The Self-employed Housewife: A Seaman's Wife's Story Ch 19
Moving into their own home
The removal van belonging to the storage company was waiting for them when they arrived in the Beetle. The previous owners had moved out the day before, so the house was empty, which was quite daunting.
“Mommy which bedroom is mine?” Sascia asked.
Gosh she hadn’t given that any thought, but she knew already that her parents wanted to book a flight to South Africa the moment they were permanently settled, so she had better keep a room aside for them.
Walking through an empty house reminded her of the time they moved into Palm Springs. Now they had more stuff. The boxes she had packed had already been brought into the living and dining room. There was hardly any hallway. She had to get used to the style of having the front door directly into the living room.
“For now you will both have to share a room. I’ll tell you why.”
“Which room have you in mind for them?” Jan asked.
“If we buy a bunk bed, this one.” She had chosen the smallest room, because her parents would have to sleep in a double bed. “I told you that my parents want to visit us the moment we are settled, so let’s start them sharing, and in the mean time I can use the spare room to work in.”
“Mommy what is a bunk bed, and are Opa and Oma coming?” Sascia was already dumping her rucksack with toys in what would become their room. They had never yet slept in separate bedrooms, so that would be no issue for them.
“I have a feeling that they will be here for Christmas.” Jan nodded and disappeared into the back garden. She explained to them what a bunk bed was, and that was very well received by them both.
“Can I sleep on the top, I’m older.”
“I’m a boy and boys sleep on top.” Jeroen replied. She now remembered that both Debby’s boys slept in a bunk bed.
“Let’s first buy the bed. For now the mattress on each side of the room will have to do.” They all went to the back garden after the removal van left.
Making new friends
Three weeks later the previous owners invited them for a braai at their new home in Lorraine. Jaap, a tall, hefty but attractive man who worked for a large brewery came from an Afrikaans speaking background and Sonja, a redhead who was a stay at home mom, had been brought up in an English speaking home. They were a bi-lingual couple and at the braai they met his parents in their huge back garden. Their new home was at least double the size and it had four bedrooms, two bathrooms and a TV room.
“I’ve started a yoga group at my home. Would you like to join us every Wednesday morning?” Jaap’s mom Cynthia asked in English when they were all sitting near the swimming pool.
She had never done anything like it but she had read up about Hatha yoga exercises and postures that mainly focus on physical and mental strength. Cynthia’s husband was a colonel in the South African army. He was more Afrikaans orientated and his wife more English. She was surprised that Cynthia, a lady in her late fifties would be interested in a Hindu philosophy, knowing that they were Christians and church goers. She marveled at the coincidence. The last book she had taken out from the library in Malvern, Durban was about a New Age topic.
“I’m very keen, but I have never done any of the exercises, is that okay?”
“Of course, and don’t worry I’m not an expert, I just love some of the philosophies behind the Yoga practices. We can have coffee or tea afterwards.”
“I told mom that you might be interested, especially after our discussion.” Sonja commented. That Cynthia and Sonja spoke English while Jaap and his father spoke Afrikaans seemed to be normal for them.
Two weeks later they were invited to a barbeque by a Dutch colleague of Jan at his new job now that they had settled in. They lived nearer town and had three older children. They were around twenty years older than Jan and her, and their youngest girl was thirteen. They were very nice.
The difference in having a husband come home each day was already an adjustment, but even more so when his new job gave him more free time off during the week. When there were no ore ships in the harbour Jan would drive to his office, do some paperwork and come home for lunch. In his free time Jan mostly worked in the back garden planting vegetables and fruit trees.
The neighbors on either side were friendly enough, but both husband and wife were working full time, so they never saw them.
Jan converted what used to be a servant’s quarters behind the garage on the property into a workplace for her leather work. While he was at work or in the garden she was working on several items in the hope of finding an outlet for them nearby. It was more difficult to sell from her home, because living in a street was not the same as in an enclosed complex like Palm Springs was.
Paranormal and occult topics
The day after she enrolled Sascia at the nearest primary school in Rowallan Park, and while Jeroen stayed with Jan at home, she explored their nearest library for interesting books. When she passed a second hand bookshop near the library, some urge made her walk in. She was looking for a book that Cynthia had suggested she read, so maybe they had a second hand copy.
“Can I help you?” a woman’s throaty voice asked.
“Yes, maybe.” she replied and wondered if she dared ask, knowing that some people would frown at a book classified as 'New Age' that she was looking for.
The woman lifted her eyebrow, waiting while smoking a cigarette. She was sitting down behind a table pouring tea from a teapot.
“Do you have any books by Lobsang Rampa?” She suspected that it held paranormal and occult themes.
“Oh yes, but only on our special bookshelf, you will not find that amongst that lot.” She made a sweep with her arm. Please sit down. Want a cuppa?”
She was so surprised at the change in the woman’s whole behavior. From a stern almost irritable individual she changed into a warm and forthcoming person who introducing herself as Pat. The name suited her, because she could very well be family of her friend Pat from Palm Springs. So she sat down opposite her accepting tea.
“What have you read so far?” Pat asked
“You mean on the paranormal and occult? Not all that much, but a friend suggested I should read the book with the title The Third Eye. Do you know of it?”
Pat leaned back and took out a small well-read pocket book from a bookshelf behind her.
“Here you are. Please when you have read it come back to me and we can discuss how you feel and think about what he wrote. I have many interesting books that I only share with like-minded people.”
Read any books by T Lobsang Rampa?
Her shift in perception
The moment she drove into their own driveway she realized that she had never signed up for a library card.
“Mommy where have you been?” Sascia and Jeroen both greeted her as if she had been away for hours. Actually, looking at the clock, it was later than she thought.
“Sorry guys, I wanted to sign up for library cards, but decided to wait until we could all go, so I did some shopping and met a new friend.” They never asked further so she kept her rather bizarre encounter to herself.
When the kids were in bed and Jan was reading them a story making lots of noise, which made the children laugh, she wanted to make a start on the book the third Eye, but thought that she had better do the dishes and have coffee ready for later.
Instead of doing some leather work she joined Jan in the lounge reading, and before she knew it she was completely engrossed in the story about a young boy growing up in Tibet. Jan never asked what she was reading; instead he got up and wanted to go to bed, but not on his own. She was so overwhelmed with feelings of awe, reading about reincarnation for the first time. It was as if a whole new reality had emerged that had always been there, but she had never been aware of.
She remembered instances in her childhood, and later in Australia, when she had moved out of her body while wide awake. The author wrote about these inexplicable experiences as if it was a normal daily occurrence.
“Are you coming?” His persistent urging her to stop reading irritated her.
“Yes, yes, just now.” She gruffly replied
What she really would have liked was to talk to Jan about what she had been reading, but the few times that she had mentioned that she was able to pick up on people’s thoughts, and had seen her own body from a distance, he had always shrugged it off saying it was only her imagination.
“Come woman. You know that married couples go to bed together!” Jan was still waiting for her.
“I told you that I would come. I want to finish the chapter I am reading, and if you are interested, I would like to share it with you.”
“All I want to share is your body, nothing else. Come!”
It was no use continuing, so she had better get up because getting him irritable with her was not worth it. She took the book with her and would finish The Third Eye while Jan was fast asleep after he got what he wanted ...
Followed by Chapter 20