After nearly a year between visits, we finally made it to Hickory Hill this past weekend. Since J didn't have the kids for Mother's Day (it just didn't happen to be our weekend and, of course, her ex couldn't be gracious enough to make an exception), I thought it would be good to be out of town. So, we made plans to visit my mom and Graham for the weekend. My directed study prof was gracious enough to allow for a postponement of our meeting, so I was able to leave Dayton fairly early for Cleveland. When I got home, J was in the midst of wrapping madness. We never made it down there to celebrate Christmas, so we planned to do it over the weekend. J had gotten word from the North Pole that they were creating a special holiday just for our family. Since last year and this year we celebrated Christmas in May, it is called Maybration. They dropped off a letter, gifts, special North Polar tags and a collection of pastel bags and tissue paper. We got everything prepped to go and loaded the car. The back seat was a festive wash of spring colors as we drove south.
We arrived at my mom's about 9 or 9:30 in the evening, in the rain. My mom met us with the ATV and we loaded it. J walked back, dry under her poncho, while I rode on the back of the ATV. I haven't been able to convince J to ride it yet, so she had a lot of walking to do. My mom fed us Morningstar Farms garden burgers (which was delicious) and we chatted for awhile, then settled down in the addition to sleep. In the morning, my mom made omelets and Graham showed us scads of books...vintage cheesecake for her and medieval mysticism (and women) for me. We had such fun visiting. Lunch was spent in the garden with my mom & Bobo, the darling cat, eating hummus and watching caterpillars. Then, we played a game called Time with my mom on the screened porch. It has cards with different words and images on them. You lay down 2 and each player gets 7. Then, you all lay down cards next to one or the other card and explain how the cards are connected. It was really interesting to see how differently we all told stories.
We headed down to Lenore's around 5:30 for dinner and Maybration festivities. My mom and J made white lasagna, with Lenore supervising, while Graham showed me things on the computer. I think I may be trying to add some links and photos to my blog in the next few weeks, now that he's showed me how. Hilarity reigned in the kitchen and the lasagna tasted all the better for the laughter all around while it was being made. We watched some Irving Klaw shorts then got down to the gifts. We had so much fun watching them open their gifts! J had also gotten a bunch of plastic pails and filled them with all kinds of foods, from flax seed and whole wheat flour to Cap'n Crunch and Hostess cupcakes, as useful gifts. We also gave Lenore a box of Malley's Chocolates, made in Cleveland, and my mom a box of Godiva chocolate-covered pretzels for Mother's Day. I gave J a picnic basket with a bunch of monkey dishes inside, along with a windchime for our new front porch. She found a signed first edition of Charles de Lint's "Moonlight and Vines" for me-very exciting! We finished the visit with Lenore's brownies, then headed back up the hill, exhausted. We got back about 1:30 Sunday morning, ready to sleep in!
We did sleep in and spent the morning visiting, then I made asparagus sandwiches and mojitos for brunch. We spent the afternoon visiting, getting loaded up on fabulous books and playing Pictionary with great roars of laughter, especially when I was trying to convey "hot dog" and couldn't draw one to save my life. I drew a hot dog cart, hot dog links, ketchup and mustard bottles (very badly), a baseball player and a hot dog on a bun. Looking back, I should have drawn a dog, then panting or a fan blowing on it or something. A dachshund on a bun? I am certainly not the artist my cousins Leah and Aaron are. The time finally came to ride and hike out. I always hate leaving. We drove home, stopping by Shoney's for dinner and hot fudge cake, then got home late and fed the outdoor cat. J got home last night to find another cat outside. She brought it food, but it ignored the food and walked a few steps, meowing at her. She followed as it led her to the outdoor cat, JJ, whose paw was mangled as though it had been chewed. She left him food & water nearby & planned to take him to the vet this morning, but he was better and wouldn't let her catch him. I hope he'll be okay. There was a fox in the yard tonight, so J thinks JJ may have tangled with the fox last night. I am so glad our cats are strictly indoor cats!