This weekend I drove all over kingdom come for some really great conversation and laughter. It was like a mini vacation. (Too bad it was sans Dave, who is in West Virginia for a few days to help his grandma prepare to move into a retirement community.)
On Saturday morning, I hit the farmers' market for 8 quarts of strawberries and made jam. Then I drove to my mom's house, where Diane picked me up for a road trip to Peoria for my friend Katie's birthday. We'd never been down to see her house, so we figured it was time.
I was really excited because I was wearing a piece of jewelry I thought I'd lost: Dave's great-grandfather's Virginia Tech college pin, made into a necklace pendant by Dave's grandmother especially for me. We had stopped at a Taco Bell, and when I discovered it was missing, I knew it was in the parking lot. I had my sister call them, but I had given it up for lost. Just another way that the universe hates me this year. (More on this below.)
As it turns out, Katie's house has an amazing view of the Peoria river valley and a backyard perfect for toasting s'mores, drinking, and talking for 8 hours. Awesome.
As I said in my last post, I have just started to really feel like myself again, and it was fun to tell stories and laugh around the campfire. One of the biggest laughs of the night was this one kid who kept leaning back and falling out of his chair. I guess you'd have to have seen it, but the second time he fell out of that chair was maybe the hardest I've laughed all year.
We had a heart-stopping breakfast this morning (almost literally - it was the largest amount of Hollandaise sauce I'd ever seen gathered on one plate) and headed to Bloomington, where I gave Julie and Jamison a quilt & sewn fabric ball that my mom made for their little girl.
She seems to like it!
The cat likes it too:
On our way back to my mom's house, we stopped at the Taco Bell. If you believe it, the necklace was still there - Diane found it next to a car. I'm wearing it around my neck right now. I was so relieved and happy; worrying about the necklace was the only bad spot in an otherwise great weekend.
I spent some time with my mom this afternoon watching "The Office" and crocheting. Today is my parents' wedding anniversary, which is a difficult day for my mom. She gave me an envelope with an earring of his, one of his driver's licenses, and his high school class ring. It was a very bittersweet feeling; good because I was holding a little piece of him, and a piece of the story of his life. Bad for obvious reasons.
I feel I need to also state that he had to fight for this ring. One of his acquaintances apparently stole it from his room, and when Dad approached the kid the next day at school, he was so frightened by just the look on my dad's face that he told him he'd give the ring back right away. (So he didn't actually have to beat the kid to a pulp, but he would have done.)
1972, Tinley Park High School, Titans. Yellow gold, blue stone. It is comforting to wear it on my too-small fingers, but it also breaks my heart.
Anyway, I'm going to sign off and do some more crocheting. I think I got in a little over my head with projects in the queue this summer, so I need to dig myself from under this figurative pile of yarn. It was a great weekend and although I missed Dave, I had a great time and feel pretty relaxed.
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