Friday, March 03, 2006

Guest Blogger - Sadie Hardgrove

I met this great girl when I moved to Chengdu named Sadie Hardgrove when we moved to Chengdu. Her and her husband Rock (yes, his name is really Rock Hardgrove) moved here just two weeks after we arrived in Chengdu and we have been great friends ever since. Sadie spend quite a bit of time at our house which means she has the pleasure of hanging out with our kids tons! Gemma even decided she would call her Uncle Sadie! Sadie writes an weekly email to her friends back in the Pacific Northwest and below is her last email that was about Miss Gemma and her naughty antics last week. I am hoping I can talk her into starting her own blog!

Gemma Ran Away

It was a quiet afternoon in the sleepy little town of millions. I was sitting on my stool, knitting as Kim was preparing dinner for us (I spend the majority of my time at their house and as a result, Gemma thinks I live there), Xiao Yang was admiring what an amazing knitter I am as she was doing the last minute tidy-ups on her way out, and Gemma was in the dark corners of the laundry room planning her big escape. Actually, she just walked past every single one of us and left the room.

Gemma spent the entire afternoon in her coat and shoes just certain she would die if she didn't ride her bike and was upset that her four thousand requests to do so had failed. About twenty minutes later, Xiao Yang comes through the kitchen door in utter panic. "Gemma! No!" She says. Sure that Gemma was just hiding somewhere, Kim and I started looking for her, but we knew when there was no answer to the never failing 1...2...3 (three, of course being major trouble), that she had decided it was time to take matters into her own hands. Kim threw Angus at me and flew outside- I grabbed Angus' coat and went in the other direction as I made a phone call to our friends who lives on the other side of the complex- they put their shoes on and were heading out to look for her when I saw the little red coat being carried by her mom.

Gemma wasn't really able to explain to us why she left the house by herself other than she just wanted to run. And run, she did. All in all, it was a good thing she chose to wait until she got to China to run away. That kid sticks out like a sore thumb here. Finding a four year old, blue eyed, red head in China is like finding a neon sign on an empty wall.

That night I was filling Rock in on the events of the day and telling him how funny (in a not-so-funny sort of way) it was that she was so comfortable leaving the house by herself, and his comment about it is what makes Gemma so fascinating. He said "She probably wasn't alone".

Gemma has friends from all over the world who are of all ages and all have very different lives. She has an entire community of invisible friends. The very first one I heard about was Leeta. Gemma is her mommy and talks to her on the phone many, many times a day. Then there is Teeda. Both Leeta and Teeda are from Australia (pronounced Stray-ya). Zena and Kazzar are married and are from Scotland. Their twins, Seenza and Lunchin were born about a month ago, and are now almost six. They tend to move around Chengdu a lot, because they used to live four doors down from her house, but shortly after, moved in with Rock and I. I was informed last week that they had moved out. They're currently MIA because I have yet to get their forwarding address. Nina is also from Scotland. Litza and her parents, Loncha and Mop, are from Ireland, along with Dona and Zita. Mona is from Seattle, Bitsy is from Australia and Sheena Geena must be a new addition, because she's from China. My favorite part- they ALL clean houses.


Jill said...

I love it! Well, not the part about Gemma taking off. But Sadie's letter cracked me up. I sure miss little Gemma her nose pickin' and all. ha ha.

Maura said...

Hi Kim! Great letter from Sadie. Is she the one that used to coach my neighbor's kids soccer in Shanghi? She seems like she would be a ton of fun! I'm glad you have each other.
I'm sorry to hear about Gemma running away. Glad she didn't get too far. I bet it scared the crap out of you!
I can't believe Leeta and Teeda are still around. That is so funny!

Maura said...

P.S. I saw Bo Bice on American Idol the other night and I thought of you!

Creative Genius? said...

Hi Kim,

It's Alison Reilly - I tried emailing you but it didn't seem to work - so I figured a comment on a blog is the next best thing...

Anyway - I had a thought I'd like to share with you..... We just started a new online knit and crochet magazine (similar to Magknits, Knitty and Crochet Me). Our first issue is coming out at the beginning of April. I read your China blog and I was wondering if you'd like to write and article (or series of articles) about being a knitter in China?? Your experiences are so interesting that I think others (beyond your standard readers to your blog) would be interested in reading it too!!!

I can't pay yet but I think it would be a great addition to the magazine!!!

Let me know....

alreillygator AT yahoo DOT com

PS - You can find the magazine at