Sunday, June 9, 2013

Not So Ordinary Sunday

View from the kitchen looking over the Sea of Marmara 

We are deep into the European side of Istanbul in a home that overlooks the beautiful Sea of Marmara. Turkish Family, Youngest Son and I arrive at 10:30am to spend the day with two other Turkish families. This is a Sunday gathering of school friends who have known each other ... well forever. There are seven children who quickly separate into two groups: the older four boys (ages 10 to 11) and the younger three kids.

The day is like many that happen all over the world when great friends gather. We ate too much amazing food, we talked, we laughed (allot), we took a walk and the children played all day. The conversation includes many topics such as family, schools, politics, jobs, vacations, recipes, religion, etc. And ever present is the easy banter and playful teasing that only friends of many years can achieve.

These Turkish adults succeed at weaving English throughout the conversations so I feel included. But I am also okay just listening to the rhythms of the Turkish language and the frequent bursts of contagious laughter. Youngest Son fits right in playing soccer, shooting Nerf guns, swimming and even creating Coke/Mento Rockets! American/Turkish Friend plays translator for Turkish boys and Youngest Son when needed. As local custom dictates, Youngest Son and I naturally slip our shoes on and off as we move between the inside and outside.

The house is normal sized but the setting is lovely. The modest sized yard has these items planted: peach tree, olive tree, apricot tree, apple tree, pomegranate tree, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, mint, sage and a mulberry bush. The host describes to me in detail how she cured her own three month supply of fresh olives!

There is no sense of urgency or need to be at the next obligation and genuine hospitality rules the day. We stay until 6:30pm. Today may look like a normal gathering of friends but for me it is an extraordinary day. I loved today.

Just part of our breakfast!

Our host cooked for two days - Turkish food is so wonderful ...

Youngest Son obviously quite relaxed eating his Tiramasu

Youngest Son and another guest picking and eating black mulberries. Imagine purple ALL over their faces and hands!

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