All posts by sheenmeem

Where are you going?

Back to my yesterday story, there was another check area at the airport. The woman asked me, “Where are you coming from?” I gave her a deadpan glare, “From home.”

I was already beyond caring at my replies due to what had happened to me earlier, and was ready to do battle. She repeated her question. I answered the same way. What was the purpose? It was obvious from where I was boarding, it was the same city. She wanted me to tell her my address, and I wasn’t going to. She wasn’t about to give up. “Where are you going?”

“Going home”.

Bad Experience

I have never in my life of traveling experienced what happened to me at Peshawar airport. I had bought a one way ticket to Jeddah from Houston to perform Umra. My daughter (with whom) I was taking the trip looked after me all the way to Mecca, then onwards to Madina. I had to buy another ticket from Madina to Jeddah, and then onwards to Peshawar.

I had two options. One was to fly back to Houston, and another was to stay a while in Peshawar to wait for the prices to come down, and then fly back. I had unfinished business at Peshawar. My accounts were frozen due to inactivity. I had to reactivate to get my pension. I had to see to the house (the man I had hired to do the painting, and distempering of my home on the outside) had not done the work.

My returning flight was at three in the morning. At the security checkpoint the woman took me inside the cubicle. She groped me in the breasts, squeezing, pinching with fingers, hurting me, three times. I told her to stop hurting me, to which she replied, “I’m doing my duty.” The fourth time she was going to do it again, in desperation I pulled my shirt up, and asked her what she was trying to do? At that she stopped. I have a one inch gash there.

I have never suffered such an indignity before. I was in tears, when I walked out. Now I wish I had given her a slap, and asked to see her superior. After going through this now I understand why in moments like this one doesn’t know what to do? Sitting down in my wheelchair, I held my head in my hands till the man pushing my wheelchair took me to have my luggage checked in.

This memory is going to stay with me. I will never be able to take a trip from that airport again.

Back

Reached here yesterday at three from Peshawar. It was a tiring journey. Had an enthusiastic welcome from my one year old granddaughter Maryam. Son was holding her when I exited through the door. At first she didn’t recognize me. I realized it soon enough, and removed my mask. After that she was inseparable from me, even if I needed to do something. At home she wouldn’t leave me for a minute probably worried that I may disappear again.

She hadn’t seen me since ninth December. She, and her parents had gone to Corpus Christi. In between my daughter came to visit me while on her way to Mecca, Saudi Arabia. She was going for Umra. The day before she was leaving, she persuaded me to go with her. I had a hairline fracture, so wasn’t very sure in undertaking the journey. At the last minute I applied for a visa. Within half an hour got it, and bought an airline ticket.

Allah makes it easy when you think of visiting Mecca, and Madina. I had never traveled first class. Have always traveled economy, but all the way I was bumped to first class. Had a wonderful experience.

I had a one way ticket which is expensive when bought a day before traveling. It was the beginning of holiday time. Had to wait in Pakistan for the prices to go down. It wasn’t happening so bought the return ticket to reach home.

Padre Island

Submarine outside a shop

Two weeks before, Son was being sent to Corpus Christi. I had never been there. Since it was for a smaller duration, I consented to go along with Son, and wife. The only blip on the horizon was my right foot. While in Peshawar, I had neglected it to such a point that I couldn’t walk. It was a hairline fracture, and painful.

Son wasn’t available, so d in law, the baby, and I were confined to the room. I was either lying on bed, or sitting in a chair. Very boring!

We were having a rainy day when daughter phoned. Anyway we never saw the sun while we were there. It was either misty, or cloudy. She urged us to go on foot to see a nearby tortoise, and animal shelter. According to her, it was a five minutes walk, and plus it was free. It turned out, it was miles from where we were staying, and they charged a hefty fee. We found that later when Son took us there on another day. We were happy we didn’t take daughter’s advice. My foot would have ballooned to rival the actual thing.

The ocean front at Padre Island
The Mermaid, and the clay castle
The Castle
A Game area

The animal shelter we visited had few animals, and one, or two birds. When we entered inside, it was extremely smelly. There were more snakes, alligators than tortoises.

As usual I acquired more magnets for my fridge, and that made me happy.

The Creep

I wanted to plant something in the two sandstone flower pots I had purchased a few days back. I had wanted to plant Mums, but I didn’t see any at Lowe’s. Son didn’t had time to take the rounds with me, as he had to leave for Corpus Christi. On my own I couldn’t even pick the pots to bring them home.

After two days of water logged skies, finally the sun peeped out. I couldn’t wait for Son to buy me the plants I wanted, I decided to plant something else in my pots. The flower plants from Son were long overdue. They were my birthday gifts from him, and I’m still waiting for them. We were in Peshawar when my birthday happened. After coming back Son remained busy, and he didn’t have time to go with me to chose plants of my choice.

I took ferns from an earlier gift Son had given me on a previous birthday. I divided the lot. One group I replanted with fresh fertilizer, and the other one went to the new pot. In time it will grow to be spectacular.

While I was busy with the ferns, I noticed the car idling at the corner of the road. Ten minutes passed, then another fifteen, the car remained there. At heart, I was furious. I had wanted to finish my yard work for the day, as for the next three days I was going to be busy with my daughter’s visit. I left what I was doing, and went to the side of the garage to wait for the creep to move off.

Nothing doing, the creep was still there while I was pulling out weeds where he couldn’t see me. My patience came to an end. With the creep there I couldn’t finish the planting I wanted to do, so I left the work for another day. I picked my gardening tools, went inside after shutting my garage door.

The creep remained outside at the corner. After another ten minutes wait, where he thought I might come out again, he moved off. I wonder why creeps like him exist in this world?

The creep’s car. I took the photo from the kitchen window.

The Last Moments

It has been ten years, and three , and a half months since my husband passed away. Whenever I talk to someone about his last moments, my voice still chokes up, and tears gather in my eyes.

Today in my Quran Class, a lady whose husband died last year was reciting Surah Alaq in Part 30. When she came to Ayat eight: ( Inna ila rabbika alrrujAAa ), translation: Verily, to thy Lord is the return (of all), she told us about her dream before her husband’s death. She dreamt that she was reciting the Ayat again, and again. She woke up feeling scary, drenched in sweat.

This was Allah’s way to tell her what was going to happen. My eyes welled up in response to her story. In our day to day happening, we forget that we have to face our Lord eventually. We better be armed with good deeds. May Allah grant us Peace in both the worlds, here, and the hereafter. Ameen.

With Sweetness

A week before on a flight coming back to Houston, I discovered a whole new way how people can be a nuisance tempered with sweetness. A woman forced opened the door of the cramped restroom. I wonder how she did it while it was bolted from the inside. I hastily bolted the door again. She kept saying, “Sweetie! Are you alright?

She kept calling me again, and again, all the while saying words dripping with sugar. When I came out she said, “ Honey are you okay? I have been so worried about you!” I looked at her amazed at her duplicity, (harassing me while I was inside) not knowing what to say except muttering “I’m okay”.

The Afghans

For years I wanted to make an afghan. I realized my dream this year. Masha’Allah! I made two of them.

The first one
The second one

More than twenty years ago, I chose a design from Needlework and Craft. I bought the necessary wool. It was in cream color. The main work was in square shape. I don’t remember how many squares were needed. The flowers on them were to be embroidered after finishing the squares. I did crochet about two of them. After that I don’t remember why I stopped working on the afghan, and where all that wool went.

This year my eyes felled upon a colorful afghan designed by red heart.com All the colors were calling to me, and I couldn’t resist. I wish I had waited to buy those colors in the original one. I started with what I had at home.

Nola (daughter) first question on phone is what you have been doing ? I told her with the result that she claimed first dibs on it. When she came to visit, I gave it to her.

Now (once started) I would Insha’Allah like to make another two for guests use. I have not started. This time I will gather the wool first after I decide on a pattern. Let’s see when I make a start. At the moment there is hardly any time to while it away with crocheting.

My Youngest Grandchild

Maryam

Today I scolded my granddaughter (ten months old) by calling her gunda baccha. It means dirty child in Urdu. She has the bad habit of throwing whatever she is eating on the floor. Then she tries to get out of her baby chair by squirming first, and then crying. Once she is on the floor, she scoots herself to the fallen food, and eats it. It must have gathered something from the floor to make it more appetizing.

I’m like forever cleaning the area, so that whatever she eats from the floor won’t make her sick. Yesterday we had to eat out, because it was lunch time. We had a bunch of errands to run beside her mother getting a booster for her Covid shot. We sat outside, and the dear child wanted to be on the floor, so that she could eat all the appealing dirt secretly signaling to her to get down. Though she didn’t get her heart wish.

We have to block her way onwards to the stairs. At the upper end of the stairs, Son has installed a gate, but at the lower end the stairs are too wide, there is no way for a gate to be added. We put different obstacles to block the way. Maryam’s favorite pastime is to head towards the stairs, and try to climb them. We try to be vigilant, but one day she climbed them. Thank God she didn’t fall down.

When she doesn’t want to interact with you, she won’t even look at you, but if you are sitting at the dining table, and eating something, she climbs up into your lap, and demands to be fed. She eats with all of us. Usually I’m the last one to join, but as soon as she sees me, she gets down from her parents’ lap, and clamors to be held by me.

One evening I was standing by my chair, she crawled to my side, and held on to my legs. I picked her up, and continued to talk to her parents without sitting down to eat my food. She waited for like ten minutes, and then bursts into tears. Oh God! I realized she wanted to eat from my plate. I prefer her to sit in her baby chair, not in my lap, as it’s easier to feed her. She thinks her grandma must be eating something different from her parents, so she must sample whatever I have. Once satisfied, she decides to climb down, and crawls away.

If the door of my room is closed, she tries to call me to open the door. If I don’t answer, she keeps a vigil, and patiently wait outside. She doesn’t talk yet except for the words Baba (her father), Ma (her mother), and Da (me).

Her childhood is the sweetest time for us to enjoy. Once children grow up they turn into aliens.

A Light Needed

This is Masha’Allah our third year in our present home. The first time I glimpsed the house on the pages sent by the realtor, I fell in love with it. I was a bit apprehensive before seeing the house that it may not look as good as in the pictures. It had happened to me in reality.

This was back in 2013. I was looking for a small apartment to live on my own, away from Son and his wife (his ex now). The realtor showed me one. It looked gorgeous in pictures. It turned out to be completely different, and extremely dirty. It required a fortune to renovate, which was beyond my means.

Coming to the story of our present home, it wasn’t a total disappointment. The outside was as it looked in pictures. There were certain drawbacks, but nothing which couldn’t be fixed. One such minor thing was the patio light in the backyard.

I asked Son, time and again —— please change the light.

You can think that in two years time that an itsy bitsy problem must have ceased to exist. An empathetic NO. It’s still there. Alas! Son, and I don’t look at things the same way. What I need is a simple light which can light up the backyard with a touch of a button. Son bought a sensor light which didn’t light up when needed. For a few seconds it came on, and then you kept waving at it, danced before it, did acrobats, it refused to come on.

My bedroom windows faces the backyard. At night I could see the light was on most of the time. Probably it came on for a mosquito to see its’ way, or for a snail crawling on the patio, or for the wind blowing. For us it wouldn’t light up.

A day, or so earlier Son gave me the good news that he had installed a new light. Last night I checked it. What a bummer! This new one had a camera too. Whilst it blinked furiously at me in the dark there wasn’t any light I could see switching on.

I can resign myself for another wait of two years.