Ma chere famille (that's french for: Mother-Sonny's Wife-Woman -- see, they are all related ...)
From: Rebecca Auclair
Date: Sun, 17 Jul 2005 08:58:19 -0400
Email possibility #1:
I'm glad you are having such a nice time in the Philippines. How is the weather? Do you find Diane's family well? Please send my love and regards to everyone there.
The weather is fine: it's the rainy season, and a typhoon's been menacing from off-shore, but, really, it's so close to Metro-DC weather I really can't tell the difference.
Diane's family is doing great! They all look in high spirits (we're meeting Omar for the first time today, but all indications are great). I'll pass on your greetings. Papa drove us to Mass at the Manila Cathedral, about a block from the hotel (actually, I was shocked, shocked I tell you, that they didn't have Mass in the Hotel itself ... I guess they don't want to shock the 'kano and Korean guests).
We all went to lunch at Max's chicken (circa 1945 -- they, I believe define fried chicken for the Philippines -- yes, it's very good fried chicken ... but it cannot touch Diane's Mother's chicken even if it had a 25,000 foot poll), and Elena Marie defiantly (well, defiant for a 3-year-old) stuck her tongue out at me, after being told not to do so. The punishment, me taking away her mango shake, was so severe that it took an hour AND me holding her hand while closing my eyes ("Papa, your eyes are open!") for her to muster up the courage to whisper an apology into my ear,
each syllable coaxed by an encouraging word (until the "Papa, no talking!" came out). Papa was a good sport throughout, for both our sakes (his son-in-law's and his granddaughter's).
AND THEN! When we returned to the hotel, just after I sent my previous email, Isabel decided to JUST MISS cracking her head open, on the endtable on the other side of the bed. It was spectacular! She teetered off the bed and slammed into the soft, soft couch a hair's breath away from the menacing sharp-edged glass table. She was fine, but the scream of dismay torn from my guts KOed her but good ... it being 3 pm and all it was time for bed anyway.
SO! at 3 am she was up and about, so I rescued Diane by escorting Isabel to the cafe where the ever easygoing servers there kindly heated up our leftover chicken and fries.
WHICH BRINGS US to 5:30 am: yes, breakfast-time. So we all had breakfast and Isabel and I went to the pool, waited out a torrential downpour (that lasted all of ten minutes, which I knew would happen, so we simply waited it out, instead of giving up on the pool) and swam about while EM and Diane went to the clinic to check up on EM's nasty gash (which seems to be improving by the hour). The swim was curtailed by Isabel's indication to me that she was doing something that would not allow her to reenter the pool (as chlorine is not a strong enough chemical to cover her issue ... I'll leave it at that): she was very unhappy with this forshortened pool visit, but it's nap time anyway (and nothing gives her more joy that leaping, leaping, I say, into her mother's arms for a nap).
TO THE POINT OF THIS EMAIL, THEN: so, we're all packed up and ready to go to a resort in the country. I'll be out of circulation for the next 5 days as we bask by the beach. You won't hear from me for a few days, so please find other entertainments during that time.
Email possibility #2:
HOLY [edited]! Its amazing that any of you have survived up to this point. I mean really, come on? Can't a guy get a break anywhere around here? I guess the fact that the cafe is open all day and that there is a clinic in the hotel all count for something, but man, Sheesh!
Yeah, two very convenient life-savers there! *WHEW* But, really, Diane's doing all the child-shepherding and life-saving around here. I just run around in circles in a panic ... which entertains the children at times: Elena Marie: "Papa, you funny!" exclaims through her belly laughs (I love how her face crinkles up with joy as she laughs).
Mom and Sissy are visiting now and I am hoping to talk them in to staying for two weeks.
Please say hello to Mother and Auntie Sissy from all of us; the children had a great time with them, and I'll give them (the children, that is) a hug each from you, Uncle Howland, Auntie Sissy and Lola. ... Although I don't know how far I'll get: Elena Marie grudging grants a kiss (when she needs me to read to her), but declines affection to herself, so ...
I will pray for an easier adjustment from here and that Elena's head heals well, and that Isabel gets more patience, and most of all, that you all get more sleep.
Thanks a million, Beki! I'm probably getting more sleep per day here than I'll ever get in the U.S.A., so it's doing wonders for me; and I'm sure Isabel will turn out just fine: she a complete pip 95% of the time ... the other 5% she's just tired and frustrated, and I'm not recognizing that fact.