Love and hate

Tessa used her artistic talents to put together our window boxes. They look great and with time and TLC will look even better she assured us. It was one of those 10+ days with bright blue skies and full sun. We gardened until we were exhausted and sore. But the reward was instantly visible in happy plants (new soil) and lots of new seedlings in our vegetable garden. We haven’t put up screen around the mesclun and spinach bed and pray that the bunnies don’t read this blog.

We got a taste of both the good and the bad of Afghanistan brought to us by Sabera who arrived late on Saturday for a whirlwind tour of the Boston area. We were very happy that we got to have her all to ourselves for part of that time. After a walk around Smith Point with its exuberant and colorful display of flowering rhododendrons we gave her a taste of Cape Ann and her very first boiled lobster.

Sabera is the president of the Afghan midwives and was in Baltimore to work with researchers from Johns Hopkins on a study that will show that not all money pumped into Afghanistan was wasted. Some children now still have their moms around as a result.

That was the good part. But Sabera and her family are suffering a lot – her dad nearly lost his life in a kidnapping and did lose the use of his right hand in the process of defending himself against a fatal stabbing; a robbery cleared the house of beautiful carpets and a lot of cash, more than I can imagine losing. And if anyone was wondering why it wasn’t in the bank, remember the Kabul Bank mess; they lost all their money their first. Home banking seemed safer. It wasn’t, and nothing is really safer anywhere in Afghanistan.

Waking up in the morning she remarked how she has heard recordings of birds and waves and couldn’t believe that here at Lobster Cove what she heard was the real thing. We talked a lot about the peacefulness that she and countless Afghans are so desperately praying for.  I kept thinking how very unfair the world is. Sabera’s visit was a good reminder of the blessings that we so easily take for granted.

After dropping her off at the house of former colleagues on the way to Newburyport we travelled on to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our friends Anne and Chuck’s first date. Axel gave a speech about that experience of being at the birth of a love affair that is still blossoming after all these years.

At each call from Western Massachusetts we jump up and think ‘is he coming?’ but then Sita has questions about raising asparagus and knitting and other ordinary things. I had put my money on May 20 but that day has come and gone. My countdown counter says 6 more days till baby Bliss.

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