Sunday, October 14, 2007

It's 8:14 a.m. and I am still the only one up! Amazing. I will treasure this morning as a once in a lifetime event. Usually some small person interrupts my early morning silent solitude about 6 minutes after it starts. The kids were up a bit late last night and it's been raining, raining, raining, all night so it's still kind of grey and their rooms are still a bit dark. Bliss!

Hopefully the rain will fill the reservoirs and relieve the drought that seems to be everywhere. It's that cold, grey rain that signals the beginning of the real autumn, despite what the calendar says. It's also a holiday weekend, Seker Bayram, Sugar Holiday, so things are pretty quiet. Lots of people go away, and the rest are busy visiting family, etc. There are loads of candies available for sale, as it is the custom to give chocolate to people who work for you, small kids, etc. The kids had fun writing notes to the guards who sit at the entrance of our compound and for the gardeners who don't work for us exactly, but who work for the compound and so nicely mow our grass, etc.

The holiday means we won't have soccer today either. I'm not too upset about that since it is pouring and my kids always want to go, despite the weather. There's always a small crowd of dedicated parents through the worst of the winter, freezing their butts off as we consume large thermal carafes of coffee.

Last week's soccer brought an intense episode of a local challenge we have with our little soccer group. The kids play on a fenced "football pitch" which is owned by the town and somewhat managed by the town cooperative. There was always a lock on the gate which we figured was put on by the town, though no one seemed to have a key for it. We have permission to use the facility so weren't too bothered by it. Next to the locked gate some innovative soul had ripped open a hole in the wire so children and coaches could get through to play.

Occasionally we would find cow pies on the field. Not too surprising as out here roaming livestock is an everyday sight. Last week, we hit the cow pie jackpot. Literally, the field was covered. So while the older high boys who help out ran the warm-ups and drills for the 4-6 year olds the coaches cleared off cow shit. And I mean a LOT of cow shit.

Having helped to set up this little soccer group, and having enough of the smell early in the morning, I decided to call someone I know who is on the board of the cooperative to see what was going on. This is the story and I am not making any of it up or exaggerating for your reading delight:

The lock on the field was put there by the local police. They use the soccer field to hold the juvy cows running rampant through town. This, apparently, is illegal. The cow's delinquent parents, who let them run amok in the first place, are then called to pay a fine and release their charges. The biggest offender is the town mayor. His cows are consistently getting into trouble (isn't that always the way?) His theory is, Hey, these cows were here before any of you moved into your new fancy homes.

An age old story repeating itself in new and interesting ways. And making a normal event like 6-year-old soccer just a little more adventurous.

And, of course, just as I finish typing Lucas has shattered my morning silence with a full-on body slam/hug. The day begins...

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