About two weeks ago I was really feeling lonely for some reason. My friends all seemed way too busy with their jobs and kids and, well, life, and I just missed seeing them from time to time. Don't get me wrong, I am not a demanding (I hope) friend who wants to do something all the time. If anything I'm the opposite. Let's just get together every once in a while and I am perfectly fine. I actually prefer not having something constantly in the works because I don't mind alone time. However, I was feeling a bit lonely several days ago (still missing Damascus!), but since then things have gotten better. Maybe it started when I decided to travel with my parents to see my grandparents for 3 days. I had fellowship times with my relatives that I referred to a few days ago. One thing I forgot to share was that my dad and I had a discussion or two about the Fox show "24." He just started watching this season so I told him about a few characters -- Bill, Tony and Chloe -- who were from past seasons. (By the way, this season has made me more aware of the awfulness of biological weapons..ugh.)
Since returning from SC, a friend called and came up this way for a few hours to see me at the local McDonald's. A couple years ago I hung out a lot with Angie, but she got a job closer to her home (about 80 minutes from here) so I hadn't seen her in several months. She was off for Good Friday and decided to visit. So I saw her and one of our mutual friends, Rocky, who dropped by to visit before heading to work. On Thursday I got to see Kita and her two little ones while I was at McDonald's with Michael. Also this weekend, I called former YN Jen and heard how Jake was doing. I can hardly believe he will be five in about a month! She said Jake was a pro at his computer and I joked that he should keep in touch by sending me e-mails. It's crazy that he has grown up so much. I still remember when Jen and I would walk around the neighborhood each Saturday when she was pregnant with him. I remember when the Chapel Hill doctor suggested she abort Jake because he was a single-umbilical artery baby. I still recall the evening she left to be induced. Andrew and I were mowing a yard on the main road of the neighborhood and she waved to us as she left. I knew she would come back with her baby boy! And now he is nearly five!
Last night we went to Denise and Victor's house and enjoyed a great time laughing and talking. (The pictures in this post are from last night with the exception of one which will be obvious. The girls and I were doing some goofy 2009-style Charlie's Angels poses...ahem.) Teresa and Elizabeth came as well. We saw Valerie, Dylan and Alan also. We had brownies, "$11 dip" (what Andrew calls the nacho cheese/Ro-Tel dip which he loves for Denise to make), tortilla chips, chicken wings (drumettes actually) in BBQ sauce (George's and Sweet Baby Ray's), refreshing fruits (grapes, strawberries, pineapple) and fruit dip, Easter candy and punch. I had a blast seeing my friends again and laughing like old times. We watched (Denise dozed on the floor..ha!) an old movie, The Boys Next Door, about four mentally-challenged adults and their social worker. They deal with such things as rodents, grocery shopping, a new girlfriend, beating rugs, the love of keys and a difficult father. I noted the words of Lucien P. Singer as he stated that a society is judged on how it treats its weakest members. Hmmm, good point. I was struck with how much patience and kindness is needed in working effectively with people who have mental challenges. I applaud those gracious social workers. I simply don't know if I would have the needed qualities. Great time last night. We showed some of our pictures from Syria on the computer. (They are on a flash drive.) Victor especially seemed interested in them so Andrew told him about different areas. Victor wanted to google Syria to read more about it. He was full of questions: "Is Syria bigger than Israel? Where is it in relation to Israel and Iraq?" and so forth. We asked Teresa to share about some of her time in Israel and Egypt. She went on a Holy Land tour years ago.
She said she also visited some mosques and had to wear the capes in them. LOL...I don't think Denise knew at first that it was ME hidden under the big, black cape worn at this mosque. Definitely this picture always makes me laugh. Samer referred to it as my Hajjii Susie picture. He said I looked like an Arabian woman in it. Ha! I just remember it was so long, I was walking on the hem which pulled it off the back of my head which I was desperately trying to keep covered so I wouldn't have exposed hair. OK, I'll admit it. I felt like a huge black bat. :-)
Also yesterday we had our Easter service at church and then met my family for lunch at CiCi's Pizza. It was nice to visit with them for a while. Michael had a chocolate Easter bunny in the car and by the time we left the restaurant around 2, it was totally melted. Bunny's ears melted into his feet and torso at the bottom of the box, and Michael and I giggled like crazy at the demise of the Easter bunny.