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Showing posts from October, 2012

Better than a call from North Carolina

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I walked in the door after a long solo driving trip.  The phone rang.  The caller ID indicated I was receiving a call from an unknown person in North Carolina.

"Hmmm," I thought, "Whom do I know in North Carolina?"

I expected it to be someone who had gotten my number from our synod office - someone from some ELCA church out there who had a question about sister church relationships with the Salvadoran Lutheran Church.  "Ugh,"  I thought.  "I am too tired to deal with this."  I picked up the phone anyway.

"Ho-la."  It caught me off guard, but I recognized Estella's sing-songy greeting right away. Not North Carolina, but El Salvador!  "Hola!" I chirped back, and as with one hand I navigated the process of taking off my coat, greeting the dog, taking out the dog, and feeding the dog, I carried on a lively conversation with Estella.

It was Estella's daughter's birthday.  This was the purpose of the call - to take a c…

The Grandma

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The Abuela was old, amazingly old, perhaps the oldest person in the community.  She had feisty hair and a feisty spirit to match.  She was in her 80's, maybe even 90's.  It was hard to tell.  Her face was well-lined from years of sun and laughter, but her memory was sharp and her personality was spunky.  Some years ago she started to carry a straight tree branch in her hand as a walking-stick.  The top was worn smooth from her grasp.  Despite her age she navigated her way up and down the rocky rutty paths in the community, her walking stick in one hand and her baseball cap in the other.

We called her The Abuela -- The Grandma.  This was out of respect.  We met The Grandma during our first visit to the community.  She came for a check-up at a small clinic which we ran inside the church.  Deb, our nurse practitioner had a special rapport with The Grandma from their first meeting.

The Abuela lived at the corn-grinding house with her son and daughter-in-law.  We would often visit t…