Coming Home

On the way home, I picked up a few groceries that would get us through the next day. I made sure there were good non-perishables before I left but needed a few cold things to start the morning off right. The downside of going away was coming back. The next morning, I had small mountains of laundry sorted in the utility room and Snowball, our cat, was using one to nap on. Daisy was outside with Marie-Claire, who was filling her in on what her dolls did while Daisy was away. Junior had run down to Zettie Louise’s house as soon as we returned. She must have let him know telepathically that she wanted his help with some important matters, so he got up early enough to eat a quick breakfast and run out the back door.

Instead of sleeping in, Steve got up, grabbed his clubs and headed to the club for 18 holes of torture. He looked pretty happy when he left and he surely deserved this chance to play golf. With everyone out of the house, I could play the music I liked and work on the laundry without rushing. I opened the window over the sink to let in some cool air. I even stopped to pet the cat, who looked at me quizzically since I was sitting on the floor next to the laundry. The trip had given me permission to slow down, and not live up to everyone else’s expectations.

After a break for lunch with Daisy, she left again to go over to Chloe’s. The house was quiet again and I decided to practice my dessert for the Block Party. I cleaned the strawberries and made the custard, taking time to let it thicken. I sliced the bananas right before layering them and wrapped up the whole dessert to chill. I could unfold it later as a special dessert.

Steve came back looking hot and tired. A true golf warrior, he told me ¬†what he was going to work on when he played tomorrow. That man knows how to plan. After he showered, he made us cocktails and we stood in the utility room drinking and folding the laundry. The cat’s pile was finally loaded and Snowball walked away miffed. Chloe called and asked if Daisy could stay for dinner and overnight so I brought over her p.j.’s and stuffed friends. I was glad to see Chloe and she laughed when she saw how tanned I was. Chloe told me a proper French woman never got any sun. I pointed to her tanned arms and she laughed at herself. I told her that I would be over in the morning to talk and she could make me some fancy French coffee while we visited. We both grabbed each other’s arms and air-kissed each other on the cheeks. It had been a long time since we had done that but it signified how hard it was to be away from each other. In a year, Chloe and I had become good friends. I knew that I was happy to see her but my reaction even surprised me a little.

The following morning, I made breakfast for Steve and Junior and they both left for their jobs – Steve to golf and Junior to Zettie Louise’s. I cleaned up the dishes and walked across the yard to Chloe’s. The girls were sitting at the big wooden table under the chandalier in the dining room. Chloe had fully set the table with good china and silver. The girls wore large pastel hats with long strands of pearls over their nightgowns. There was a place set for me and I sat down to join their fancy breakfast. I apologized for not dressing appropriately and the girls giggled. Chloe came into the dining room with a large platter of breakfast foods. She placed the platter down and returned a moment later with a beautiful tray of sweets. What a feast! The girls politely waited to be served; I think Daisy was taking her instructions from Marie-Claire. Marie-claire has lovely manners. Chloe lifted her beautiful coffee pot and poured hot coffee into my cup and into her cup. For the girls, she took the creamer and filled half the cup before floating some coffee on top. So, this was how the French indoctrinated their youngsters. Chloe offered lumps of sugar to the girls and they both giggled as they daintily stirred. It was a beautiful breakfast filled with pleases and thank yous.

Life is funny. A couple of days ago, I was sipping coffee from a mug on the porch of the lakehouse. Yesterday, I was sitting on the laundry room floor drinking coffee with the cat as my companion. Today, I dined at the finest French cafe. I wonder what was going to happen tomorrow!

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