Sunday, July 17th
The trip back was problem free and almost a direct flight, with an hour stop in Phoenix, Arizona.
Stephan and Karen were waiting for us in Indy at 3:30 pm. After everyone was dropped off at their own place, we went to ours, the old homestead that is, to see what it looked like.
I fed and played with the cat, grateful for the neighbor who came over every day in our absence, then walked back toward the 'house',...
...watched Mike water the heavy-laden tomato plants, and harvested some lettuce, basil and cilantro. Yum.
Reconstruction is still on hold. Also the big oak tree is still standing. A tree expert said it will not survive the damage, so we've hired someone to take it down and split the wood. The top part ought to be enough fire wood for a long winter or two. He is to leave an 8 foot stump for Stephan to carve. Someone suggested Smoky the Bear...NOT! Any better ideas?
Monday, July 18th
Busy post-vacation, settling-back-in-type day broken up by two happy encuentros:
1) Ivanhoes, where we joined Dane and Laurie to treat Libe, our new young friend from the Basque Country.
2) Monday Night Meal. It was great to get together with friends and family again. It was sushi night.
Look at that Cookies and Cream sundae!
We are so enjoying sharing this time with her and talking about our friends back in País Vasco.
Oh, and we also picked up a rental car for me. Now we have a month to replace my vehicle.
Tuesday, July 19th
Not one day goes by without some expression of care and love. On this day an artist neighbor came with beautiful hand-built ceramic gifts she made for each of us. We are humbled by so much kindness, and very grateful for the new closeness we feel with many.
We're having some trouble adjusting to the three hour time difference of the last two weeks. We tend to go to bed very late and have a hard time getting up early.
Wednesday, July 20th
We had arranged to have Libe and her American family over for dinner along with Dane and Laurie.
Following the Basque custom we set two plates, salad first...
...then, after removing those plates, the main course.
Remembering that the last two years we celebrated Amaia's birthday, we had planned to have a cake in her honor.
I thought of making a cupcake birthday cake. Only one problem, I realized at a late hour that we had not yet replaced the lost muffin pans. I had to call a neighbor. I baked three types of cupcakes and the girls arranged and decorated the 'birthday cake' with an A and B for Amaia's initials. We didn't have little candles, but found a big one for the middle.
Then we did the unthinkable, we phoned, woke the family up, and sang Zorionak zuri (the Happy Birthday in euskera) to Amaia. We first had the idea around 6 pm our time, when we realized it was already her birthday in Spain. Libe had assured us she would not be in bed yet at midnight, but we didn't get around to calling till much later. Big mistake. ¡Pobre Amaia y familia!
However, we very much enjoyed the evening, and the cake, at her expense.
We watched all the photos Laurie took when we traveled to Spain a year ago, a few hundred. Libe was fascinated to see familiar places and people, even class mates and friends, and her parents as well. I fear the other guests were somewhat bored. The four of us who made the trip truly enjoyed reliving those days.
Thursday, July 21st
I have gone back over our days in Las Vegas and posted more photos and stories this week and hope to continue next week. The memories double the pleasure. There is another motive as well--to get into a writing routine. Once I've met my goal for the day, I seem to be more efficient with all the other things that need to be done.
By evening the dining room table was covered with deodorized books from the ozone closet and sorted into piles. They have since found a place or destination, and other books are going through the process.
Friday, July 22nd
Mike was gone two days with the robotics team at the annual summer competition in Indianapolis, the IRI.
Saturday, July 23rd
The mulch delivered in the driveway will have to wait till next week to fill in where the weedkiller worked almost too well. However, the hot dry spell has left all the lawns looking very sad.
We thought it was hot in Las Vegas, but it has been not much better here, dangerously hot in fact.