It's been awhile, hasn't it? We've been very busy between work and a ton of other things. We sold a house. We sold some timber. We went to visit Dylan and Brittani in their new house. We took William with us. He's such a very good little traveler.
While we were there, we had a surprise. Cara drove in. She was celebrating an important job she's gotten, one that will permit her to get through her last year of grad school with no student loans. She also gets a new, furnished apartment.
There was another surprise. They had arranged for Bob and Dixie to come for supper. Bob and Dixie and I met in Michigan at least 25 years ago. They both wound up losing their IT jobs due to downsizing, and relocated to Eastern PA, and live about an hour from Dylan and Brittani. I love these people. I have not seen them since 2009, and there they were again. We laughed and talked and caught each other up on our lives. They met Brittani for the first time, and they met William for the first time, and in the middle of all the talking and laughing, I realized how far I've come and how many prayers have been answered between those days and now. I'm a very lucky woman.
We took William on a train ride, and Dylan got the most adorable picture of him (I couldn't find my camera. Turns out, someone ~ who has not yet been identified ~ thought I'd forget it, and put it in our suitcase, which was not where I'd left it, and so it was lost for a time). He enjoyed the train very much, and got a train whistle. I realized that only a grandma can cheerfully blow a whistle that is dripping with William slobber. It seems to sicken everyone else.
Today was a strange day. We went up to the old house to do some work. My job was to mow the lawn. The lawn mower stopped running. I went back to find out if we had more gas. "No, but it's got a full tank," Tim said, and strode around front where the deuced thing started right up for him. I resumed mowing as he headed back to the garage. After a few laps it stalled once more, but started. After a few more circle around the lawn, it stopped once again, but this time refused to start.
I headed back to complain to Tim about the lawnmower. I found him driving one of his project cars. I was a little confused because this was not the plan. We'd driven the truck up to get a load of valuable engine pieces and parts that he was storing at his latest garage. There was no load on the truck. Turns out that it would not start.
I looked out at the dead lawnmower. I looked at the truck, which has been a pretty reliable vehicle all these many years. Peculiar that they both refused to start. I've heard tales of this, but they almost always involve the Bermuda Triangle or UFOs.
Tim went to the lawnmower, which started right up for him. He mowed the entire rest of the yard. He made several extravagant shoulder shrugs as he passed by. I ignored him and pulled the morning glories off the rhododendren. Why is it that those vines will choke everything but the weeds?
The truck started too, and got us home.
I've spent a quiet afternoon cleaning the second floor.
I walked downtown to a monument that commemorates the fellow our little town was named for. I'm on the third draft of a piece that I'm writing for an historical presentation, telling his story from the perspective of his mother. I met a neighbor, and we talked for a few as I took notes for my project.
I ambled back towards home with my notebook, and stopped at a gift shop that features stained glass in the window. I found a couple things that would make nice Christmas presents for Dylan and Brittani's new house. (Not stained glass, which they assure me they both hate). I talked to the owner for a few, and we discussed some of the local artists featured. He showed me some clay tiles he just got in that I love. Even worse, I know exactly where it wants to be in my own house.
I went to the library and picked up Howard's End, which I always meant to see. I was surprised to see that they had McLeod's Daughters, several seasons. Bush Babe and Jeanie talked about it once, so I took Season 1 home with me. I traded the beautiful book I'd finished (Benediction, Kent Haruf) for Little Bee (Chris Cleave) and spent a few minutes there laughing with the librarians.
I headed for home with my notebook and my book and DVDs, and I saw a lady setting a table out in the front yard. I liked the little table very much, and, damn, wouldn't you know...I knew exactly where that table wanted to be in my house. I studied it a bit, but it argued very convincingly. I sighed, and said, "Are you setting up for a yard sale?" and she said, "No," as her husband said, "We've got too much stuff. If you see something you like, take it. Help yourself." Luckily it was only the table which wanted to be in my house. So I continued on, with my notebook, and my book and DVDs, and now a table, which was a bit of a struggle, but it was only two blocks.
I really do live in a very nice little town, something that I notice more when I'm on foot and not in a rush, and have time to chat with people.
I have spent the evening finishing the third draft for the history group meeting here tomorrow night. I rewarded myself by rearranging the living room for my new little table who looks quite happy to be where I thought it wanted to be. I began Little Bee and decided that it was too brutal for my tastes. I watched Howard's End, which was a wonderful movie.
And now it is time for bed.