Scrubbed Beth in the tub and we hopped into the Volvo and headed to Reenie and Mike's house.
We picked up fries and a coke for Beth then traveled mostly the Interstate before going the country roads. The sun was out and I felt like we could have done a Thelma and Louise all day as it was so gorgeous.
Turning north we went by a small lake and saw blood smeared all over the road...just ahead I stopped at a hunting store to buy Beth some chocolate milk and there were tire tracks with blood all over the pavement and guys in orange everywhere...it's like the manly thing, though I hate to see a delicate and gracefully moving deer shot for the sport of it.
Ellen arrived on time and ran over one of their cats...glad I am always late! Luckily, the cat seemed to be on it's last legs and there were more around to take it's place. It's hard to know when a cat's nine lives are up!
We sat at their kitchen counter looking over Ellen's photos (she's a WONDERFUL photographer) and munched on chocolate chip cookies. Reenie ordered a BLT pizza and sent Mike out to first pick up daughter Jamie and their grandson from the farm house across the street.
Mike returned afterward with the pizza...Mike has had brain aneurysm and is retired from being an FBI agent. After several surgeries, he has lost some ability to remember things (haven't we all?) so sometimes he can get confused...he made it back this time just fine!
Beth enjoyed herself just picking at her clothes, which is part of the "tick" from her medication. We sat together at the dining table that had been owned by Reenie's parents. Ellen and I drank Exotic Berry premixed drinks and we talked about everything from school to retirement to carpet cleaners and how we hold things together with duct tape...Reenie hauled out her parents' vacuum that is taped together with duct tape...she hopes the kids will replace it for her one day.
We went for a tour of the farmhouse...all three of us live in old farmhouses that we have made over the best we can...Ellen and Reenie have both added new family rooms, but we haven't since our extra money has gone to the cottage. Reenie's new room was a soft green and so soothing, until you saw a modern abstract above the couch which was done by a sister in law with a difficult emotional life as inspiration. Being brutally honest, I told her it was the one thing that did not fit, so am now planning on a replacement painting for them...more later when it is done.
The baby slept in their bedroom which is painted a strong purple...reminds me of the passion that Reenie and Mike still have for each other. We talked about Christmas and their decorations. Jamie went home to gather leaves. The baby woke and we left.
In January we will host Reenie & Mike and Ellen & Ron for dinner at our house. I'm excited. We usually meet with just the gals once every other month and then with the guys the inbetween months. Their friendship is very important to me, because they were my roommates when I was 20 and life was young. I seem more drawn to people from those years now. We lost site of each other, Ellen, Reenie and me, for about 30 yrs. , and I don't want that to happen again.
Merry Christmas Ellen and Reenie, Mike and Ron...see you all in the New Year!
* Both Reenie and I were given signs like the one above by Ellen...I hope she bought one for herself as well...perfect!