Obviously my time with Tans & W is much more peaceful and relaxed and very much easier on my old and decrepit back. Saturday night the 4 of them took me out – went to a lovely restaurant in Berkeley, but I should never have ordered meat at a fish eatery. They all loved their meal – I hated mine. The company was brilliant though :). Usually I like to stay and babysit the kids to give them time to go out without worrying about babysitters all the time. So this was fun. We’ve seen Despicable Me in 3D and taken the kids to Peter Pan (the live show). Nicki, Ryan and I went to see Wicked (live theatre) based on the supposed prequel to The Wizard of Oz. Absolutely brilliant!
The kids are divine and we’ve had loads of educational days together besides the movie and live theatre — scrapbooking, cookie making and frosting, reading, bookshop browsing and buying of course. All the kids ADORE books, even Jed turns pages like a pro. When he sees a magazine he touches his finger to his lips and zips the page open…. R is adamant he doesn’t do that, but we’ve seen him in action!
Left: Daniel & Zak on the play Structure at the Moscone Centre near Yerbo Bueno Park and Sage above
Painting, beading, drawing, singing together and just being. I’ve made biltong (twice – once for Tania/W and last Thursday for Nicki & co) – it’s delicious. Can’t wait to make my own at home. I’ve pickled cucumbers ’til it’s coming out of my ears. I’ve made chopped liver, chicken soup, chicken a la king, marinades for chops (this I think I could patent LOL! – made it up while I’ve been here and it’s a HUGE success) and my own guacamole/tomato recipe (also a huge success – also until it’s coming out of my ears).
I am tired and for that reason only, I need to go home – I miss my house and my stuff and my bed and my TV.. and my other child – I really miss you Doron – and husband. I haven’t watched a single TV program since I got back from Palm Springs. Kids programs don’t count. (Notice my spelling is American now – but only in America. I even say some words Americanised so I don’t have to repeat myself a million times… like Faster (short flat A), instead of Faaaaaster and tomAto instead of tomaaaato). BUT it’s going to be a huge wrench to leave them all. The kids are stuck to me like Velcro. I’m so lucky I have such special bonds with them all. All different but the bonds are strong. Even Jed the little surfer dude, has a connection to me and comes running for a hug when I come in. He’s so affectionate and huggy kissy. He’s hellava clever – understands everything in English and Spanish and says a few words in Spanish. His English vocab has flourished in the last month. I just adore him… and all of them!
Sage does her Nakeup with me every day – not makeup – and she wears Jeems – “they’re not deMons granny” (when I say denim), they’re jeaMmmms! Go figger! [She calls me Granny, the boys call me Granny Di]. And she brings me thlowers from the garden. She washes her face, but bees sit on THlowers. The “fl” sound which starts a word and words ending in “th” are a problem for her. Bath is Barf. The “Supercase” (suitcase) which she’s packing for the trip to Tahoe though, is a habit from her toddler days (I think). I have to stop myself from laughing and keep a very straight face. But she’s very good about me correcting her if there’s no one about. She doesn’t always stick to the corrections… but those will come, in time.
Zak is devastated that I’m leaving. He was hysterical when I went to Tania for the weekend last week. This week he told me if I go back to SA, I shouldn’t come back here, ‘cos it’s too hard. My heart breaks. Daniel is handling it a bit better this year, although he has started withdrawing in the last week, as he always does. I’m hoping going away to Tahoe with them, will put my departure out of the way until the last minute.
So now you have it all. I decided to send this to all of you, family & friends, at the same time, as this is a major update from me and none of you will hear from me again before I leave. So lots of love to all (South African and American family & friends) – will talk/write to you next week or the week after PG when I’ve recovered from the trip and the terrible sadness.
Hugs as always,