Those of you who have followed my blog for a while, have seen my very good friends, Bill & Elaine, featured many times in various posts. But recently, I realized I have said little to nothing about my other very good friends, who are a HUGE part of my life here, Jim & Jane.
I first met Jim & Jane a year ago this past March (my, how time flies!) at my second rental home (and come to think of it, I met Bill & Elaine at my first!). Jim & Jane were the “caretakers” there, and we first connected in the yard while I was walking around outside talking to my bee technician, Jefferson, trying to see how far my phone range would reach. I then approached them in their hammocks afterwards, so they wouldn’t think I was crazy (at least not for that reason) and introduced myself. During the conversation, I told them I was building a house and was actually scheduled to go with my builder to Manta the next day to pick out finishes. Jane exclaimed, “Oh how exciting!” but I told her it was actually intimidating for me, because I wasn’t great about ideas or knowing how to put things together. She said, “Oh I love doing that!” and told me that at one point she sold new homes and her favorite part was helping people pick out those things. I sheepishly asked if she would be willing to go with me and she was so excited and begged Jim to let her go (which of course he said sure). Jane was absolutely INVALUABLE in giving me ideas, helping me think through things (like how much harder one toilet would be to clean over the other) and generally lended moral support when my builder’s only goal was to just limit my options and push me to get done. Not only that, but she accompanied me on many subsequent trips: picking out lights at a store in another town because I didn’t like the options my builder presented to me; finding the pattern and tile for my kitchen back splash; choosing my counter top; picking out new paint when the old color I’d chosen just wasn’t right; choosing a sofa & fabric; etc. I truly owe my whole house decoration (which I LOVE) to Jane. She was the perfect balance of giving me ideas and help, but working with my taste and not trying to choose things for me.
Three months after we first met, they decided to move to Manta. They found a wonderful rental option and moved there to be closer to doctors, shopping, etc. One week not long after they moved, I suggested we get together for lunch when I came in to shop on Wednesday. We had such a nice time, that it became a weekly event! We love exploring new places and have developed quite the list of wonderful options. They also walk everywhere they go, so they helped orient me and give me the courage to do so there as well. They’ve referred me to doctors, stores, restaurants and a whole host of things they have discovered since moving there. Manta has a very active ex-pat community and Jim & Jane are right in the middle of it. I love hearing about the excursions they go on, the experiences they have and the people they meet in this larger and more active city.
But beyond that, they have really adopted me and become like parents. They’ve taken my shoes to be repaired; held things for me to be brought home later; led me to the attorney that ultimately corrected my visa issue; educated me on many things; etc. And most especially, they followed all along through the Robert story – from when I first learned his cancer had returned in March; to the anticipation of when he came back here in June; the devastation of when he left in July; the elation when we reconnected in September; the excitement of the cruise in October; the hope of his return in January; the disappointment when he didn’t; and the pain of not hearing from him that last month until just before his death in April. The week he died, when I just couldn’t make it to Manta, they came to visit me and brought groceries and took me to lunch here (and they ride the buses like me).
So needless to say, these are some VERY special people to me – and I’m embarrassed that it has never been told on my blog! But now you know some of the other wonderful people in my life. Psalm 68:6 says, “God sets the lonely in famlies,” and I certainly consider Jim & Jane family to me!
(PS – and did I forget to also mention they are cat people too! 🙂 )