To Home Depot, or Lowe, or any garden center where I could buy all the plants I want. There are a number of plants, and containers I like, but I have to look at my budget.
Top at the list is a garden bench I have wanted for a long, long time. Although I’m paying for it, Son invents excuses for not buying. The latest is that it might fall on Maryam (grand daughter) when she is playing outside. First of all she is never outside without supervision. Then it is so heavy, I can’t budge it, so how can a toddler who is one year, and three months old, will be able to dislodge it, and cause it to fall?
Either of these two benches will be acceptable. Now who is going to convince Son?
This is our fourth year in our house, since I bought it in January 2020. When we moved in, Son saw a brown snake near the door to the backyard. It disappeared quickly. Then I saw a white one at the foot of the apple tree . I went running to Son (thankfully he was at home). He killed it, worrying all the time that he has killed a harmless snake, and he shouldn’t have done it. After a spate of three years, suddenly I have seen three this week, two reddish, brown ones in the front yard, and a black one at the back.
All these snakes have been more than twelve inches. Since I’m the one who does the gardening, I’m scared to no end. The snakes have taken away my joy of gardening. Everything is a mess, since I have been away from home for longer periods.
The temperature here in Houston never went to freezing, but for the last three years it does. My plants dies, and now every year, I have to start again. Last year I collected seeds of my flowering plants. I put them in a bag in an unused, small bucket in the garage. This week when I wanted to use them, they were nowhere in sight. Son must have disposed the bag without bothering to look inside.
One of the snakes was between two empty pots. I was trying to take out one from the other. They were wedged so tightly. To disjoin them I put them between my two feet, trying to pull them apart. I shrieked when out jumped a snake.
Same thing happened at the back. I had forgotten the earlier scare I had been through. I was taking out a smaller pot from a large one, when a black snake dropped at my feet. I’m now so afraid of touching the pots. Some of them have to be emptied, and filled with new soil.
I wonder why there are snakes now in our front, and backyard? I feel miserable!
The first night daughter,her family, and I arrived at Madina, Saudi Arabia, we said our prayers at Masjid Nabawi, and then rested at a nearby hotel. This hotel was at a short walking distance from the Masjid. It was easy to get there to say our prayers on time.
The next day when daughter, and I got to the Masjid to say our Tahajud prayer (this is before the early morning (Fajr) prayer, it was raining cats, and dogs. Most women couldn’t get inside the mosque, so were forced to pray outside in the biting cold, wind, and rain.
Our plight was the same. My only worry was getting pneumonia, but couldn’t do anything to get inside. The inside was full to the brim with women. No space anywhere. The women praying area is a different one from the men area.
We returned to the hotel, all drenched, and shivering. we changed into dry clothes, and had breakfast. We had two, three hours rest before venturing out again. My daughter pushed my wheelchair through out our stay. May Allah Bless her with a long, happy life, and grant her peace here, and in the hereafter. Ameen.
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?”
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 Umrah. 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.
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 Umrah. 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.
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 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.
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?
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.
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”.