It was a far different trip than we planned for. I got up early Thursday morning and hit the road. I go on Thursdays so that Dylan and Brittani can go play Trivia at the local bar. It is something that they both enjoy but rarely get a chance to do. They were made it to the semifinals. (Question: What is Barbie's full name? Answer: Barbara Millicent Roberts. Now you know. They did not.)
Poor Iris had a bad cold when I got there. She was sick enough that she took afternoon naps. So we stuck close to home. By the time she was feeling better, Brittani was coming down with it. By Sunday, Dylan was sleeping on the couch with a fever.
Brittani was holding a feverish Iris the afternoon I arrived. She was lathered up with a chest rub and had a decongestant and she dozed off. Brittani picked up the remote and said, "Is there anything that you're interested in watching on Netflix?" I said, "Well, I just started Downton Abbey." Amazed she said, "So did I!" I said that I had just begun the second episode, but that Tim hated the program, so I didn't get a chance to watch it much. She said that Dylan hated it too. So that was our secret addiction. Each afternoon that Iris fell asleep, we turned on Downton Abbey. (Is there anyone who can look as affronted as Maggie Smith?) We're ready to start episode 7.
We were able to do some things between people succumbing left and right to Iris' virus. (I was sneezing my head off Friday night, but started taking zinc right away. So far, so good.)
We got Brittani's garden weeded. Iris was so tickled with her little fairy garden. I took glass pebbles to make a walkway, and we planted small flowers around the little house. We picked fairy bouquets and put them in the little vase, and we made a little pool for her. On a rainy day, I showed her how to make an umbrella for the bench so little fairy girl would not get wet. I think that little activity will keep her busy while her mom works in the garden. She's very imaginative.
Dylan made a seafood smorgasbord, and we had a pleasant evening, cracking crab and drinking a very nice wine to wash down the very spicy cajun shrimp. I never had mussels before, but the shells made a very nice addition to the fairy garden. Later we had a fire, and sat around the fire talking into the night and watching fireflies. Dylan commented that the best conversations happen around a fire. I think that he is right.
We went to the zoo. I saw a young girl with her family wearing a sweatshirt that said, "Virginity Rocks". I don't get that. If ever was something that caused someone to view a young girl in a sexual way, it seems like it would be a shirt like that. Her sex life (or not) is no one else's business. Maybe it's just me. I don't know. I'm often out of step with this world.
I gave Iris a bath the first night I was there, and when she was done, I rubbed her all over with some of my lavender shea butter lotion. She did love that. When her mother got her out of the bathtub the next night, she explained that she needed Ama's "special lotion". She got such obvious pleasure from the smell of it that I left the bottle with her when I left.
There were books to be read, and cuddles to be had. There were trips to the playground, dogs to be walked. We went out for ice cream. Iris does love ice cream, and when she's done, she drinks ice cream soup from the bottom of her bowl.
It's hard to say goodbye, but knowing that I'll be back in August makes things easier. We packed up my car, and Iris carried my hat for me. She waved from the side walk. Her goodbye was made easier by the fact that she was wearing a tutu and going to the park for story hour, followed by a trip to the library.
Driving towards home, the sky grew darker and darker. I love watching the distant lightning. It was moving east as I drove west, and it was inevitable that we would meet. We finally did on Boot Jack Hill. The rain pelted down hard enough that people were pulling to the side of the road. I contemplated doing that myself. My wipers were on high, and still were barely able to keep the windshield clear. Just as I made up my mind to stop, the rain eased back just enough to keep me keeping on.
Almost exactly five hours after I left, I was pulling in my own driveway.