FRIDAY NIGHT: BABYSITTING
I haven't done this for decades. My high school journalism teacher (who I went to visit in October in Vancouver, Wash., with friend JT) and her family are in town for a wedding. Her grandsons (8 and 11) were not invited to the rehearsal dinner last night so she called to see if I could take them to a movie.
We went to see the Pink Panther, sat on the front row, ate popcorn and drank sodas. Then we walked around the mall, and listened to some Andean Indian flute musicians. I bought them pan flutes and we watched the fountain water show.
Then we watched the lady at Godiva Chocolates do chocolate-covered marshmallows and we bought a candy each.
Then they played on the computers at the Dell kiosk. And then they wanted to go home. They weren't hungry for anything in the food court (drats!).
Then we got back to their Holiday Inn, and they wanted to go to the fitness room, so we went down there and walked/ran on the treadmills and pedaled the bike and watched cartoons on the TV.
Then we went to the pool so they could splash around and toss a nerf ball with the other kids who were hanging out there.
Then we went back to the room and they got back in dry clothes.
Then they watched cartoons for a few minutes, and wanted to go back to the fitness room, so we repeated that.
Then we went back to the room and they snacked on stuff and we watched Ed, Edd and Eddie while I pulled my hair out.
Then the older one went in to take a shower. AHA! While he was doing that, I turned the TV to Roseanne. The little guy was thrilled because he never gets to watch it if big brother is around.
FINALLY the parents came home at midnight. I didn't mind them being that late at all, it was just that none of us had any idea how long the rehearsal dinner was going to be. (This all started at 5 p.m.) I was getting sleepy and hungry so I was glad to see them.
They were good kids. I think they had fun. I hope they remember that they had fun.
SATURDAY: DELIGHTING IN THE RAIN
It's been a glorious, wonderful rainy Saturday. This is our first really great rain in months and months. I celebrated by sleeping really late and listening the National Public Radio (Bits of "Car Talk"; a little bit of investing news, then "The Splendid Table.")
Being that it's a good, rainy day, I decided it must be celebrated out in the elements. So I pulled on my clothes (jeans and a cozy sweater) and topped it off with my leather jacket. I just spent a fortune on my car last week with major repairs and maintenance, the least being new windshield wipers and new tires. Time to test them out to make sure they work while wet!
There's a favorite coffee shop in Bethany called The Java Joint (It's on NW 38 and Donald for those in the Oklahoma City/Bethany area, just south of the Goodyear store on NW 39 Expressway). I don't get to go there very often but I love the place, especially if I am alone and can sit and just watch people. Don't worry, I usually pretend to be reading while I do this, trying to be fairly discreet. I don't just pull up a chair and stare.
Anyway, I splashed through the parking lot puddles to the entrance, walked in and ordered a huge blueberry muffin and a tall mocha with whipped cream. Then I found a little table, grabbed a paper and staked my claim. As I reached for the paper, another patron picked up a $10 and asked if it was mine. I immediately recognized it was, as I have a pretty odd way of folding my paper money when I stuff it in my pocket. I gasped and thanked him for noticing, because it surely would have been a painful loss for me considering how drained my accounts are these days. His random kindness and honesty kept me smiling through the morning.
I leisurely read through the paper, taking time to enjoy Billy Graham's column and Dear Abby, a couple of old favorites I hadn't read in a considerably long time. Out of the corner of my eye I noticed a guy at a nearby table with a laptop. He was joined, one at a time, by three other folks who gathered round to see what was on the screen. They were too old, really, to be typical college students at nearby Southern Nazarene University. Maybe faculty members? Maybe business partners starting up their own company? Oh I could make up stories but probably will never know the truth.
A staff person picked up my empty muffin plate as soon as I devoured the last bit. How kind, I thought, as I turned to the comics, another rare pleasure. When did Gasoline Alley take a violent turn?
Finally, a final swish of the mug so I could down the last bit of my mocha. Yummy! Time to think about where to go next. I looked out the window to make sure the rain hadn't stopped. I would have felt so cheated if this had been another teasing sprinkle, but no, it's still a slow, soaking, rich rain. I smiled again, thinking maybe this will give us a chance to keep some grass in our yards this spring.
The coffee shop was once a small house and still has some of that feeling to it, though it has been opened up. You can tell where certain rooms used to be, and the garage was converted into a large sunroom. The original garage door is still in place, but panels have been replaced with glass. On really nice days, I've been there when the doors were rolled up.
Today a group of Red Hat ladies were gathered in the garage room for some sort of party. What fun, with their purple dresses and fancy red hats and boas! I'm finally old enough to be a member, but I haven't found a chapter yet that has an opening. Maybe soon!
But back to my ponderings... what to do with the rest of the day...
AHA! I figured out where I wanted to go next. A yarn shop! I'm interested in finding some different types of yarn for more knitting projects, since there's such a generous selection these days. Sure there are tons more yarns than the Red Heart worsted I learned to knit on four decades ago.
I had found an online listing for a yarn shop near The Village, in Cassady Square. Splash, splash, splash through all the puddles between hither and yon. The windshield wipers are great! (Not that the old set got that much use, but they do get old, you know.) SPLASH! The new tires are so happy to show off what they can do. SPLASH! What a happy sound!
I found a parking place between the quilt shop and a needlepoint shop. Glancing around, I'm not seeing the kind of yarn for knitters, but there's a puppy in the needlepoint shop. Who can resist? I go in and love on the puppy, a Yorkie. A Yorkie in need of grooming, with very long hair standing straight out from its body because of static electricity. Puppy has been wallowing on its back on the sofas in the shop and looks like Frankenstein's hound. I love it. We cuddle and kiss while the owners are rolling with laughter at the hound's hairdo and my heart is melting, wanting a pupster of my own. Another customer comes in, so I let Madge visit her and I look around at the needlepoint canvases for a few minutes before slipping out.
The sidewalk is fairly well covered by canopies, so I stroll around looking for this alleged yarn shop. Oh, there it was, a place that was called The Linen Sisters. Alas, the store closed Feb. 28. It looks like they just walked away from it and left the stock, shelving and everything. What a pity, but I can tell by staring through the window that it probably didn't have the kind of stock I was really hoping to find.
That's OK. I do a little more window shopping, puddle stomping and browsing before deciding to drive on up to Edmond to the big Hobby Lobby.
SPLASH! SPLASH! the new tires are thrilled to be running along on the highway.
I pull into the shopping center to a large sign proclaiming SERENDIPITY! Indeed, this has been a day filled with serendipity. Oh, but they are talking about a shop, which used to be a crafter's mall. Today, I can resist because I'm on a yarn-seeking mission. Hobby Lobby is at the end of one of the wings of this shopping center.
One final SPLASH as I pull into a parking space just a few spaces away from the door.
I love Hobby Lobby, but this one is set up backwards from my usual haunt. It takes me a while to get my bearings (yeah, right, I was browsing. I admit it.)
WOW. When I finally find the yarn section, I discover a half-price sale on certain brands of yarn. How lucky am I? Serendipity, I tell you. I go into a trance, floating from one segment to another, synapses flashing as my eyes take in all the colors and textures. Somehow my hands have become tangled in the skeins feeling the fibers. Gaaahhhh. My mouth is watering from all the yarnalicious delights!
Is it any wonder? The colors have names like "bubble gum" and "cake frosting." Yum!
Oh look! There's a whole wall filled with mounds and mounds of Red Heart Yarn. Yes, the old standard, in all the old familiar colors. Basic, good old yarn. Inexpensive, durable and oh, so practical and utilitarian. Definitely not what I'm looking for today.
The fancy yarns are the ones on sale! What good fortune. I finally settle on Yarn Bee brand in a type called Frosting. The color is named Baltic Cream. It's kind of a periwinkle -- halfway between lavender and light blue. It's a beautiful color and the yarn has a little sparkle to it with the feel of a chenille. Normally it is $4 a skein, but at half price I can get five skeins for the $10 the guy returned to me at the coffee shop. Serendipity! This will be a future prayer shawl. It is as soft as the too-long hair on the electrified Yorkie.
I carry my purchase back out to the car, jumping in one more puddle out of pure joy.
Oh look! There's the Delta Cafe at the far end of the other leg of the shopping center. Guess where I'm having lunch!
I ordered the light portion of meat loaf, with mashed potatoes and fried okra. I can't even eat half of the meal before I'm too full to breathe. Oh yeah, I just had that huge muffin, didn't I? OK, I'll get a go-box and take this home. It'll save me a stop at the grocery store.
So now I'm home, telling you my story. I think this afternoon calls for a nap to top things off, then when I wake up I'll get some writing work out of the way.
Later, I'll see if I'm ready to finish that meat loaf or maybe test out the new yarn to see how it looks made up.
I hope you have enjoyed a splash or two of your own today. It's too good to waste it by staying inside!