Tuesday, June 13, 2006

More House Work

As soon as J arrived home from work Friday night, we loaded up the car and headed for my grandparents' house. Every single time we go that way, Boot pesters us for Popeye's chicken at the Goasis near Mansfield. Since there's also a Starbucks there, a great boon to sleepy drivers, he usually gets his way. This time, we decided to have dinner there. Pie had sausage pizza from the Pizza Hut, J got soft tacos & nachos from the Taco Bell, and Boot & I had chicken. Then, we hit the road again, arriving at my grands' around 11:30. The boys were exhausted & went right to bed. They never do sleep in the car much. I remember wonderful car naps from when I was a kid & miss that now that I am the primary driver. The only driver, usually, except that J drives herself to work. We had a brief visit with the grands & then went to bed ourselves.

In the morning, we sat in the breakfast nook, eating English muffins with havarti, watching the birds, and chatting with the grands. J says it's her favorite bed & breakfast. Then, we set out for Cincinnati to see the new twins in the family. J's nephew & his wife are brand-new parents to two tiny boys born June 6. We met J's parents & brother at the nursing home. J's brother ferried their mom, while their dad rode with us and told us nonstop tales of World War Two. When we pulled up to the hospital, the twins' mommy was standing in front, waiting to show us the way to the nursery. She's in much better shape than I expected. We got to look at the babies first through a window, then we got to take turns going in, after a hearty scrubbing. They are tiny and adorable. When J's sister-in-law asked if I'd like to hold the oldest (and biggest, at 4 pounds & 8 ounces), I hesitated because they are so very small. But, I did hold him as he slept. The smaller boy, 3 pounds & 11 oz, is the more lively of the two, with wide-open eyes and active little legs! The baby I held generally just sleeps sweetly unless he is eating or being changed. It was good to see everyone while we were there.

We had a late lunch at Bahama Breeeze on the way back to my grands' house. Boot was unhappy that we didn't go to a more "American" place & Pie wasn't hungry at all. But, we adults were very happy with our lunches of seafood pasta. We had a wonderful goat cheese appetizer, too. It was a zesty hot dip served in pepper halves with little toasts for dipping. Luckily, our dinner was a late one! Between meals, we had a wonderful visit with my grands. Dinner ended up being Chinese take-out, with my grandmom and I running into town to pick it up. We visited some more after dinner and then headed to bed.

We had gotten to bed late, so skipped Sunday school in the morning. Church was good, with lots of visiting before and after. Brendan's sermon on the nature of Trinity was interesting. Fairly metaphysical, but he managed to put it in words the average congregant could understand easily. He talked to me a bit about his struggle with that afterward...and also said, "And yes, the Gregory I mentioned in the children's sermon was Gregory of Nyssa." I had wondered. It's fun to be getting the education to really get his message more deeply. At coffee hour, we spent most of our time visiting with Beth & Matt, Brendan & Laura. Laura told us about her recent trip to New York to do research at Columbia for her book and Brendan wanted to hear about Cleveland. Beth & Matt invited the kids over to play with their kids, while we worked on the house, and the kids jumped at the chance. I'm glad they got to spend some time with their friends.

We, on the other hand, worked all afternoon, packing up all the rest of the things in the house. It was mostly books for storage and Christmas decorations. The window cleaning company had come (and had torn our porch screening from the edges! Grr!) as had the carpet cleaners. The house looked so much better than when I had left it. Now, if we can get the cleaning woman out there! She was supposed to go Sunday, but we were there until 6 & never saw her.

We did take a break from our packing to run up to Current Cuisine and grab some hummus and a pastrami sandwich to split. We picked up the kids then and they helped at the house for awhile. Beth & Matt have offered to loan us their van to ferry the rest of our belongings to Cleveland! They are so kind. They also plan to visit, which is wonderful!

Once we'd finished at the house, we went & had dinner with the grands. Chinese leftovers and more birdwatching. I love to be at their house. It's so green and alive outside! Pie was enthralled with the hummingbirds. At the end of dinner, just before we went to pack up our belongings, they told us that my granddad is going to be taking chemo again this week. They didn't tell me his leukemia was no longer in remission. Of course, they don't feel that the chemo will be a big deal & they didn't want to worry us. They haven't told their kids, either. He has taken this kind twice before, with remissions lasting 4 years and a year and a half. It has never made him sick or made his hair fall out. He will have it round the clock this week and will not be able to go out. This coming weekend, we will be down there again, to cheer him up and to celebrate Father's Day. J is looking forward to cooking for them. I hope the chemo doesn't make him sick this time, either. And I pray that it does the trick.

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