Father : The rent is not bad, $65 for a room with 2 double beds
Son: What are double beds?
Father: I guess Queeen but ….. actually they’re 9 minutes apart, driving. [referring to the distance between where the convention is held and the hotel]
Daughter 2: Are the double beds bunk beds? or trundle?
Son: I would think they would be normal.
Daughter 1: The beds are 9 minutes apart, driving. I wonder how long it would take to walk.
Mother: [spent about a few minutes laughing her guts out with tears streaming down her face]
So when June 30 finally came, we were already in Dallas. We set out on June 29, the day S turned 15. It was a well-spent weekend Alhamdulillah.
We ended up staying at Extended Stay because it has a kitchenette, so we were about 15 minutes away from the Convention Center. We set out on Friday, a 10 hour drive, and if you add getting lost despite a GPS, it’s about 11 hours of driving. We bought raw chicken to cook and some groceries from the halal store, and some briyani. Whenever we buy cooked food like Briyani or Somali food, we always only need to buy 3-4 even though there were 5 of us who are eating, because the portion of meat to rice is such that we could cook extra rice and the amount of meat they usually put suffices. As usual, of course, I brought along the rice cooker which can also steam and this time, cooking oil, garlic and onion, since we knew we were going to have a kitchenette. But the most amazing thing is, the raw chicken that we bought. It’s Crescent Halal Organic chicken and subhanallah it tastes SO good! People who have eaten the non zabiha chicken and then the zabiha chicken have commented that the zabiha chicken tastes so much better than the non zabiha, subhanallah, but imagine this, the organic zabiha chicken tastes MUCH better than the non organic zabiha chicken. What’s more is that Wal Mart carries it, but only the one in Dallas, so when we went back to LC, hubs asked one of the brothers here who is working at Wal Mart, to suggest them carrying it here. So far no news. I hope they do!
I cooked the chicken the next morning though, after Fajr, before the convention. We ate our lunch in the morning and only brought food for Z inhis tiffin carrier, along with chips for ourselves. We had some trouble finding the convention center, and even saw a van with plate from Maryland (yes, people cross states to attend this convention!) looking for it too. By the time we found it there was a long line of cars waiting to get into the parking garage. It was nice to see thawb-donning men walking around and a lot of hijabis.
Getting our paper bracelets was a muddle, but eventually we got them, and we sent Z to babysitting on the 3rd floor. At first he didn’t want to go but he didn’t really put up a strong resistance so alhamdulillah. In fact I think he had a good time, except for once where they called us during the convention and I rushed downstairs to see what was wrong. Well, he wanted to pee, but I didn’t figure that out immediately. They said he suddenly didn’t want to them when he was talking with them fine before. I walked around with him, got him to drink from the water cooler and asked him if he needed to go potty and he said no, but I insisted that he go. Turned out, he needed to go. After that, he ran back into the babysitting room without even looking back at me. All in all, I think he’s getting okay with babysitting now Alhamdulillah.
Nouman announced Bayyinah’s new projects and one of them is Bayyinah TV, which has been a boon for me! The kids now watch Arabic With Hosna on Bayyinah TV after fajr. I love the way it is taught, mashaAllah. The kids get it too. So Alhamdulillah. As we were walking around outside the hall we saw a bunch of Malaysian students and saw a Malaysian family. We got to talking and they invited us over to their house. About 2 cars of Malaysian students were also there. They had driven from Indiana, Tennesse to the convention mashaallah. All sisters.
So we had initially planned to go to the masjid that evening but we ended up spending time at the Malaysian family’s house till Isha. The next day we explored Dallas and looked for Sh YB’s masjid. We also ate at Chilli Pepper. Hubs had done his research on halal restaurants in Dallas before we went, and asked the kids where they want to eat. They chose Chilli Pepper, whereas I would have preferred the Thai food. But we went to Chilli Pepper as the kids don’t really get to eat halal burgers much here in the US. Which I think is a good thing health-wise. Alhamdulillah.
H had a blast eating his burger. N destroyed part of the property but resting her arm on the head of the seat and inadvertently sending a plank of wood clattering on the floor, much to the owner’s embarrassment, and ours too! But we got into a fit of laughter over it, so much so that S had to step out to laugh. Hubs and I went to the Indian grocery store a few offices away and we set out to find Sh YB’s masjid. I love Dalas. It’s greener than LC, and the community is active. Subhanallah, my heart is so inclined to move there. There are two Islamic schools up to high school there, and they have hifdh programs too of course. Though the Malaysian sister said the waiting it is pretty long for the hifdh.
For some reason I felt in my heart that we would move there. Hubs wasn’t so sure, due to his the nature of job and the job opportunities in Dallas. But he loves it too. Well, we’ll see I guess. As always, when we left Dallas, I felt a yearning for it. Alhamdulillah ‘alaa kulli 7aal. I’ve been reminded with several random reminders recently and one of them is:
Allah always leads us to where we need to be, not where we want to be.
Subhanallah. There is some purpose to us being here and until we fill that purpose we’re not budging from here I suppose. And there must be good from it. One that I can think of is the opportunities to travel to seek knowledge, seeing as LC is devoid of any ‘ilm-seeking activities. Were we in a city that has such things, we wouldn’t get as much opportunities to travel long distances to seek knowledge. After reading some biographies of past scholars, I realize what a blessing this is. Subhanallah, so Alhamdulillah. May Allah accept it from us. Ameen.