Safely home from my quick jaunt to North Carolina to visit my mom’s side of the family. It was a great trip! Drove up Monday and stopped along the way to have lunch with Ter, one of my bestest writing buddies. We sipped beers and caught up on the years since we’ve seen each other, sharing tales of writing and traveling and friends and life in general. Each time I leave a good friend after a quick visit, I’m always sad, wishing I could see them more often, but glad that we had the chance to spend a little time together.
Then it was on to NC, and my aunt Bobbie. She’s my mom’s twin, and the closest thing to a mother I’ve ever had. She’s 82, but sharper than I’ll ever be. We don’t do much, but it’s nice to just sit and visit, and listen to stories of her childhood, our family, and anything else she wants to talk about. She made the World’s Best Spaghetti Sauce for me, and I reveled in home cooking – well, in being home in general.
I zipped up to Chapel Hill on Tuesday to have dinner with a friend from high school, Pat, and his wife Kath. Seeing them is one of the best parts of my trips to NC – we eat delicious food (Pat is an amazing cook), drink good wine, and yak nonstop for a few hours until we feel caught up – or fall asleep in our plates. We talked about meeting in Key West one of these days, and you know I’m up for that! I drove home in torrential rain which wasn’t much fun, but it was a cheap way to wash the dead bugs off my car…
The nice thing about working at home is you can take your job with you. The bad thing is that wherever you go, you can take your job with you. And work on Wednesday was frustrating and irritating, and sent my blood pressure skyrocketing. So I took a break and visited my cousin Paula and her hubby Onnie. They’ve been married almost as long as I’ve been alive, and I just can’t imagine what that must feel like. They’re blessed to have a strong marriage, and I’m very envious. It was nice sitting and chatting with family – even though we don’t see each other very often, there’s just something about family that you can’t replace. It’s a comfort that I don’t find anywhere else.
That evening, I had dinner with my cousin Bettelou and her honey, Frank. I had pasta (I could eat pasta for every meal, if I wanted to be 1000 pounds) with prosciutto and citrus cream sauce, and a glass of Chianti, and was in heaven. I could get used to having real food for dinner, instead of cereal! After an afternoon of work FUBARs, the wine was imperative. You don’t have to work in an office to have work screw up your day.
ANYWAY, Thursday we just hung out around the house watching the Waltons and Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman. It beat Judge Joe Brown and Judge Judy, anyway! I didn’t run around town as much as I usually do; I felt it was important to stay with my aunt and do chores for her. I won’t get up there again until next year, so the time was precious. We had authentic NC barbecue for dinner, and watched baseball before crashing early.
I don’t do well sitting around doing nothing, though, and am not a TV watcher, so after three days I was ready to head home. It was a gorgeous day for a drive through beautiful country. The leaves are just starting to turn, the sky was crystal blue, the sun brilliant. But the thermometer on my car said 39 as I headed south, which was WAY too cold! Good thing I was heading back to Warm Country.
And before I knew it, I was home. It felt good to walk in my door and see my cozy condo waiting for me. I had time to unpack and throw in a load of laundry, open the mail, and head to Tim’s Wine Market for Friday Wine Down, where I play wine wench and pour wine for their weekly tasting. Then it was home to watch football and work. The exciting life of a single woman. I hate being alone on Fridays – for some reason, it feels like date night to me, and I always wish I was out instead of sitting home alone. One of these days I’ll find someone who wants to take me out on Fridays.
I’m here until Nov. 2, when I head south to Key West for the annual Parrothead convention, Meeting of the Minds. It’s going to be an amazing trip and I can’t wait! But until then, I’ll enjoy being home.
This weekend promises to be busy. Farmers market with a new friend, lunch with one of my volleyball girls (I was the team mom to the girls volleyball team at NIC in 2004) who I haven’t seen since, friends coming over for wine and munchies, watching Tim Tebow lead the Broncos against the Dolphins on Sunday, and then Flip Flop Sunday with Jimmy Parrish and the Ocean Waves Band. Oh, and work somewhere in there.
I hope your weekend is peaceful, constructive, and happy. Enjoy fall for me – and I’ll enjoy warm sunshine and sea breezes for you!