First, yes, we are still safe and sound and happy in Lebanon.
Today we decided that October will be our last month together in Lebanon; we will be moving back to the States together to celebrate our long awaited honeymoon and then Christmas with the family. After that. I will have to spend one more month in Lebanon for my requirement to be finally done.
As for now and since we have not been posting for a while, a few updates and some of the ideas that come to mind and wash away quickly before we got the chance to mark on paper.
Tomorrow will be our 5 month anniversary; I know, I know. Only kids use months when they are asked about their age and so I believe that we are still kids in this marriage, therefore 5 months IS something for me, at least.
Josh keeps feeling dazzled by the fact that my grandma is 92 and is healthy, happy and very much alive. It is as if he learns this for the first time every time. His gratitude for this is precious. My grandma used to be a butcher, yeah that’s right, for years and years. She is also a small scale farmer; she has an orchard that she takes care of with the help of my father and she picks mulberries from her tree and sells them for a living during season. She does not butcher anymore, unless you give her a hard time (she is a pretty strong lady) and she lives off her family’s help and her orchard. My grandma is the mother of 6 and the grandma of 24 grand kids the last time we counted, which is now a couple’s goal for Josh (wonder who’s going to give birth to those original 6!). If she were to visit some of her kids and grandchildren most of whom live close by or merely think of them, her day would be full. There is no fear of boredom kicking in.
The other interesting fact about LEBANON as a culture and a community is that family stays together; i am not talking about the nuclear family but the extended one. When my grandfather built his house, he and his children built houses adjacent or just next to for his sons. When the sons marry, their families stay close and the sons stay together, and the whole family stays one big family. Now this is great for the kids, imagine that I did not have to work on my social skills to make friends when i was little.I instantaneously had around 40 cousins from both sides of the family as friends. There is no chance of not finding somebody to share with when you are young and you are neighbors and are blood-related. If you do not,then you need to change something drastic. These cousins/friends are for life, whenever and wherever they leave, once we get back together, it is like taking off where we left off and that is simply priceless.
As for the grownups, i am not sure how successful this norm is. It is a hit or miss. When you live with so many people and everybody’s business is everybody’s business, you feel less stressed against breaches of privacy or personal space which is countered in the States. My bubble has been stumbled upon and trodden too many times that now i do not care. i have more patience and am more able and happy to share than a lot of people; and i am happy to say it is a skill i use in my marriage as well.
I think this is one of the things that you get to hate for a long time while you are at it but later you appreciate like no other. Also, when fathers build their houses, they have to start at least with the foundation for a new house of their son(s). My father built an apartment above ours for my brother when he gets married. My brother is 36 and single; therefore, the apartment is being used as my father’s painting workshop and will be Josh’s and mine for three months coming soon. All is good.
More insights coming soon…