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October in Shenyang

Dear Friends,

October is always an interesting month here in Shenyang as we wait to see what the weather will “bless” us with until the heat is turned on November 1. Well, today IS November 1 and although the heat doesn’t seem to be surging and heating up the place, thanks to abundant sun pouring in along with basically nice weather in the 40’s outside and nearly 70F inside, we are comfortable and have been informed that the management is working on getting the heat coming. Which is particularly timely as our friend, Debby, from the States is arriving this evening for a short stay!

October 1 is the date that the birth of “New China” is celebrated for a whole week! We did our part by having several meals at various restaurants with our three boys along with various friends, theirs and ours. Migyeong and I were also invited next door to have dinner with the “raven”, her husband and her brother who was visiting from BeiJing. The friendship formed between her and Migyeong (and me since everybody needs an old foreigner in their life!) has continued and blossomed to include cookie baking (us in charge) and tackling a pumpkin (all the “raven”’s doings).

After some unavoidable delays because of Migyeong’s recuperation period, the team from our friends at Bombardier finally made it for a visit to the orphanage much to the delight of our kids! I didn’t make it due to puniness but the photos tell the whole story, I think! I DID make it to the orphanage several times, mostly to transport Migyeong or visitors. The kids seem to be doing well and seem very healthy. A newish addition to our staff is the new massage lady that comes during the week days. Her work can only aid in the flexibility of the kids with cerebral palsy that can be very stiff because of their condition. Another breakthrough made possible by her is that since her husband is a taxi driver in the nearby town of ZaoHuaCun, he can be counted on to transport Migyeong from her building at the orphanage to home, particularly once the ice and snow become a way of life! This has been a big relief to me! In some ways, I think her accident has affected me as much as it has her, one manifestation being me feeling a little crazy when I think of her slogging through the white stuff and then taking whatever happens along in the way of vehicles to get her back home! You can see why I am now relieved to know that there is a safe and convenient way! Yeah!!

Rounding out the pictures that accompany this newsletter are some from life around where we live. LiHong, our friend in the night market shows us one of her new kitties. There are five of them and ALL females! What are the odds of that? Anyway, three have gone to good homes and two are living in their shop, probably eventually to keep any nasty mice away from their stock of sunflower seeds, etc.

The two other pics are of the largesse available in our outdoor markets where the produce has more than likely just been delivered from the countryside! I resisted the urge to include yet another series of pictures of the many small trucks full of Chinese cabbage or leeks that folks buy in quantities this time of year to last them until the spring when they buy them fresh again. I’m sure you remember the photos from last year where they are stacked up just about in every level place to dry before being taken inside or buried outside or just left for the snow to cover! I was particularly amused to see a dog taking advantage of a nice soft place to take a nap and of course, I can’t help but report having seen the occasional pooch lifting its leg on the cabbage that is destined for the table eventually! I guess if you cook anything long enough, doesn’t matter much what has happened to it before?!

We have much to be thankful this month. Migyeong is well on her way to a full recovery from her accident. I seem to have turned the corner with my GI problems. Our Wednesday small meeting is going very well and even enriched by the attendance of a couple of men from time to time. The husband of one of our members doesn’t speak English and is busy starting a new restaurant venture and can’t come very often BUT the boy friend of another member is a very interesting “bloke” from Dublin who has a lot to contribute to the teachings and discussions. I will try to remember to take some pics of that group to include next time.

I have been blessed this month by receiving emails and even talking to some of you from time to time. When we say that you are often on our minds and in our hearts, that is really not platitudes! We REALLY do love and appreciate you and depend on you to pray for us and support financially when you are able. Look for Christmas cards to show up soon! We will send them either with our visitor, Debby or another wonderful friend, Allan who is here for a short while, too.

Migyeong and Elaine

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