A day visit to friends

Today Ted took the day off and we went to visit my childhood friend E and her family. What a day! We got a later start than intended, because we went by our car repair place to see if they could raise our rear passenger window, lowered yesterday by Hazel’s friend M, and impossible to raise thereafter. Turns out the motor is broken, and it’ll be $100+ to take the door apart and replace it. Ted installed a black plastic bag over the window by means of closing the door on it. This meant a noisy but less windy ride to our friends’ place.

Upon arrival, our family disgorged from the car and the younger members were immediately entranced by the John Deere tractor (like the one in the background of this picture) the two younger kids in their family were riding. I had an internal, “Eep!” moment as Hazel drove off with Emily sitting next to her, but Hazel proved to be a good driver, and the twins delighted in the experience. Joanna in particular wanted to ride again and again and again. When the battery finally gave up the ghost and the tractor was parked over by the outlet to charge, she kept hopefully going over to it and climbing up, nodding her head and smiling.

On our way home, Hazel said, “Next time we go there I want to do all the same things, because they were so fun!” And indeed, there was a trampoline, there was drawing with chalk on the trampoline, there was the kiddie pool, there was a zip line, there was the bunny, there were caterpillars, there was dinner outside on the bluff, there was the bluff with the incredible water and island views, there was the sprinkler, there was riding the zip line through the sprinkler, there were water fights. And there were our wonderful, generous, friendly friends. A whole day of time with friends is such a precious thing in our busy, scheduled lives.

Hazel was too scared to go on the zip line initially. I told her I understood, that it was scary. She said that she was scared but that she also wanted to do it. I told her I understood that too, and asked her if she remembered how the first time I saw the rope swing at the pool I was scared and didn’t do it (and I was already in the hot tub and didn’t want to get out), but that I decided to try it the next time, was scared the first swing out, but loved the second. A couple of minutes later she asked if I’d hold onto her while she tried it. I was happy to do that, and I ran back and forth with her, gradually holding less and less of her, and eventually only holding the rope attached to the seat. Soon she was shrieking with happiness, and got back on even after a fast bump into the bumper (that stops you from going too far) that bonked her head onto the handles.

We went partway down the bluff path that leads down to the beach, and found salmonberries and caterpillars. We ate the former and Hazel collected three of the latter to put in a jar and take home. One of their kids made holes in the lid, and leaves and twigs were added for a caterpillar habitat. Hopefully the caterpillars will do their thing, make a chrysalis and turn into moths. We shall see. Hazel is excited to have moth pets (however briefly they stay with us).

Next time maybe I’ll play duets with their oldest daughter who’s already a very accomplished violinist, and with their son, who’s quite good on the cello. And next time maybe Hazel will play piano for them.

It’s lovely to have next times to anticipate.

We got home an hour and a half past when the kids are usually asleep, in their beds. Since they were asleep in the car we carried them upstairs. I fed the cats, Ted put the veggies from our weekly box away, and soon we’ll be asleep too, nurtured by friendships, sunshine, views of the water, and happiness.

Oh, and before we left our friend R replaced our garbage bag-window cover with a piece of plexiglass, cut to fit, taped on with black duct tape, and the most fabulous temporary car window I’ve ever seen. It will definitely last us until we take the car in on Friday to get the window motor replaced. The car ride home was a lot quieter. 🙂

A most lovely day.


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