First off, it is so nice to know that I'm not the only person out there with latent antisocial tendencies! Both Anne and Janice said that they prefer hotel rooms after travelling and spending time with people; I thought I was the only person who, at the end of the day, really prefers to just be left alone. Therefore, assuming that funds come through for the hotel rooms for the dancers on Friday night, I will take the funder up on that, and drive everyone to a hotel nearby (this also means an average of one bathroom for four people, instead of one per six -- who can resent that?). I will call today to find out what we'd be on the hook for, price-wise.
This morning has been a morning of small and unexpected gifts. Usually on Monday mornings (and by usually, I mean in the past couple of weeks since the girls started school, so don't go thinking I'm all virtuous or anything), I meet a friend of mine to walk at 8:00. This is the time that she drops her kids off at school, and it means I have to get the girls to school a half an hour early, since their day doesn't start until 8:30. This isn't usually too big a deal, since it means more play time with their friends, but it does require a bit of an effort for all of us to get moving on a Monday morning.
So, this morning, we hustled ourselves, got lunches packed, convinced Kivrin that her stomach didn't really hurt (a long story for another time, and something that's fretting me), fed the pets, and loaded up the girls and the dog. We hit the road, and then hit a roadblock, in the form of the new railroad crossing that's going in. The bars were down, lights flashing, bells dinging, and a very tiny little maintenance train came by. The workmen with the stop signs walked away, leaving the bars down, the lights flashing, and the bells ringing inexplicably for five minutes during which nothing came by, at which point, equally inexplicably, everything stopped, and traffic was allowed to resume its normal flow. That was when I called my friend and left a message to tell her I'd be a few minutes late.
At three minutes before 8:00, my friend called me back to tell me that she wouldn't be walking this morning, since her daughter, who'd been sick all weekend, wasn't going to school. I understand about sick kids, and needing to cancel, but I would have wished she'd told me fifteen minutes earlier, when we were still at home, and I could have had a cup of coffee before leaving the house. Alas.
Of course, there I was, dog and all, so I headed for the nearest trail -- when in doubt, get the feet on dirt. It was a lovely morning. The sun was out, and the air was cool. By the time I'd gotten along a ways, I was in a better mood, and figuring that if I had to be ditched without coffee, at least I had my dog and could go for a walk. That was when I rounded a corner and saw a blue heron sitting in an oak tree next to the trail, bearded and dignified, surveying his world. I greeted him politely, and he in turn deigned not to fly away as we passed. In fact, he was still there when we came back. A small gift, and one which pretty much made my morning 100% better.
On top of that, Kia was feeling energetic and happy this morning as we walked. She'll be 13 years old this winter, and we've been walking together for 12 1/2 of those years. She's been my pace-setter all of that time; when she's jogging, her legs in merry contralateral motion, I know I'm going fast enough. When she slows down and starts to pace, the legs on each side moving together, I know it's time to pick it up. She goes off-leash, because she always comes to heel when someone goes by, and when we're alone, she jogs ahead, one ear up, and one ear down, jauntily trailblazing along. Even now, when she's stiffer than ever and slowing down, she's always up to go out with me, whatever the weather, wherever we go. As old as she is, each walk we have together is a gift, and I intend to enjoy every one.
Last but not least, I am actually (yes, this is me) sending not only the washcloths I promised Janice, but also (gasp!) the scarf that I knitted for my advisor when she retired this past spring, which has been sitting on Rick's desk waiting for me to send all this time (post office issues). (I also included a wee giftie for Janice in her package; I figure I should share the joy while I've got it.)