Monday, January 17, 2011

An exercise in memory part V

1989 we moved to Punta Arenas, Chile. This was by far my favorite location, although I loved each place we lived for the stage of life I was going through at the time. Punta Arenas and all the surrounding area is beautiful, and there is so much to do if you are a person who enjoys nature.
I remember our first day of school there. They had all of our middle names listed first on the roll at school so the kids thought Jason (Thomas) was black, Jeffrey (Shane) was oriental, I (Kristin) was from Europe, and Joel (Phillip) was a toss up between American or French! We all took to school quickly and I believe I can speak for all of us and say we all had a pretty good experience.
Our house was neat. Once again we were all blessed to have our own room, and I think Jeff even got a space to himself in the basement for a music room of sorts. He and Jason got a pattern to a puppet and proceeded to make several versions of this pattern each. Dad helped them build a puppet stand and this became a regular part of our Sunday School mornings.
We served in all three of the pastorless Baptist churches. They were in three very different locations of town, so we would rotate. Eventually Dad would guide them through joining and becoming one church, we began by meeting on Sunday evenings in one of the fire stations in town. I remember going early to se up the chairs (just so), but not until we had swept up all of the many cigarette butts and ashes.
I loved that God always seemed to locate us very strategically so we could be helpful to mom. We lived two blocks away from a bakery and a physical therapy office (which began working with Jonathan from the time he was just a few months old.) We lived just around the corner from a quiosco (a small, general store type place that worked for small errands.) Two or three blocks in the other direction was a fruit and vegetable store. So we kids, even the young ones, were able to experience tremendous feeling of freedom and safety as we were allowed to roam to these places and help mom out.
I loved our many weekend trips to the beach to go beachcombing and our trips to see the penguins. I remember it was always so windy on these trips it was a challenge to stand upright and breathe. All the trees in the whole area of this region grow sideways as a result of these strong winds. We went to a fort where the first settlers of this region lived. But one of my favorite places was Torres del Paine; a national park where we often went camping. This park had many, many lakes and not a single lake was the same color; and each one was a shade of blue you never knew existed in real life, outside of doctored picture. One of these trips was just Dad, Jeff, Joel and me. Dad had terrible hay fever and spent the whole weekend sneezing and when we played a game of cards in the tent, he placed a handkerchief on his lap and would periodically ‘milk’ his nose. On our way home we stopped at a river to fish one last time. Dad had bought a special lure he was told always worked. And sure enough, he got a bite on his first cast! It was a huge fish. He reeled it in and we saw it right there in the water as we waited for someone to go get the net. But as we were waiting it snapped the line. So we had to try again. As we fished we saw the first fish periodically jump out of the water trying to shake the lure free of its mouth. When we decided to quit and were loading into the car, we looked up, and right there, not even 15 feet away, was a fox crossing the road…with a duck hanging from its mouth!! It was so cool!
I have so many wonderful memories in Pta, Arenas I cannot possibly tell them all. But I remember it as being a special time of family because no one else was around. I remember many good things and some rather awkward things. I had a cast on both feet there (not at the same time) Jeff had a back brace. I got some of the worst haircuts of my life…no, I got THE worst hair cut of my life there…and I think mom did too. I became a ‘young lady’ in Pta. Arenas—awkward. I straightened my hair once there with a perm. Joel would have a tough time with school till they would finally realize he was dyslexic. But I also remember that everyone in town, it seemed, knew Joel; he was a social butterfly. Jonathan was absolutely adorable these years. Jason would graduate and leave home. So many changes, but mostly all for the better and all a huge part of who we all are today.


Becky Dietz said...

And I remember my kids being so jealous because you got to see real live penguins!!

Summer said...

I remember so little. I best get started before "old age" sets in and ruins it all. :)
It is a wonderful adventure we have been on. Keep it up.