Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Tuesday Report--routines, loved ones and simple joys

Tuesday morning at 6:45 am

What a sunrise! As we approach winter solstice...well, at last it has turned cold. For a few days anyway. Even Kaş will touch freezing later in the week. Giving way to dramatic sunrises, hefty winds, and the chill that will permeate our stone and cement house until late March or April. Monday marked our first day to use the woodstove. 

Spa for the Soul is a five-story tower of small floors with loads of balconies and windows that take advantage of the view. No insulation, though we do have double-paned windows. The fourth floor is ours alone, set apart for office, sitting room, bed and bath--our private getaway when the rest of the house is full of guests. It is the only floor with space for a woodstove. Last January I ripped out the ugly old fireplace we'd never used and replaced it with an energy-efficient model imported from England. 

Monday was the day to light it, and it has burned continuously since. This really-cold snap will pass by the weekend, but winter has set in.

This week Tuesday was a day of routines. Quiet and coffee for reading and prayer. Hosea, 3 John and Jude, and a few of the psalms of ascent. Turkish study, office work, Ayşe here to clean. For lunch I made pumpkin soup with some of the pumpkin I'd cooked the week before. Froze three one-liter containers for another day. Later made dinner for dear ones who were coming to plan a trip together. Made a chocolate dessert in little Turkish coffee cups, and used the last of our Thanksgiving turkey with leeks and cream to put over rice for the main dish. A salad with oranges and candied almonds, and, believe it or not, a watermelon, as sides.
Chocolate expresso cups

Dobby, our doggie houseguest, ran in and out, savoring his last days of country life.

Another first for the season: we used the electric heat on the main floor to take the chill off while I worked. Curt ran to town to pick up some new fabric screens he had built for his photography, and experimented with them down in the studio. And photographed my dessert.

Dear ones arrived at 530, and seven of us enjoyed the meal together. "So. Where shall we go? When shall we leave, and for how long?" Much discussion in Turkish with maps pulled up on the computer. Southeastern Turkey was the unanimous decision. Gaziantep, Mardin, Urfa, maybe Tarsus, and perhaps a swing through Kapadokya on our return. Ten days sounded good to everyone, and Halil and Ramazan made calls to put out feelers for places to stay. Ramazan is a professional driver well versed in best routes and travel times. Halil is from the east and has knows the various cities. I'm the one who asks the practical questions. Curt, Gül and Melike chimed in from time to time. Yasemin sat in a corner in a huff. She's five. The problem? She thought she wouldn't be allowed to come along!

Eastern Turkey. Ten days. Departure planned for this Saturday morning. Energy building as we found agreement together. Occasional reversion to a bit of English for Curt. Frequent slow-downs and rephrasing for me. Halil, Ramazan and I would continue to work through places to stay, and we would talk again in a day or two. Ramazan would clear things with his employer and arrange for an eight-seat van to replace our normal rental car for the journey, with space for luggage and purchases. The young men looked forward to a late football match, so they headed to their homes on the early side. Lots of hugs, kisses and laughter.

Guests gone, dishes clean, we settled before the fire and listened as the wind began to howl, bringing drama to the cold starry night. 

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