We’ve been busy this past week.
It all started with last Saturday when we went up to the Cities. We stopped at Jody’s to drop off my rug loom. I had torn it apart, marking the pieces so that we can put them together again easily, then Norm and I put it in the van. Jody also got the chair that went with the loom. Norm and I had discussed this and I found that one stool I had worked better for “Harriet Dare” so the chair (which fit the rug loom better) went as well.
The studio is much more open now, and when I do more organizing, it will be even MORE open.
We then went to Joy’s and spent some time, then the whole family followed us to Old Country Buffet where we met Jill for her birthday dinner and spent over two hours visiting and catching up. Eric did not join us as he was fighting a cold, so stayed home.
Sunday morning we helped Joy get ready for the in-law Thanksgiving - where twenty-five were expected. Norm and I headed out to Jill’s to spend the day; I have gotten a new phone with a navigator in it so used that to drive right to Jill’s townhouse without any human directions! (How neat is that?)
We watched the Viking / Packer game while there - it’s strange to be with Eric and Jill during those games as we are used to Ken’s and Joy’s reactions; they are Vikings fans while J&E are Packer fans. I sit in the middle - I like both teams and cheer for either team.
Our weather was tricky last weekend. It started freezing rain while we were heading home to Joy’s on Saturday night; the freeze continued during the night (I nearly went head-over-teakettle while taking the dogs out during the night) so we borrowed Ken’s 4x4 Ford Ranger to go to Jill’s. But it dried off and warmed off for the trip home Sunday evening so there was no worry getting back to Joy’s.
Monday morning was relaxing; the girls did school work and I did some knitting and reading; Norm worked on a spoon he needs to finish; Joy did some house cleaning and computer work. Joy and Norm went to Papa Murphy’s to collect pizzas, then Joy drove me to the airport to collect sister-in-law Donna for her week here in the “Nort Country” ... she has never been north of Oklahoma.
Even though Donna and Charles had been married just three months, they had been friends, then a couple for several years. This was the first Thanksgiving without Charles so she asked to come up here to be taken care of rather than spend time taking care of her children. She “ran away” for a week.
I had a winter coat for Donna, as her “winter” coat would only work for our spring / fall seasons. However the weather was very mild on Monday so she didn’t have to wear the heavy one that day. After we picked her up, we drove to Joy’s for a late pizza lunch and then headed home, getting home in time for a late-ish supper, visiting and bed.
Tuesday, Candy came over to see Donna and we made pies! Donna has a recipe for pie crusts that calls for oil, not lard or crisco or butter. Also, she brought Oklahoma pecans for the pecan pies. I have never made one nor have had one for Thanksgiving or Christmas ... so she made two and I will have to make them again, they were such a hit!
Tuesday night I received a text message (I’m getting hooked on texting!) from Joy, saying they were on the way; they arrived about 12:30 that night. I was so received because the roads were supposed to be nasty the next day!
The plan on Wednesday was that Donna, Candy and I would go wandering around the area to show Donna places. And also spend some time with Candy at her house. I debated going over to Candy’s, but it was still dry underfoot when we left - although Ken stood in the window complaining “Where’s the rain? They SAID it would be here by 9:00!” At 9:30, while we were on the way to Candy’s, it started (only half an hour late, Ken!) and we had freezing rain on the way over. By the time we headed home (no wandering today!), the windshield was iced over and Wayne had to scrap it for us.
So instead of wandering, Wednesday was full of getting ready for Thanksgiving, playing cards and visiting and watching the freezing rain fall. Ashley has been asking me to teach her how to play the harp, so I got my beginning books out, explained how to play and let her go. It was pleasant to hear harp music while we worked in the house.
Thursday, of course, was the big “T” day. Candy, Wayne, Cookie and Binni had their turkey at their house while we seven had it here. Then Candy and gang came over for pie and cards; by late afternoon the frozen roads had cleared enough for safe travel.
Friday, then, was our wandering day. Donna has loved Laura Ingalls Wilder and the “Little House” books since childhood. We took her to Walnut Grove; the museum was closed, unfortunately, but the store was open. We wandered through the store - I found a box of “old” (1961 copy write) patterns for many of the crafts we all do and Donna got a fridge magnet. We then drove past the homestead site (road closed due to weather) and saw the monument that was put up close by. Then to Westbrook and also to a few lakes in the area so that she could see ice on the lakes.
After dropping Candy off, we came home; everyone started packing as they were heading home that night. Joy was going to take Donna to the airport on Saturday morning and they wanted to make sure that she got there in time.
Supper that night was leftover turkey and trimmings and pie. (Oh! Did we have a lot of pies?) While visiting for the last few hours, Bitty asked Donna what she learned in her educational trip up north.
Donna learned that: we put fences up to keep snow out (her first and foremost laugh and learning); snow does not always come down from the skies - it sometimes (mostly, here) comes sideways; you plan all events and trips by the weather and listen carefully to what is expected; you wear a hat - she never even HAS a stocking cap! Also, you dress in layers and LIVE in layers; most of the houses she saw (most of the older ones) are two or three (or four) stories high - there ARE one story houses but they are usually newer ones. Ice is DANGEROUS to walk and/ or drive on; she knew that, as Oklahoma sometimes has ice, but not for more than a few days - definitely NOT for a week or more. Let’s see what else? The entry ways have a million coats! Actually, we only have four or five coats, each, but when we add everyone else’s coats. And (as Joy mentioned), when they come down to snowmobile, there are four sets of snowsuits, coats, boots, hats, mittens and scarves. In Minnesota, as well as most Northern states, you need at least three different coats / jackets. Fall and Spring lightweight ones, Summer ones and Winter heavy ones. Also, Donna learned from stories, not from actual experiences, that the snow can go over the snow fences and can become crusty so that you can walk OVER fences if you want.
I think Donna was happy to get back to warm “normal” winters. We had loaned her a heavy winter jacket, a stocking cap and gloves. She rode in the car with a blanket on her legs, even though we have good heaters in the cars. She was comfortable, she said, in the house - we boosted up the heat a bit for her, but we still keep the rooms in the high sixties most of the day.
So, now Donna is home and we are quiet here. Having seven people in the house might seem crowded but it was not - but it did tend to get noisy sometimes, especially during card games. Having eleven people for pie and cards just added to the fun.
The weather stayed around the mid thirties, but Donna was shocked one morning to wake up to +2º. Sunday it was in the low forties but today the temperature has dropped below freezing, the rain has turned to snow. And, yes, it’s going sideways! But it’s a beautiful day, none the less. You have a beautiful day.