Highlights of our morning...
We are all up early, except for LG who uncharacteristically is under the covers in KF's little bed. Lots of action this a.m. with all the packing up and sorting through, and me adding necessities to the pile of kitchen-related stuff. DM+MK have not yet visited their 6-week temporary home in West Chicago/Wheaton and while they've been assured it's fully furnished and stocked, no one is quite sure how that translates.
They are picking up their borrowed van this a.m., so CA is along for the ride and the return of our Subaru. DM packs up my BMW trunk with the overflow as I will be visiting RvH around lunch-time and she is only 15 or 20 minutes away from their new abode.
After everyone is on the road I head back to bed for a snooze... I set the stove clock for 45 minutes and do not really snooze, but it feels oh, so good to be snuggled back into my own bed.
My mind is working on overtime, so I decide to pack up my backseat with quilts and pillows and throws to take along to the missionary house--BK+GK and their two kids are arriving from Oklahoma to visit later today and who knows whether there will be enough to keep everyone warm and comfortable.
I stop at Trader Joe's, on the way to RvH's, to pick up some French press-ground coffee, flowers, and a few fun food items for DM's family. I also buy a rack of baby lamb, coffee, and some tamales for CA and me. Before I am too far down the road RvH calls and suggests we meet at Buona Beef for their perfect hamburgers--this requires a small detour, but is a great idea. We can dine for just about $10 having hamburgers, sharing fries, and appreciating the free senior beverages.
I am so happy to see RvH. We've both been traveling, and the week between our trips I came down with a cold, so we haven't seen each other in about a month. We capture a table in a sunny corner--RvH has had workmen in her house all morning installing two new windows and a gorgeous new French doors-type slider, so her house has been more than breezy all morning. She's cold.
We acknowledge that along with sharing fries, the next time we will also share the burger. She hates onions, but loves extra pickles. I can forgo the onions, and remove the pickles... Talk about cheap dates!
After our late lunch we drive to RvH's house for some computer time. She admires my Hawaii photos and I check out her error messages. I make a couple of adjustments and in the end call Compaq/Hewlett Packard to ask some software questions. They recommend she purchase the Microsoft products she has had on-trial, but I know she is a limited user and can exist easily without Word, Excel, or PowerPoint. I can always bail her out if someone sends her an attachment she is not equipped to open. And, she is becoming quite budget conscious in the reality days of her retirement.
Next time we're together we'll find some new drapes online for her living room windows and new door. She's hated her existing (cabbage roses) drapes for years. We'll give her room a more up-to-date urban vibe. She has lovely things and fun art, so it won't be tough to shine things up a bit.
By 4:00pm I'm on my way to DM+MK's place. RvH has sent along some Hello Kitty trinkets--something she does quite often. LG and KF are thrilled for more presents from Auntie Ruth. LG wants to give me the grand tour, but MK holds her off a bit. We unpack and evaluate what stays and what leaves. I arrange the roses as MK is busy finishing up the creamy chicken pasta soup for dinner tonight. The guests from Oklahoma are due to arrive within the hour.
The home they are staying in is used for missionaries and others in ministry who are temporarily in the Wheaton area. They have the entire lower level which does turn out to be fully equipped with tons of sleeping space. MK gives me a tour of the non-kid friendly upstairs which is absolutely stuffed with antiques. Quite lovely things. The upper level is almost a B&B, except no one pays to stay. Lovely, lovely things and it is obvious many foreign guests have contributed gifts from their cultures.
As I leave, LG asks if I have any more presents! Who can blame her? We have set the expectations. Both girls give me big hugs and kisses. It's sad to leave and we will miss them at our house, but they will visit soon and often and will move back in with us mid-December.
As I drive homeward I'm beat and the traffic is middling heavy. After a quick stop at Krystal Thai for chicken pad Thai, CA and I settle in for a evening of t.v.--in separate rooms. The quiet is lovely, and the entertainment mindless. Just what the doctor ordered.