Monday, February 28, 2011

Compound living = freedom and space

It's the last day of February. The temperature outside is moving up, slowly. Really slowly. But I know that by the end of March it will be hot outside. So, today while Jonathan was away with Sherman and Cinci at Playball, Atticus, Hector and I planted some more seeds. I've been thinking about this hot weather that is on it's way. Whenever it's hot, I don't eat anything good. By good, I mean healthy. I just stuff bread in my mouth, or eat a bowl of cereal. I have no desire to cook anything. Why cook when its cooking outside? So, on my summer menu for this year are two dishes: lebanese tabouleh and italian bruschetta. I planted a few pots of basil for my bruschetta, and just one pot of parsley for tabouleh. I can get nice parsley anytime, anywhere in this city. No need for more than one pot. Atticus planted himself three small rows of radishes. For some reason he's been bugging me to buy some. Well, they sell them in a large box at Carrefour. I'm not buying a large box of something that he probably won't finish. He can grow them outside his window if he wants them so bad. Hector ran around with the old dried basil plants I just uprooted. It was a bit windy and I could smell the basil in the air. I love our compound so much. OK, maybe most people would complain if they were in my shoes, "But you don't have a yard!" I know, I don't have a yard, but the streets are wide, there are sidewalks there are large communal areas spread throughout the compound, and I'm happy. But the moment some punk kid decides to pick Sherman's tomatoes maybe I'll change my mind. Well, no, I won't. I'd just ask if I can move to a two bedroom villa that comes with a small yard.

I know the tomatoes look pretty dismal in the above photo but if you get closer you can see 14 tomatoes growing on those plants. Yay for Sherms!Fridays we don't watch TV so that means one of us has to get up in the morning and do something with the kids. Jonathan usually teaches them how to cook eggs. Sometimes I go on a walk with Atticus and Sherman to some less familiar area of our Lot or the other Lot. Since they arise quite early, there usually isn't anyone outside, which is great. I don't even get dressed in clothes. We just all wear our pajamas and traipse around the compound chatting about whatever they want. Every time we are out strolling on Friday mornings we admire the desert sun. There is so much dust in the air on some mornings that you can look straight at the sun and it doesn't hurt your eyes. It's fascinating and beautiful. I tell the kids that it is beautiful because I want them to know what "beautiful" is. There are so many things that are beautiful that most people just overlook or don't even mention. If mothers, who are with their children the most, don't point out what is beautiful to their children, how will they know what is? Yes, children will eventually form their own opinions, but at least they will know what you, their mother, thought was beautiful. And perhaps because of that simple reason, they will appreciate it too.
So now, all the people that go to church with me know why we are always late for church. We're too busy running around outside in our tattered pajamas or reading about the Greco-Persian Wars to get there on time.
I'm grateful for the spaciousness of our living accomodations. At first I thought compound living would be uncomfortable and intrusive. However, there is plenty of room for everyone to live as they please, and surprisingly, most people spend their time indoors leaving the beautiful grounds to us McCollums and our Tumbleweeds.

1 comment:

Dave and Kristin Dirkmaat said...

Very cool post! you are such a talented writer and I love it! You make the best of all situations and have such great views of life!