Tuesday, September 18. I’d been in touch with almost everyone I wanted to see while I was in the area. I have DD and merm, then a host of nieces and nephews. I also wanted to touch base with my brother-in-law, the only remaining husband of the five sisters. His ex-son-in-law was someone I’d never met and I wanted to rectify that, as well. I thought I had the first of several puzzle pieces in place.
My great niece was leaving for England the next day so, if I wanted to visit with her, it would have to be soon. I kept private messages hopping on Facebook and we agreed to meet at my brother-in-law’s house in the late afternoon. Her father (the ex-son-in-law) would be with her and possibly her mother. I’d been in touch with my BIL’s caregiver and made sure she would be there, too.
The time came for DD and me to leave. She set the GPS (I’d definitely have to have one if I lived in Seattle) and we were off. Our meeting time had been postponed at least twice but we were on our way.
Rather than park in the driveway, DD parked on the street so there would be room for other cars. We were the first ones there. The caregiver met us at the door and escorted us to the living room where my BIL was as always, in his chair. When he saw me, he shaded his eyes from the glare of the lamp and said, “Tommie?” I shaded my eyes, too, and didn’t say anything. Again, he said, “Tommie?? Is that you?” Well, it must be! His caregiver hadn’t told him I was coming so it was a complete surprise. She was standing back, enjoying the view. I turned around and hugged her.
We had a rousing good talk, laughing over memories and missing my sister. He said, “I kept trying to remember who might look like you but you were the only one I could think of.” Then he wanted to know if anyone else would be coming besides DD and me. I mentioned my great niece (his granddaughter) and her father. Oh, they had been there a couple hours before! He wondered if my niece (his daughter) would be there so I called to find out. No, there had been so many last minute things to do that she wouldn’t be able to make it. Have DD text the address to the house and they’d stop by after we got there.
We stayed a bit longer, then went on back to wait. DD put her phone up on the shelf above her chair and, every now and then, it would signal a text. Finally, merm went on to bed since she had an early phone conference. We continued to wait.
It was 10:45 when they got there. It was my niece, her England-bound daughter and my niece’s significant other. We talked and laughed as much as we had in the previous visit and they left an hour later.
Wednesday, it was back to work for DD. That was fine because I was pretty much wiped out. I spent a lot of the day resting until my oldest niece got there and we did some more talking and laughing until she had to leave for the ferry to go home. She and her husband were leaving for England the day after I was to fly back to Tennessee so she had plenty to do.
Thursday, I called the Animal Hospital and what I heard was most disturbing. Twinkle was refusing to eat and they were syringe feeding her. She was hissing and screeching whenever anyone got near her cage. It threatened to ruin the evening. DD had made reservations at Sutra for the three of us. Everything was vegan and she made sure it was also gluten free.
Early on, I found out that merm has gone wheat-free. She said she had been off wheat and wheat products for three weeks, felt much better and could think much more clearly. Data analysis is a major part of her job and she was able to understand it more easily.
DD and I were driving from the house so we beat merm. The restaurant seats fewer than 30 people and all but a couple were there when merm walked in. She made quite an entrance and was a bit taken aback by the attention.
There was no ordering. Everyone was served the same courses. We elected to have the non-alcoholic pairing with each course. The food was all delicious and each plate was decorated with edible flowers.
Roasted Chantennay Carrot-Leek-Rosemary Soup with a Raspberry Vinegar Reduction served with a Salad of Mixed Baby Spicy Greens-Honey Crisp Apple-Cherokee Heirloom Tomato & a Flax-Pumpkin Seed Crisp with a Lemon-Truffle-Caper Dressing
Beluga Lentil-Miso-Urfa Biber Baked Zucchini with an Arame-Poha (Hawaiian Ground Cherry)-Salsa, a Fennel Seed-Grilled Mellow Star Chile-Hempcream Sauce and Purple Potato Crisps
White Chanterelle-Yellow Beet-Yuzu Coconut Curry with Saffron Heirloom Rice Sautéed Rainbow Chard and a Flavor King Plum-Cardamom Chutney and Toasted Sesame Seeds
Evergreen Huckleberry-Mirin Gelée and Raw Cacao-Lavender Fudge
The pairing for the first and second courses was Goji Berry-Tart Cherry-Thyme Sparkling Elixir.
When I checked about Twinkle on Friday, she was eating again but she was still hissing and screeching. The girl I talked to asked hopefully, “Will you be coming to get her?” I was a bit taken aback. “I’m in Seattle! I can’t pick her up until Tuesday!” “Oh.” They’d just have to put up with what I figured I’d face later. There was nothing I could do.
The week was almost over. I was beginning to think I’d never meet the man, the ex-son-in-law, who had been such a help to my brother-in-law and sister. Then there was a post on my wall. He had time before 1 on Sabbath. Did I want to get together? I’d wanted to go back to the church I’d attended when I was there on the previous visit but, yes. I gave him the address and told him to come over at 10.
I’d heard so much about him, I felt like I knew him and there was no lag in the conversation. He’s led a very interesting life. DD and merm fixed strawberries and cheese (both vegan and not) and I’d peeled and sliced two beautiful mangoes. We breakfasted on that and then went to see a piece of artwork the ex-SIL had made some 30 years ago. It’s life size and still hangs in one of the buildings at North Seattle Community College.
He had to leave by 1 to go to work and we spent the rest of the afternoon relaxing. And that was the end of that week.