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  • Susie Csorsz Brown

Sour grapes and lemonade

I started this off in a grouchy mood and had nothing good to say. Being grouchy is not a comfortable fit for me so it's nice that writing to you all has brought back a bit of silver linings for me.

There are, of course, grumpy moments, and tech-issues. Naturally, some school assignments get the boys wound up. Some days we are less motivated than others. I am sure that our days look very much like your days.

1. The words ‘it’s not my job’ set me off almost as much as previously seeing a fully loaded Boda in my lane when I am in a hurry. A fully loaded SLOWLY creeping along Boda. So that's kind of irritating, in case you have had the joy of driving in Uganda yet. We've been planning for our onward assignment, and one of the things I was really looking forward to is having less help in the house, and giving the boys more of an active role in keeping the house clean and organized. Sure, they help now but they also know that if they don't make their beds (back when we all left for the day to our respective jobs and school), the housekeeper would take care of it. Now, she's in her own home making sure she and her girls stay healthy. We've divvied up the household tasks (hence the 'it's not my job' comments). They DO do their jobs. They also do other tasks when I ask them. There is not always complaining, and, honestly, each day a bit less of the grumbling. Yesterday, I enlisted all of them in helping to make dinner, assigning a different component to each boy. Could I have done it myself? Sure. Would the kitchen have been less of a HUUUGE mess? Absolutely. But they were so proud of their contributions.

2. We can all get along just fine in this house ... so long as there isn’t one little thing that tips the scale. One tiny minuscule little thing will push the entire day into 'grouch' territory. That said, my eldest just helped my youngest figure out how to upload his document to the classroom sharing app. My middle son set out a game for us all to play while we ate lunch. It is possible to slide into 'great' territory, too. We've had workout/breaks led by one of the boys. We've all gone on walking expeditions to the grocery store. The boys take kitty-playing breaks, and trampoline breaks. When one needs to move around and take a break from their screen, one or both of the others likely will too.

3. I may be spending most of my waking hours in my own yard and house battling various work apps. But when I take a break and I go out just to walk around, I am in one of my favorite spaces: my yard. The flowers are all looking really amazing thanks to a good mix of rain and sun (our rainy season is well underway). The sound of birds out in the yard makes me so happy. We are currently visited by a flock of African parrots a few times per day. They jungle gym around on the cell phone tower just outside our yard like it is their private playground ... I guess it is. They whistle and squawk and sing and are have such a great time. We also have plantain eaters, four of five different kinds of finches, mousebirds, robin chats, bulbuls, at least 4 kinds of sunbirds, turaco, barbets, as well as a number of raptors. It is a veritable bird park ... right in my yard.

We don['t have any idea how long this will last. We hear dates when the lock-down might end, or rumors of what the summer transfer season might look like. It's all based on rumors and nothing is confirmed. So rather, I am going to focus on what good we are seeing every day, and however bored I am be with the sameness of every day, the groundhog-day-ness of our weeks, every day that is the same means that that is another day that does not see a surge in the number of cases in our area. So that is the best news.

And, since we did get lemons today with our fruit & veg delivery, I think we really will make some lemonade! My youngest's special recipe.

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