This is just a quick post to say that Justin and I have arrived safe and sound in Tiberias — along with our four cases and cat Coleridge (he’s now happily exploring his new abode though is desperate to get outside and make friends with the thousands of neighbourhood cats who seem to have taken up residence in our garden). Our container which is coming by sea won’t arrive for a while yet, so we have the pleasure of dealing with customs at the port still ahead of us.
We have been so warmly welcomed by the hotel management and staff who have clearly worked very hard to make Yakfie, our house, home for us. The large garden, which was completely brown and dead when we were here last, has been totally refurbished and is now complete with a herb garden and lots of flowers, which once established will be absolutely gorgeous. Add a few pieces of outdoor furniture, and I suspect we will be spending more time outside than we do in — at least while the weather allows it (it’s still mid 20s C here).
But of course, life in a new country comes with all kinds of firsts, and they can feel like little victories — and defeats.
Doing laundry for the first time today was cause for great celebration, not least because hanging it out, I have this for a view.
Yesterday’s trip to the local supermarket was a success, as we navigated the Hebrew labels and returned with life’s essential items: tea, coffee, milk, cleaning supplies, and cat food.
Coming back into the house we realised we’d been unfortunately shortsighted and couldn’t find anything with which to make tea or coffee. Eventually we unearthed a kettle, washed about 3 inches of dust off of it (everything is covered in dust — possibly due to the autumn’s dust storm and then the maintenance work done on the house), and then discovered the lid wouldn’t close so the water wouldn’t boil.
Back to the shops today. But without a car, there’s only so much we can carry… Driving, however, is going to be a challenge I’m not sure I’m up to just yet…
And then there was the first service at the church which went fairly smoothly. It is a joy to be back to doing what I love: celebrating communion. It will, of course, take a while to work out what works and what doesn’t in this context. And I think that’s probably the case for more than just worship.
So this week is just about settling in, making the house feel like our home, tidying the church office, generally finding my way around. That feels about all I can manage at this stage, especially since I received the news on Sunday morning that my paternal grandmother had died the night before. In the midst of the big changes we’re going through, feeling even more emotion — never mind processing it — is difficult. Cleaning and clearing out and decorating helps calm my soul and allows me the chance for my thoughts to wander. And there’s plenty of that — both cleaning and thought wandering — to do just now.
For those who have sent lovely messages and emails, thank you, thank you, thank you. We don’t yet have internet access in the house, so I’m not quite as easily connected as I’m used to being. I promise to be in touch more once I’ve caught my breath a bit, but in the meantime, please know how much I have appreciated hearing from each and every one of you.