Saturday, February 13, 2010

Post #500 and my birthday in Khartoum

Our youngest grandchild/son. He's two weeks old today. This photo was taken in hospital more than ten days ago. I'm waiting for new photos and will share them here accordingly

You made all the delicate inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother's womb. (Psalm 139:13)
The littlest girl in the Hedges family our miracle baby and a great blessing to all
Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex! Your workmanship is marvelous - and how well I know it. (Psalm 139:14)
The above little girl and her older sister and brother
You saw me before I was born. Every day my life was recorded in Your book. (Psalm 139:16a)

How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable. I can't even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand. (Psalm 139:17,18a)

Today is post number 500 on my blog. I love blogging and have made many friends through it. What I love is that I even have e-mail contact with many of my online friends and this I find most precious.
I started this blog on 1 October 2008 and realise now that is it actually a journal of my life so far.

It is also my birthday today and this occassion takes me back a year to when I celebrated it at home in South Africa. You can read about this here. It also emphasizes the different direction my life has taken since then. In 2009, I had a small tea party. As it was in a week of torrential rain, many of my friends, who live on farms all accessed by dirt roads, were unable to make it. Being held on a Friday afternoon, several other friends were busy with school lifts.

Above are the ladies who made it to my birthday tea last year: from left, Amanda, my younger daughter-in-law and the mommy of the precious baby in the first photo on this post. (Amanda lives around the corner from me) Then Yvonne, my dear friend who lives in the retirement centre just two streets down. Centre is Pienkie, my dear neighbour who even in my absence is there for Emily to call on if need be. Next to her is Jenny , a dear friend who helped me run the weight-management club five years ago. Extreme right is Carina, my sweet friend of many years. Carina lives on a farm but used her husband's four-wheel-drive vehicle to come in to town.

Yours truly in the picture while Amanda takes the photo
For my birthday last year, my husband bought me an original painting by an artist who grew up in our town. I love paintings, family photos, ormanents and personal objects in my kitchen. We as a family, spend many special hours here so I thought this was a most appropriate accessory for this family-orientated room

The artist's husband makes the frames for her artwork. I just loved the natural look

My birthday treat (yesterday) was a visit to the Souq Arabic

This year I am in Khartoum and far away from all that is normal (to me) and all that I built up and nuture. I love being near my family and friends. I revel in my garden and love nothing more than sitting beside the pond in the evening with my cats and dogs at my feet. I love socialising and regularly attended birthday parties and other celebrations.
In August I left it all to come up and live with my husband in the Sudan. Once we'd gone out on break, I had to wait almost four months while my visa was arranged. At the beginning of January I left home again and have been with my husband ever since. Even though I have immersed myself in life here in Khartoum and enjoy being with him, I do sometimes miss what was my life back home.
It's probably normal to feel nostalgic and even sad at times. Like when I receive photos of my new grandson, whom I've not even seen yet. Or when I see photos of my three other precious grandchildren and remember all the fun times we had together, baking cookies, playing the bird game on computer, or walking on the golf course with them. I miss my dogs and cats but rest assured that dear Emily is taking good care of them while I'm away.
Do I regret leaving it all? No, not one bit. The pros of being with my husband far outweighs the cons of being in a comfortable set-up at home but seperated from him.
So here I am, celebrating my special day in Khartoum with my darling husband. Yesterday, as a very special treat he took me to the Souq Arabic which is a large market in the middle of the city. I will post about this on Tuesday and show the lovely gifts he spoilt me with.


  1. Happy Birthday special friend.. I know it's a bitter sweet occasion for you---but you are where you need to be right now. Life changes doesn't it? When do you go back to South Africa?

    Loved seeing the pictures of your sweet grands--and of your party last year.

    Hope you have a wonderful weekend.

  2. Thanks Betsy! You are always so encouraging. We are due out on hubby's break after three months buy mid-March. Thanks for the lovely message. Have a blessed weekend. (((Hugs))) Jo

  3. ííííííííííííííííííííííííííííí
    Every candle is a light you bring to the world.
    Every candle is a story you have to share, a wisdom only you possess.
    Every candle is something you have been through and now lights the way for others.
    Every candle is a time you have understood, cared,
    and helped another find their truth and their beauty.
    Every beaming smile from your nature is truly an inspiration.
    Happy Birhtday to one of God's brightest creations.

  4. Oh Ida, that is so beautiful. Thank you for those kind, kind and special words. (((Hugs))) Jo

  5. Jo, Happy Birthday and congratulations on 500 posts! Even though you weren't at home, it looks like you spent a nice day at the souq.

    Hope you have a lovely weekend. Can't wait to see more pictures of the new baby.

  6. Happy Birthday Jo! Your new grandbaby is adorable as are the other three. Thank you for sharing your feelings about your lifestyle. It won't be long, before you will be home sitting by that pond with your dogs and cats. It's good that you have many friends, wherever you are.

  7. Happy, happy birthday! And make it the best wherever you are as I know you do.

  8. Happy Birthday Jo, life goes on and we roll with it, do we get more adept at rolling as we get older?!
    I love the photos of the grandchildren and the Tshirt slogan on the newest addition is so true.
    Have a lovely weekend as it is also St Valentines day tomorrow.

  9. Happy Birthday!

    Since I love birthdays and still am celebrating my 51-and-how-the-heck-did-I-get-here birthday, please allow me to send you (and
    all who read this) a birthday gift; the gift is the link to a free cover-to-cover read of my book.

    It's the story of my amazing Spirit-led journey that began on the birthday that all of my friends forgot! (One of my best birthdays yet!)

    Just sign up here: no experts needed dot com. No strings/spam attached, really! (I know, hard to believe these days :-)

    It's simply my way of giving back.

    Continue the celebration,
    Louise Lewis, author
    No Experts Needed: The Meaning of Life According to You!

  10. Hello Jo, it was interesting hearing about your friends and your life back home. I know it is difficult at times but I agree you are right where you need to be at this time. I'm sending you big hugs and wishes for a wonderful birthday weekend. Joyful Penny

  11. Happy Birthday. You are always where you are meant to be! Loved the post with all your family and memories.

  12. Happy belated Birthday and Congrats on 500 posts.

    I'll be it's hard to be away from your family in SA but can certainly understand your desire to be with Hubby. Hope you had a great time at the market. I look forward to seeing what it's like.

    Love your last year's tea party.

  13. Happy birthday, one day late, Jo, and happy Valentine's Day to you, too! Your birthday is two days after mine! I can feel your sadness and longing for home and friends, and also your immense love for your husband. I hope the time will fly by until the time that you can be towgether in SA again. I really enjoy reading your posts. I just started blogging in April of 2008,

  14. I just love the photos of your grandchildren with Psalm 139! I have that Psalm memorized and I love to meditate on it.

    Your husband sounds like a gem...what a thoughtful gift he gave you for your birthday! I'm glad you are together with him now.


Thank you for visiting my blog and taking the time to leave a comment. I appreciate your feedback. Jo