26 July 2006


And the powers that be looked down on the people of the Northwest and said, "Fear not, for you have suffered enough. Go forth from your basements, your shopping malls and theaters. Return to the beauty that is the OUTSIDE." With that, the breeze began to blow, and the force of the sun's oppressive heat gradually began to fade.. And the people rejoiced..

I honestly do not understand why people willingly live anywhere that one cannot go outside during the summer AND enjoy it.. We have been living through a weather malfunction here for most of the past week. On Friday it was 104!! Ok, so it's not AZ hot, but it was the highest temperature recorded here since the summer of 1988!!!! And, since most around here (including myself) do not have air conditioners in their homes, this means the temperature INSIDE homes gets into the 90's..

Friday, as the temperature in my house reached 91, I was beginning to wonder just how long I was going to last. Alex and I had been hiding in the dark cave of the basement where it was relatively cool, and the heat was making me delusional, but I knew one thing for certain, NO WAY was I going to be able to cook anything in my kitchen.. So I ventured out to Jerusalem Cafe for dinner and some much needed A/C.

Aimen's wife greeted me and took my order. Since there was only one other person there, and he was picking up a to go order, we chatted about the weather and how business was. Then, once my food was cooked, Aimen shouted and waved to me from the hole to the kitchen, "Hey, Homey!" (His now familiar greeting)

After I finished eating Aimen, his wife (I really do need to learn what her name is), and I stood at the counter talking about news and how willfully ignorant most Americans are when it comes to what is going on in the world. Sorry, but if you have access to the computer (which you must if you're reading this) and you don't know what's going on in the world around you, it's your choice to be ignorant.. Aimen places much blame on American news. He does have a point there. I don't watch much TV news, but I had that day because it was too hot to spend time online. I turned on Headline News for a quick 15 minutes of sound bites, and found "Breaking News!".. With the US Congress voting to back the Israel's invasion of Lebanon, 50+ Iraqis being killed in the ongoing mess that continues to tear apart Iraq, and all the other horrific situations (like the genocide that continues in Darfur) that seem to be forgotten, what was the "Breaking News!"?? A police chase in Houston. For over an hour and a half, police were following a pickup around Houston, complete with live helicopter coverage, lots of commentary, and NO commercial breaks!! And what had this evil man done to deserve such attention? Surely his crime warranted the coverage that made him the top story..... He attempted to rob a dry cleaners.... Has American news really come to this?? Do you watch this crap?? But I digress...

Aimen's family is from Israel, and though I knew they are Catholic, I wasn't sure how they felt about the conflicts in the Middle-East.. I was comforted to find that they were appalled at Israel's airstrikes on Lebanon and the civilian deaths that are resulting. He also disagrees with the way Israel is treating the Palestinians. This surprised me, and I was so glad to find that we agreed on so many things. I left, threatening to come back the following night if the weather didn't improve.. Which it didn't...

Saturday Aimen's younger brother was working at the restaurant as well.. I sat at the counter and he joined me with two glasses of ice water. I was perusing the menu when Aimen yelled from the kitchen, "Hey, Homey. Do you eat lamb?" .. "Sure" I replied. And he decided that I'd have lamb for dinner.. Aimen's brother (yet another whose name I need to learn) wanted to know if I really like lamb. He told me that it stinks and that Aimen doesn't even like lamb, but he cooks it well.. We talked about school. He's getting a business degree so he can help manage the 3 family restaurants. And I told him that if my uncle Todd moves up here it will all be his fault. Todd ate there 4 times while he was here. He absolutely loved the food....

Aimen brought out two large lamb kabobs with tabbouleh and cucumber salad. It tasted wonderful though I was still trying to decide if it stank, when Aimen came out of the kitchen with a mop bucket filled with cleaner that quickly overwhelmed the smell of the food.. Anywhere else I would have been angered by this, but it was almost time to close and I was the only one there so they'd wanted to get a jump on their chores.. Besides, it was such a joy to watch Aimen and his brother working together to mop and squeegee the floor while singing along to the beautiful Mid-Eastern music that was coming from the stereo..

After dinner, I headed towards the door telling Aimen that I'd see him on Wednesday when I'd bring him a ladder so he could change the air filter on the A/C. He told me not to slip on the wet floor because he didn't have insurance.. He's such a hoot.. As I walked out the door, I heard him call back to his wife, "She's one of those rare American's who actually cares about people." That made me smile, and I climbed into my truck knowing that my soul as well as my stomach was a little fuller for having met such lovely people....

Well, I'd better head over and pick up that ladder from my friends house so I can get it delivered to Aimen on time... Maybe I'll get a free dinner :)

And it's in the mid 80's, in case you're wondering.. It will gradually continue to cool off and by the weekend it'll be back in the high 70's.. Gotta love that!!!!


Blogger TLC said...

Slade's best friend is from Israel and have plane tickets to go in a few weeks. They haven't decided if they will go or not - it would be Yuval and his big brother and no parents. Slade is very concerned for them and has been calling the poor kid constantly. I think he's so worried for them but doesn't know how to tell him that.

How awesome that you get a chance to know these wonderful people like you have. Your life is indeed much fuller with them as friends.

7/26/2006 7:01 PM


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