First of all, the weather was amazing. Saturday morning was a bit gray, but the sun came out and stuck around for the rest of the day and all day Sunday. Saturday morning, Doc and the girls went to my parents' place; he's painting their house. I stayed home to take care of the lawn.
What a blessing to have a full three hours to tend to the yard work. I mowed the front lawn in a horizontal pattern, then vertical; it had been too long since we mowed it the last time. I went to get the rake and weed-eater to finish the job, when my neighbor's son, Jonathan (10), came over to see what I was into. He offered to start mowing the back yard while I finished cleaning up the front. I gladly accepted his help, as our back yard is about 58 feet wide by 250 feet deep.
As I went around front to rake up the clippings, Jonathan's dad, Frank, came around the corner of the house looking like a Ghostbuster. He had his professional quality leaf blower strapped on and made a gesture to me, signalling that he would take care of the clippings. I could have kissed him, but restrained myself and nodded thanks to him instead.
We finished up the yard in record time and it looked beautiful. I had the time, thanks to the help I received, to clean up the fence, sweep the front of the shed, wash down the driveway, the deck and the garden stones. It looked quite professionally done, if you didn't look too closely.
I headed over to my parent's house to help paint. They were going to be keeping the girls overnight for us. Our friends, Matt and Kevin, were coming up from the country and we were in desparate need for grown-up company. Doc got a call saying they'd be coming about two hours earlier than planned. So we cleaned up our paint stuff and took off.
When we got home, we were so beat, we couldn't bring ourselves to clean the house. We hung out at the Tiki bar until the fellahs arrived. Seeing Matt and Kevin again was like a salve to our souls. They hadn't changed much, other than Matt had finally abandoned his mullet. We spent a good hour catching up. We sheepishly gave them the nickel tour of our house, which was bestrewn with Lincoln Logs and dolls and underwear. I started cleaning up a room ahead of the tour and then finally, gave up.
As we stood and talked at the bottom of the basement stairs about the plumbing and electrical, I found myself nearly giddy. Having them come see us is no small miracle. We have lived away from our country town for four years now, and this is the first time they've come our way to visit. There is something about folks from the valley, they don't like to leave home. Or, well, maybe it's just Matt who doesn't like to leave home. Kevin seemed pretty game to make the return trip.
From that moment on, I felt like I was not only a part of the conversation, but a witness to it. I was logging in my mind for future reminisences. From this day forward that little spot at the base of the basement stairs will be special.
We hung out on the patio for a little while, but Jonathan's machination's to get us to come to the Tiki were becoming hard to ignore. He had lain a path with flowers and stuck the "Tiki Lounge is Open" sign in the ground. He honked the horn, he ahemmed loudly, and finally he climbed high into a tree and started shaking the branches and making animal calls.
We made our way over there and had a nice time with Frank and Jonathan. Matt and Kevin brought brats and a grill to cook them on, along with firewood. We chatted as the sun set. I brought over some patio chairs, so I could sit someplace comfortable; I can only sit so long on the plank benches around the Tiki bar.
Eventually, after we had eaten the world's best brats and the sun had set, I found myself to be plumb tuckered out. I sat in my chair, longing for bed, but wanting to stay. It was only 10:30, afterall. But there is only so long my lights stay on, especially after a hard day's labor.
So, I said my goodnights and headed home. I went to the basement, where our spare bed is, turned on America's Next Top Model, and began to tidy up. I put away a bunch of toys and blankets, put fresh sheets on the bed and cleaned up the spilled cat food.
I went upstairs and picked up the Lincoln Logs, dolls, and undies and made the couch up as another bed. I found a box of linens in the hall closet that I didn't know was there. I was delighted to find my three zillion thread count sheets that were still packed therein. I got them out and made up our bed. I took a shower, got in my jammies, turned on some MASH, knitted for a while then went to bed.
It was a glorious day, followed by a glorious morning. It was such a restful weekend, yet I got a ton of stuff done. I look forward to making the trip to the country soon and I hope that Matt and Kevin become regular visitors. It's been far too long.