Our weekend started when we arrived into the house around 6pm-ish. Everything looked so quiet, and we saw no cars so we assumed we were the first ones to arrive. So we walked in after getting the keys from the hiding spot in the grill. Our first impression is that its an Old House, not terribly well maintained, decorated on the cheap with old furniture, bedcovers, beat up carpets, etc. House smelled musty. Frank started getting skeeved. My sense of adventure on the other hand was starting to have fun. What can I say, opposites attract.. but I digress… We explored all the rooms, got skeeved by some, and picked what looked like the brightest one. Good thing we brought our comforter & sheets and towel, though!! So we started unpacking. THEN we realize there’s a note on the kitchen counter – from Stacy & Eszti! The wimps had gone into town to have dinner.. ok, so maybe they were being adventurous too in their own way, but I think they didn’t want to be all alone in that big musty smelling old house! I have to admit it was a bit creepy.
So as we are finishing the unpacking process, they walk in. What fun to see them! I think they cheered Frank up too. We all agreed the house needed some new smells, so Eszti put the ham in the oven, I started cooking some onions for the base of my soup, and Frank and Stacy went to the ‘Milk Run’ to buy some supplies, including some eggs that I’d forgotten I needed for making cornbread.
By the time they came back the house was transformed. Its amazing how cooking aromas turn a house into a home! So I got the cornbread in the oven, & finished assembling the soup (you could call it a minestrone, I call it Dump Veggies & Pasta & Beans in Veggie Stock & Diced Tomatoes Soup). In the meantime the Iannacconnes arrived and Dom’s kitchen supplies took over the kitchen. Then Tete arrived. Then the Jarmusches arrived and *More* kitchen supplies took over the kitchen. I had a grand ol’ time trying to fit everything inside the fridge, under and over the counters, around the microwave cart, above the fridge, etc. Everyone then took over the house to home conversion process – the kids were in charge of making noise, Stacy was in charge of making little candle holders with the foil, some people had soup & cornbread, others had ham, etc.
THEN Eszti brought out a puzzle! O what fun! I think everyone took turns working on it. Between catching up, playing with kids, getting rooms setup, it was pretty late by the time we all got to bed. We chatted briefly about plans for Saturday, but no one came up with any definitive ideas.
Next morning we wake up and come down to discover we were the late sleepers… but we got to eat some fabulous pancakes courtesy of Chef James. With two usable showers (the 3rd one was the stuff of nightmares) we took a while getting all cleaned up. I mixed up the dough for the pie dough so it could sit in the fridge, and when I was cleaning up I suddenly I realize the girls are all talking about going out and I hear the words ‘shop’ and ‘Blue Pearl’ being mentioned, and then Stacy brightly says to me – “Wanna come? Bring your credit card!” So I sneak over to the bedroom to get $$, and off we all go – and I mean ALL the girls (big & small) !! We left all the boys on their own, and went to have a girls outing!! I hear the boys did quite a bit of bonding, there was some talk about elevators (?) and about communication (?) when we returned.
We had a blast! Karen drove us, Eszti, Mary and I were in the back pretending we were in an amusement park ride while we teased Karen about her driving. The Blue Pearl was a Very Fun shop – very quirky, with lots of fun stuff to look at. Lots of Expensive fun stuff to look at. After browsing to our hearts content we found a place to have some snacks, and to share some memorable lines… Tai Chi! Or was it Chai Tea? And my favorite – Touch my brownie! Then on the drive home we stop at the ‘Milk Run’ to get some ice cream & gasoline (yeah, great combo)… and someone asks Sarah & Samantha to ‘Get in their Sheets’.
Turns out Tete had been busy too – he had a bunch of ‘stories’ or life snippets of all types, and he wanted each one of us to pick one that ‘called’ to us.
When we walked in it smelled WONDERFUL – Dom had been working some roast magic in that kitchen! So I got to work on making a blueberry & an apple pie. Had some expert help from Mary then from Stacy. When Frank invited me to go for a walk, Stacy even took over kitchen duties for me! Whatta friend!
Dinner was Very Yummy –Dom’s roast, with roasted veggies, was Amazingly yummy!! I had made some dinner rolls & green beans to go with it, plus with all the great company it was just a Wonderful dinner. Felt like a holiday dinner, to be honest!
We were so full we had to postpone dessert until we’d digested a bit. But we had entertainment – Professor Tuzik took out the telescope and we were all able to gaze at the moon for a little while until she hid behind clouds and wouldn’t come out. So we had dessert. And digested. Then Tete decided to start Class. That’s how it felt for me anyway. We did some touchy feely stuff – then he had us pair up with someone else in the group and share 1) what we brought to the group 2) what we got out of the group 3) why we’d picked the stories we’d picked and 4) our expectations for the future. I paired up with Dom. So we shared.
Then we all got together in the room and we had to talk about what the other person had said. That’s when I kinda lost it – I’m not into all this touchy feely stuff and it felt like I was doing psychoanalysis on my relationships with the crew. Probably very HRO. I’d never have survived more than one weekend I’m sure. ‘cause I just Don’t Like to Microanalyze relationships. I’d just rather Live them. Plus it was 1am and I was tired. So I closed my eyes and attempted to doze (unsuccessfully) while everyone shared. Got to learn some nice things but overall everyone agreed that they love being part of ‘The Crew’ and that we all want to continue being together. No offense, but I could have told you that 3 hours ago, I was thinking… doing all those ‘exercises’ didn’t make me feel any closer to anyone. But others apparently seemed to have enjoyed it, so I’m glad I played along. Though I will admit I was tempted not to even pick a story in a fit of rebelliousness. And we all agreed we want to do another weekend together again next Fall. Probably in another less musty house.
Next morning we woke up and discovered that now we had Chef Mary making some excellent pancakes! (funny how that works!) Then Eszti arranged for some people to go horseback riding. I declined, opting to hang out in the house with Karen, Tete, Chris and the kids. A favorite memory is Tete playing with Emma. She was calling him ‘Papa’ and wouldn’t let go of him – she actually started crying when Tete gave her to Chris so he could go to the restroom!
To be continued tomorrow…