I thought we'd be gone all weekend, down in Xenia getting the last of our stuff out of the garage at the old house. However, J had other plans. I am glad we did it the way we did, after all. Friday night, we tried to go walk around Crocker Park with the eldest one. However, he quickly found his buddies and ditched us, so we were free to go home. I'd had some flank steak in a soy-wine marinade (see www.lunacooks.blogspot.com for recipe) since 3:30, so we had that for dinner with rice and salad. Then, Pie went back to playing Oblivion and we watched Children of Men, which both of us found horribly depressing. Boot was home only 4 minutes past curfew, a landmark for him! As soon as he was home, we went to bed in order to arise early and drive down to Xenia.
In the morning, we stopped for coffee then hit the road, happily munching Trader Joe's scones & chatting in the early morning light. We saw a lovely deer on our way down, one who was considering going out on the highway. With a great deal of horn persuasion, I was able to get it headed in the opposite direction, back into the woods. I hate to see deer killed on the road.
We hit Fairborn just a few minutes after 10 and picked up our 10' rental truck. J bravely drove it. We did a walk-through of the house, then loaded everything in the garage into the truck. I'll have to go back this week and get the dehumidifier for my grandies and bulletin board stuff for the old church, but other than that, we are finished with that place! I pray the deal goes through and closing is held as scheduled on Friday. With all inspections & appraisals out of the way, it should go smoothly. I will be beyond thrilled to get that house out of our lives, regardless of how much lower the selling price is than what we originally asked. It was a wonderful shelter while it was time for us to live there, but we need to pass it on and move forward with our lives. I felt no longing for the house as I walked through, no sadness at leaving it altogether. I have a lot of good memories from there, but I've said my farewell. I do look forward to someday having another wonderful house, with plenty of room for entertaining and books, but that one is not it any longer.
We arrived back home shortly after 4 and hung out with the boys. We had scrambled eggs with spinach and cheddar along with fry bread for dinner. In the evening, the boys hung out together and J napped in my lap while I watched Volver, which was a terrific film! I like Penelope Cruz anyway, but the film just had a great storyline and was wonderfully done. I can't wait for my mom to see it so we can talk about it.
Sunday morning, I led the adult Sunday school group in a discussion of the "dying well" chapter of the Bass book. I wanted to stay for the confirmation service, but I had one more worship service to attend for my paper that's due next week. I thought Friends Meeting would be a nice complement to the Assembly of God and Catholic services I'd already attended, so I Mapquested the directions and set out. It turned out that the route for a run was right where I needed to go. Luckily, with some detouring and the help of a policeman, I was able to get to meeting in plenty of time.
The Cleveland Friends Meeting is in a lovely old University Circle mansion. I was greeted warmly as soon as I entered. I chatted with a couple of Friends about the UCC, seminary, the death penalty and inter-faith organizations. I felt very much at home. Meeting for worship was held in a large parlor filled with folding chairs. I spent about a third of the time wrestling with monkey mind, a third breathing and smiling and listening to the sounds in the room and a third out of the room altogether, visiting with God. I found it very restful and think it might be a good supplement to UCC worship fo me. J would have been bored out of her skull. I did find myself wishing to be seated on the floor rather than in the chair, but the silence and stillness was very peaceful. I think it helped that I have been to Friends Meeting in Yellow Springs and St. Pete before, so the practice wasn't totally foreign to me. Having read some Buddhist literature helped, too. There was only one message spoken during the hour, a woman speaking of Julian of Norwich's "All shall be well" and how we need to experience sitting at the feet of Christ and being totally cared for every so often. Meeting is a good way to get "plugged in" as she put it. I really like the idea of regularly taking time to be still and listen to God (that word is so loaded), whether it is with Friends or during daily meditation time at home or sitting zazen in a sangha. UCC (and most) worship is so much doing, with very little room for just listening.
After meeting, I was urged to join the group for delicious lentil soup and conversation. I did that, but knew I needed to get home to be with the family, so did not stay for the business meeting I was invited to sit in on. I think that would be really interesting sometime, but yesterday was not the day. On the way home, I drove through the cultural gardens. I would like to take J and a picnic back there someday to walk around and see them all.
J and Boot had spent the morning at the mall and managed to get very lost on the way home, but they arrived shortly after I did. Boot helped us unload all the excess moving boxes and paper into the dumpster. Then, we all went down to the pool for lunch. Pie went in the water very briefly, but we mostly just hung out around and not in the pool. It is a chilly May. Maybe not so chilly for this area, but certainly chillier than I am used to. We grilled dogs and had lunch there, but did not stay for a very long time. Boot wanted us to go to Crocker Park with him, so we poked around his favorite stores there. I think it's funny and sweet that he's 14 and still wants us to hang out with him. He found a couple of hoodies he liked and J got me a bracelet made of worn wooden beads that reminds me of Buddhist prayer beads. When we got home about 20 after 5, Boot's dad was impatiently waiting for him. He forgets, apparently, that we officially have Boot until 6. So, when he arrives early and has to wait, he gets out of sorts. Pobrecito!
After they left, we took the truck over to our storage unit and unloaded it, just barely fitting everything in! I am so glad to have done with that. We ate dinner at Key West Grill, a never-to-be-repeated experience. Our waitress was simply horrible, the food mediocre (and J is sick from it today) and the whole experience just lacking in charm. Damn, I hate that. They are lucky I wasn't doing a review because it wouldn't have been good. At all.