“People or places, people or places?”I ask myself. “Which is more important?” I walked today, a lone woman on a grey Sunday afternoon. I was on my way to BIM, the basics store here in Istanbul, to fetch some chicken noodle soup and some water. Everyone in my house is sick except for me. My husband is sick to the degree of non functional. His throat hurts so he doesn’t talk much. His body hurts so he can’t move much. Basically the only thing he is good for right now is the adult presence. You know, adult presence. . . that thing you need when you want to run to the store to grab something and you don’t want to bring the kids. That’s when you need adult presence. Someone to be there to make sure the kids don’t kill themselves.
My kids are sick. It started with Atticus two weeks ago with a cough. Atticus has a cough every year around this time. It lasts forever and doesn’t even go away with doctor’s perscriptions. Then Shermie got it the next week. He sounded worse so I kept him home most the week. The school nurse diagnosed him with a “throat infection”and perscribed five medicines. I have a very difficult time believing this nurse’s diagnosis and perscription. I have noticed that Turkish people tend to worry quite a bit about their childrens’ health. Last year when I took Atticus to the doctor they prescribed four medicines. I only bought three and none of them stopped the cough he had. In the end I didn’t buy any of the medicines for Shermie. We have ten days off of school and work and I am hoping and praying that my kids’ little immune systems will fight their ways through these viruses and sicknesses. Cinci woke up this morning with a soreness of throat. Did he actually tell me that he had a sore throat? No. Just by the sound of him I could tell. So yes, all my kids are sick and they are taking it pretty well. The older they are, the better they deal with it. We drink a lot of tea, and sleep a lot more.
So, here we are during our Seker Bayram vacation week. Everyone has plans to go somewhere new. We were going to go to Bursa, the first capital of the Ottoman Empire, but depending on Jonathan’s health, we may or may not go. I hope he feels better by tomorrow night. I hope I hope I hope.
So there I was walking to BIM and I was looking at the paisaje of the street. The cobblestone sidewalks, the short brick walls around each apartment building’s garden area, the autumn trees dripping with recent rain lining the road all made me think, “I wish this would go on forever. I wish this street would veer off to the left and off to the right I would see the land swoop downwards, open and green, and show me a stunning view of a distant village with its lights just starting to twinkle in the late afternoon shadows.” The problem is that there aren’t any quaint Turkish villages near by. I live in Istanbul. That’s when my thoughts took a turn toward my future once again. “Where will we end up?” Not with an air of uncertainty at all, but more with the question of whether or not city life will be right for us in two years. What will be right for our family in two years? Right now it’s right for us. I still listen to my country music and dream of living in some wide open space back in the states. Will it ever happen? I sure hope so but it probably won’t. Heavenly Father has a plan for our family and I have a feeling it has more to do with people than with places. I know it does. But for once I wish the people that he wanted me to be around would live in a natural, wide open, beautiful place on this earth. It is so selfish, but I wish it still. So the question still pops up here and there “People or places? Which do you prefer for your life?” My answer, sometimes grudgingly, is People. At least I won’t be regretful when I’m old and wish I didn’t spend so much time on my own in the National Parks pondering the mysteries of the universe among the whispering of the pines and the thundering of the rivers. People are the staple of life and some of them are the spice.