Housekeeping

Literally.  This is about housekeeping!  Zambia has granted us three years of dramatic, breathtaking, life-altering experiences, but maybe the one that has changed us the most is living in a world where we and all our friends have housekeepers, gardeners, cooks, and guards to “take care of us.”  Just who do we think we are?  They do our laundry, mow the yard, maintain the pool, keep the insects down, and help us fix our bicycles.

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All this help has been wonderful with young kids!  A live-in housekeeper who is always home to greet Jake and Eli after school, a cook who comes once a week to make the best chicken curry, meatballs, and apple pies.  Having a pool is great when you don’t have to clean it!  But I am still uncomfortable.

Who do THEY think we are?

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I’m definitely not one of those people that enjoys housecleaning.  I am not at all looking forward to cleaning bathrooms or washing the kitchen floor.  But I do find balance in folding laundry and cooking our own dinner, even if it’s just grilled cheese.  I like buying fresh basil and knowing I’m responsible for turning it into something before it turns brown.  I like the idea of having our own life back again.  Sure, having a housekeeper means there is more time to do other things, but I’ve learned that even though I love a good Bush Camp Happy Hour or an 80’s party, I don’t want to spend all my weekends going to happy hours and parties.

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That would be Cindy Lauper and Boy George.

It’s been wonderful to discover that when it comes to lifestyle, middle class is what Mike and I like best.  Less glamorous no doubt, but if I didn’t fold laundry or wash dishes, when would I have time to think?  Or listen to podcasts of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me with Mike?  When we’re always going out, I miss making homemade desserts and watching movies with my kids.  Is there really any better sound than hearing 8 year olds laugh at The Minions?

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The thought of dust bunnies and splatters inside the stove is a bit terrifying, but so has been knowing that if I’m ever home for a sick day, I’m sharing it with “the staff.”  I remember riding around on a skateboard in the house after I broke my foot, trying not to be too indecent with my legs sticking out.  Or wondering how horribly lazy they all thought I must be when I stayed in bed all day with food poisoning.  I have loved Ms. Hilda!  She is the best live-in housekeeper I could ever dream of.  But you know, I’ve never dreamed about housekeepers. I’ve never dreamed of a life full of free time and parties, and having all my chores done by someone else.  I’m not sure that I’m interesting enough to keep people entertained every night but I’m grateful that I found a husband who loves me anyway, and who likes to share the simple rituals of just being a family.  I like to work.  And bake pies.  Does this make me a weirdo?

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But I guess if being a boring weirdo gets us THIS to look forward to, there are probably worse things I could be.

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Our lives have been forever touched by Ms. Hilda, Ms. Mary, and Mr. Stephen.

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Thank goodness for them.  Every life experience seems to bring us closer to what we were meant to be.  Blessings surely do come from unexpected places.

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