Early this morning our dining room table was covered with a beautiful red and white Austrian flag—with autographs of Austrian Sharx softball players. This was created especially for Gerald and, of course, he loved it. Erin presented us with souvenirs from her summer abroad before leaving to pick up her Gma Shirley for the trip back to her parents’ home in Georgia. Gma Shirley’s surprise visit with Vickie and Gerry and Geri Ann was so much fun to anticipate.
We had Phyllis and Patti McKenzie, a hometown friend of mine and her daughter, arrive from Florida Friday night for Phyllis to attend her 60th high school reunion of the Anna-Jonesboro High School Class of 1950. (She was valedictorian of that class by the way.) I had hoped they’d arrive before I had to leave at 6 to attend a women’s gathering that I thought it important for me to attend. I had told the younger woman picking me up that if they came at the exact moment we were leaving that I’d need five minutes or so to welcome them. (They’d told me on the phone the day before that they would be too tired from travel to attend with me.) In case they came after we left, I had Gerald and Erin prepped to welcome them and had notes affixed on both doors telling them to go in and make themselves at home. Sandwich fixings and angel food cake were waiting.
Returning in the dark from the meeting at Tally Taylor’s home in Pittsburg at nine, Tracy and I came over the hill by our neighbor’s house, and there was a car slowed there seemingly looking for names on the mailbox. When Tracy asked if that could be my friends, I said surely not since they were due much earlier. But after passing them, we realized the license was from Missouri, which is what at rental car from the Saint Louis airport would have. We watched in our back window, but they stayed put as if wondering what to do. Tracy pulled into our lane and I got out in the middle of the country road and started wildly beckoning them to come on down the road and over the next hill to our lane. When they started driving towards us, I certainly hoped it was my friends.
It was. They’d arrived at the airport on time, but Phyllis’ very necessary walker had not. Although the airport wanted to deliver it the next day to our house, they knew that was not an option. So they made some necessary stops including one at Whole Foods to pick up special diet items that Phyllis is restricted to right now because of health issues. (We too enjoyed a delicious non-dairy dessert called Decadent last night and pumpkin pie for dessert for dinner today thanks to that stop.) Anyhow with all the delay, they had arrived after dark when strange rural roads are much harder to navigate and my directions they’d printed out were inconveniently in their back seat. So we arrived at just the opportune moment to welcome them to Woodsong.
We had a good visiting session both that night and the next morning before they left for Anna with time for visiting before the afternoon dinner catered at the new City Hall. They had already returned when I came home after running some Saturday errands and then having an afternoon visit with Katherine. Gerald had visited with us in the morning and then worked at the other farm cleaning up ditches there.
Phyllis was tired but pronounced her class reunion as “outstanding.” We had a bit of supper and were still at the table when Erin joined us after her visit with friends home from Nashville and Birmingham. They had attended the Southern Illinois University Carbondale Homecoming football game in our new stadium, and SIUC won in an overtime. By now we also knew that Georgia had won their football game and that Geri Ann’s Oconee High School had won the girls Region softball tourney. Erin was sad about Texas A&M losing, but otherwise it was a good day. Everyone was pretty wiped out, but we still visited some more.
While we attended church this morning, we left Phyllis and Patti to catch up on their rest. Patti had known her mother might want to visit her childhood farm home as we did ten years ago at her 50th class reunion, but tiredness prevailed. Instead we spent a lazy afternoon napping and talking and sometimes watching television with the sound off. We ate those delayed sandwich fixings for supper. We’ve heard through Facebook that Erin and Gma Shirley made it safely to Georgia, and that the family there were as happy at Shirley’s surprise visit as we knew they would be. We are going to bed feeling happy ourselves and ready for a new week.
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