State of d’Nile- now with fewer boab stories

9 Jul

What a month it’s been since we last posted. We’ve been crazy busy making the transition from settled expatriates to unsettled transients to settled homeowners. There’s a lot that goes into that. Now the chaos is finally dying down, we have a strong wireless connection courtesy of someone in the neighborhood (we’re getting our own set up tomorrow), and State of d’Nile is back, albeit with a few less boab stories.

We had a great time traveling and staying with family, although we were pretty eager early on to get settled and back into our routine. After a month and a half of hopping from place to place, we finally made it to South Bend. We’ve been here almost two weeks and Finn still gets a nervous twitch when we drive anywhere longer than a few miles. He’s terrified we’re going to uproot him again. I don’t know how long it’ll take before he trusts that we’re finally Home.

As for the Home. I’ll admit I was a little nervous after buying the house. Patrick still hadn’t seen it and in my head it kept getting worse and worse. Was that yellow paint an obnoxious yellow or a fun yellow? Was the backyard teeny or cozy? How small were the bedrooms? How big was the house? On and on and on!

As we approached our closing date, it appeared that the world was conspiring against us. Forms that were supposed to have been sent from AUC bounced around different mailing addresses before finally reaching us at crunchtime. We had to call branches of our bank in cities we’d never been in to get copies of checks. Things had to be notarized, overnight Fedex’d to make deadlines. Our downpayment wasn’t actually in our bank account until thirty minutes before we closed on the house. I remembered after putting the offer on the house and filling out the mortgage paperwork back in May thinking, “buying a house is way easier than everyone says!” A little premature, I’d say. Much of the drive from Texas to Indiana was spent on the phone with mortgage lenders, underwriters, agents, etc.

We had a nice laugh as we got nearer to South Bend. Just outside of town on I-8o we passed a burned out ancient farmhouse that had collapsed in on itself. Right in front of it was a billboard that said “Integrity Homes: Building the American Dream.” Priceless!

We got into town and went for a quick walkthrough of our house. Patrick was thoroughly impressed and I realized that I loved the house even more than when I put the offer on it. That evening we both had panic attacks at the prospect of spending so much money and owning our own home. Despite our anxiety, we closed the next morning without any problems. When they handed us the keys, I remembered how I felt when Finn and I were discharged from the hospital after his birth. “Wait, you mean this is mine? You trust me to take care of this?!”

The packing peanuts and cardboard dust is finally settling and our home is getting cozier and homier by the day. I love this house. I really really do. I’m having fun putting things up on the walls, especially Cairo things. I sat down and looked around after a long night of hanging things and realized that I had met my personal goal for home décor- every single piece has a story and a memory. Our camera has been in the shop pretty much since we got back to the US. It may have suffered culture shock and just given up. As soon as we get it or an acceptable substitute, I’m going to take you on a decoration tour of our house.

Patrick started work and Finn and I started life this week. You’ll be hearing more about that in future posts, as well as about adventures in our new church callings. I’m teaching the 16-18 year old young women in the ward and I’m thrilled about it! Patrick got his assignment last night so it’s still under wraps, but let’s just say he’s been put to work.

People have been asking if we miss Cairo. Obviously we miss the friends we made there, but Cairo itself? Dirty, noisy chaotic Cairo? Yeah, maybe a little. I just started catching up on friends’ Cairo blogs, where I read about typical expatriate-living-in-Egypt stories and saw the pictures of places we’ve been many times and I started to feel a little nostalgic. I know that exact rock slab at the pyramids that makes for a great photo spot. I understand how hard it is to find a green space to take your toddler.

Living in a foreign country as different as Egypt makes you feel like an adventurer and a survivor. Strange language? No problem. Unfamiliar customs? Bring it on. Dusty crowded markets filled with screaming people? Oh yeah. We all become a part of a club. An I can cope, I can be crafty and find ways, I can pause and look around and think with amazement “is this my life” club.

Living in America is easy. I’m not complaining. I love the convenience and missed it every day I lived in Cairo.  Do I miss the inconvenience even just a smidge? Probably not, but I miss how proud I was of myself for living happily through it, working around it, surviving and thriving in the face of it. But still, I’m really grateful for Super Target and the public library.

Well, there’s the wrap up. We’ll soon be back to our regular programming of Mason slices of life, quirks about the culture here, desperation nuggets, little gasps of joy and all else that American living send our way.

Oh!! I almost forgot! Our camel giveaway. It was nice to hear from all of you, but now the moment you’ve all been waiting for!

And the winner…

…now knows the frustration that is Egypt.

Sorry Amira, our lucky commenter, the camel family and souse (I’m not kidding) appear to have been in the only box in our shipment that disappeared into the Sahara. Seriously. Also in that one missing box. My beautiful rocking chair that Patrick had made for me on Road 9 when Finn was born, the down comforter that I love more than life itself, and our handmade, handpainted edition of Settlers of Catan that took me months of unemployment to make. We are angry and heartbroken, and now, Amira, so are you. Welcome to Cairo.

6 Responses to “State of d’Nile- now with fewer boab stories”

  1. Lydia July 9, 2009 at 4:28 am #

    Oh, you are so right, Melissa. There are pricks of nostalgia, but I. do. not. miss. it. I ache for you. That Settlers game was awesome. there is a great website –> they have great prices on catan. bundles, too so you can get cities & knights, etc. But really, so sad.

  2. Amira July 9, 2009 at 5:14 am #

    Ah, rats. The first time I’ve ever won anything on a blog and it gets lost somewhere. I’m sorry about the stuff you lost.

  3. Nancy July 9, 2009 at 9:16 am #

    You had me crying at public library. 😉 Just kidding!

    I’m so glad you guys are getting settled.

    Right now I am not sure if I will miss it or not. I guess I’ll find out eventually.

    Rachel still talks about/asks about Finn. He moved to America, don’t you know? So he won’t be going anywhere with us anytime soon.

    We’ve imported a new friend, though, so hopefully she’ll get over her terrible losses.

    We miss you guys so much!

  4. Andrew July 9, 2009 at 12:26 pm #

    They lost that box?!?!

  5. Nancy July 9, 2009 at 6:35 pm #

    I guess I skipped that paragraph because I wasn’t the winner…that totally stinks, guys! I hope that maybe they find it and send it to you…you never know…it could happen…

  6. Nancy July 9, 2009 at 7:43 pm #

    I guess I skipped that paragraph because I wasn’t the winner…that totally stinks, guys! I hope that maybe they find it and send it to you…you never know…it could happen…
    Ooops, should have said good post! Waiting for the next one!

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