Yesterday was quite a day for me! No, I didn't get any valentines per se, no old beau came forward to tell me how much he'd been missing me and wanting to get together again. Rats, huh? But it was a fun, exciting as well as amusing day.
Last evening, the whole family here, along with the oldest stepgranddaughter, the two middle stepgrandchildren and their grandmother all went to Pizza Hut to celebrate the next-to-the-oldest stepgrandchild's birthday. The oldest of these three kids -you may recall -decided back about October that she didn't want to compromise and abide by the house rules Mandy has and went to live with her mother. The two other children of my son-in-laws live with their maternal grandmother all the time.
We got there shortly before 7 p.m. and had to wait almost an hour for a table for all of us -along with several other families who were also waiting for a table too. During our wait, we learned that the staff was experiencing a lot of problems last night -from being very short-staffed (only two waitresses) plus they had run out of dough for one of the pizza types and that was backlogging the food output as well. We did finally get seated and had a very nice meal. One that was really interesting for Mandy and me in particular as we watched Kurtis showing off a bit that he could -and did -manage to manipulate a spoon and didn't throw any food at all at the table! Now, if only those skills would keep appearing at the dinner table at home too! Before the food we ordered arrived, Mandy got him a plate and put a serving of cottage cheese on it -one of his favorite items. Apparently he was much hungrier than we had thought because he downed that so fast it had us wondering if he had some sort of vaccuum operating there!
When it came time to leave, Maya was getting very restless -and a bit whiny too -so as Mandy waited to pay the bill, I took Maya to the car, got her fastened in her booster seat there and started the jeep up to get it warmed slightly before we headed home. While we were waiting, Maya wanted to know where Mommy was and I told her she had to pay the bill to which Maya then asked me, "Is Kurtis paying the bill too?" Um no, not quite yet, Maya -maybe many years from now he will do that.
But the big event for me yesterday was a great visit -albeit way too brief -from one of the best friends I have ever had and her son!
Back in the spring of 1973, my ex and I had been renting a small apartment in Philipsburg when we learned of a house for rent in the nearby little village of Lanse. We rented the place -lived there for about 18 months till the house we built next door to my Mom's home (here) was finished enough for us to move in there.
Shortly after we moved into the old house in Lanse though, a girl who had been in my high school graduation class and I reconnected. She and her husband were living about a quarter of a mile down the street from the house we were renting and we decided it would be fun to get together some evening -so her husband and mine could meet. The Saturday evening they came to our home didn't go exactly as we had planned as my ex was off running around someplace and didn't get home till around 10:30 p.m. I know now it was his ploy to try to avoid meeting any people I knew -something he later told me he regretted very much because he and my friend's husband ultimately became very, very good friends.
Anyway, from that meeting with Priscilla and her husband Ted, Frank and I established a relationship that was very close -for both of us until Frank and I separated for the last time (in August of 1979) and about a month later, Ted moved to the Tampa Bay area to take a new job. Priscilla, their two sons, Teddy and Michael, and Ted's mother Minnie, didn't move to Florida until June of 1980.
Over the years, I have kept in touch with Ted and Priss. They are also my son's Godparents and the summer Clate turned twelve, Ted had called and asked me if I would allow Clate to come spend three weeks with them at their home in Florida. They had come across and extraordinary deal on plane tickets and offered to pay his fare, plus they said since he was their Godchild and they didn't have the opportunity to spend much time with him, to do special things for him as they had wanted to do, they felt they could try to make up for that absence in Clate's life.
You know of course, I accepted their offer with nary a qualm! Although the day I put him on that plane and watched him take off -alone, knowing he had to change plans in Atlanta too -I was worried that he might get confused, get lost, abducted or the plane carrying my son might crash -all kinds of things going through my mind as you can imagine. But he made the transfer, arrived in Tampa and connected there with Michael, the younger son of Ted and Priss's with no difficulty whatsoever. And he spent a glorious three weeks there, being pampered big time by Ted's mother -Minnie -a sweetheart of a lady if ever there was one -as well as Ted and Priss showeringhim with all kinds of adventures as they took him from one theme park to another in Florida!
I have to drop back in time a bit here too and tell you how, when the day arrived that Priss, Minnie, Teddy and Michael were actually leaving here, I felt like the bottom was dropping out for me. Although I felt certain we would remain friends, keep in contact and all that, I knew I was watching someone leave and that it would be unlikely I would ever find another friend quite like here -one I could share so much with, adventures we had between 1973 and 1979-80 that had always been so much fun. Her boys and my older daughter Carrie were also very close -Teddy -a year older, Michael a year younger -and the three kids always got along so well together too. It was a difficult time for Carrie as well as for me to watch them drive off.
Their trips back to Pennsylvania were fairly infrequent -the last one being I think in 2001 (can't remember the year exactly but I know it was before Mandy had met and begun dating Bill) was a sad trip as it was to bring Ted's mother, Minnie, back home for burial.
And this past Friday, I knew -or figured they would be in the area because I read an obituary in the local newspaper for Priscilla's oldest sister, saw the viewing was to be Friday night, funeral services Saturday morning. Mandy and Bill had already made plans to go out Friday night with some other couples so that meant I couldn't get out to go to the viewing and Saturday morning, to go to the funeral was problematic as well.
However, Friday night I got an e-mail from Ted telling me that Priss and Ted Jr were up here for the funeral and that they were planning to stop by my house Saturday afternoon sometime for a visit. (He was unable to make the trip up here because he'd had a little accident last week and badly sprained a muscle in his back.)
So Saturday afternoon, I waited and sure enough, in pulls a car to our parking area and in it, Priscilla and son, Ted -aka Dexter! (Don't ask how that nickname came about as I don't know -apparently Teddy acquired it after they moved to Florida.
They couldn't stay long -as they had to leave to head down to York, PA where they were staying overnight but Priss said she just knew she had to stop and visit for a little while or I would be really put out if she didn't do that. You better believe that would have been soooo true too!
Although they were only able to stay for about an hour or so, we tried our level best to talk about things pertaining to both our lives over the almost 30 years since they've been Florida residents. It was just so great to have a chance to see her and Teddy once more. Totally, this visit made my day!
They have often asked me to come to Florida and stay with them -take a nice break, come down and it would be like old times except with much warmer weather and palm trees and swimming pools instead of pine trees and snow. (Snow, by the way, being something that was falling quite hard yesterday while they were here too, I might add! And which by last evening when we went to Pizza Hut had also made the roads really quite treacherous too!)
I never had the funds, nor the free time for that matter, to try to do a trip to Florida to visit them. I wonder at times if I ever will reach that point. Who knows, perhaps sometime when the kids are a bit older, a little easier to control, to travel with and such, maybe Mandy and I can take them and head south for such a visit. That would be fantastic for me and I'm quite sure it would be a visit Mandy would love too. She was so young when Ted and Priss moved away, she really has no memory of the fun times we had back then and she really doesn't know Ted and Priss very well either, for that matter. Although that's not something I would ever worry about because I know how Mandy would respond -immediately -to being around Ted and Priss, their sons and their families if we could ever pull such a visit off sometime.
One thing I know for sure, I ever we are able to make such a trip, this would certainly be part of our agenda while down there - Orlando vacations would absolutely be a necessity for us to take the children there, don't you agree?
Disney World, Universal Studios? What a blast it would be for us to have Priss go with us, maybe even Ted too -who knows -to go see at least those two sights together.
For Priss and me, it would be a super absolutely fantastic way to take a side trip from Tampa to central Florida and spend time together, forging a whole lot more adventures.
Maybe someday -I hope so anyway -we can make this happen. It will take some doing I know to pull it all together but how worthwhile the effort would be in the end. A chance for Mandy and the kids to see such great attractions -well, me too for that matter -but even more so, to be able to reconnect, to reminesce of all the fun times we shared those thirty some odd years ago too.
A trip like that, for me, would be like heaven on earth!