Saturday, March 13, 2010

Back to Our Own Niches Now

Gerald and Leslie drove 13 hours straight and reached Woodsong between 2 and 3 a.m. Friday morning. After sleeping in, they phoned me at Katherine’s house, and I met them in Marion for lunch. I switched into Leslie’s car after lunch, and Gerald drove the pickup I’d used all week to go back to the farm. Les and I did a couple of errands and ran back by Katherine’s so Les could see her and I could pick up the items I’d forgotten and left in the bathroom I’d used. We met Kate’s new aide, a college nursing student back from her spring break. David and Sam were home from Kentucky and so we got to see them too—also Sam’s buddy Tyler before we left.

Back at the farm later in the afternoon, we watched a couple of very old videos that Leslie was putting on a CD for us. I loved seeing those youthful images and didn’t want to leave to go upstairs to prepare supper. So I fixed a quick meal of salmon patties, instant mashed potatoes, and peas with fruit for dessert. I was still disoriented from being away all week, and I remembered something my sister Rosemary shared with me that her mother-in-law taught her. Mrs. Parks always kept canned salmon on hand, so she could fix a quick meal if someone showed up unexpectedly at their farm. You don’t have to thaw it. It is quick and easy and you don’t have to think very hard. Ha. Down through the years, I have followed that advice.

I enjoyed telling Leslie about the large house that her Uncle Phil grew up in over in the near-by Carrier Mills/Stone Fort area. The Parks had acquired an old-fashioned hospital building and moved it to their farm. I think it was ten rooms or so. Was there a fireplace in each room? I know there was one in the living room. While Phil was in basic training with the Air Force, I moved out of the dorm and into their apartment with Rosemary for three months when I was a freshman at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Rosemary liked going to the Parks for visits since they missed Phil too and she was comforted by that shared understanding. The first time I ever remember seeing a jet air trail in the sky was when we made the trip there one snowy winter day. We didn’t know what that “split” in the sky was. We watched it for miles, and I wondered if the earth were coming to an end. When we got to the Parks farm, somehow a road was blocked by snow or ice, and we parked at the bottom of a very steep hill and Rosie and I proceeded to climb that hill—going up two feet and back one often times. Of course, it didn’t help that we got the giggles.

Today Leslie was introduced to a Woodsong custom. Georgia softball team was playing Alabama a double header starting at noon. So lunch was served in Gerald’s office as we followed the game on game tracker. She had to leave after the first game and head back to Nashville. She arrived there hours ago and has already posted photographs of the Texas trip on Facebook.

We loved the first game of the double header because fourth-ranked Georgia won 3-0 against seventh-ranked Crimson Tide. This was the first conference game for both teams. (Georgia’s games with Florida were rained out on Wednesday.) The second game later in the afternoon was not so much fun. We were ahead, and then illegal pitches kept being called on Georgia’s pitcher. Because of that, two runs were given Alabama to tie up the game. The radio announcer could not refrain from commenting that 16 previous umpires had seen her pitch and never saw an illegal pitch, but this third base umpire saw it that way today much to the season-high crowd’s dismay and disgust. Then we tied the score in the bottom of that inning. In the next, we thought we’d gotten a third out on a bunt when the umpire called Alabama safe. That gave them the opportunity to get two more on base before Olivia Gibson hit a home run, and Alabama won 8-5.

Now tomorrow the two teams challenge each other for two out of three. Alabama has a 16-6 record now, and gave Georgia their second loss this season making their record 19-2.

Checking Facebook to see if Leslie had made it safely back to Nashville, I’d read that Ryoma and Gina Collia-Suzuki over in England were having pizza for supper. That threw a craving on me, so when Gerald said he was running into town to get a part to fix our broken sink sprayer, I suggested he pick up one for us. He and our son-in-law Brian arrived at Woodsong at the same time, and we teased Brian he had smelled the pizza. We enjoyed having him at the supper table, and he left to go up to their camper at the other farm.

Life is somewhat back to normal now after everyone has returned to their own niches in this universe.

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