Yesterday morning I ran Rocky over to the fire station--he was volunteering at the fundraising lunch booth for the fire department's craft fair. Then I took Kii to get her temps, ran to the store for milk, and took cider and donuts to my sisters for a visit. Or, rather, we visited, and the cider and donuts were refreshments.
On the way home, my lovely neighbor behind me called and asked if he could come over and weed whack my side of the fence at the back of his property. I, of course, said yes. When he showed up, he said he wanted to mow back there, too, and he would just use my tractor. However, we discovered that the tire on the mower had popped its seal, most likely by me smooshing into it with the bumper of the car. So, my sweet neighbor started to remove the tire, but it was stuck. I had to run kids to music lessons, so I left him there in the garage with a two-by-four and a rubber mallet, and drove off.
It turns out that he took the tire home, which is about a half mile, as he has to go by the road. Then he finagled a new seal and blew the tire up with his compressor, brought it back, put it back on the tractor, and then proceeded to, ahem, "test it out" by mowing most of the acre of lawn. He then weed whacked while I finished mowing, including every tree, flower bed, and fence on the place. The yard looks gorgeous.
While I was at the music lessons, Kiki's violin teacher told me her instrument was too big for her, and that she needed a three-quarters size violin. I priced them and nearly fainted. However, the owner of the music store (which is where EG worked), gave me a deal on the rental, extending their advertised special out indefinitely for us.
Today Nita went with her friend and his family to a fall festival, and the older two and I went on the fall foliage tour here in the county, which had been a tradition with their dad and me for the past twenty years. It was hard, as I missed their dad today and felt lonely despite the kindnesses I had experienced, and to add to the bittersweet mood, we toured the County Home, where my mother had worked before she married my father. I had never been there until today. I was pensive as we walked to the door, focusing on keeping my feelings under control. Rocky poked me several times with his finger. "Mom," he said, and nodded toward an older man in a very small pair of curve-hugging flesh-toned shorts, reclined on his stomach on the lawn, apparently sunbathing.
I stopped dead and stared, not certain what I was seeing. "Waughk," I finally croaked out. Rocky, pleased with himself at getting this reaction, smirked and said, "Well, at least he isn't on his back." I shuddered. At that point, Kiki lost it and literally choked on her own laughter. Once we were safely back in the car, the two of them hooted with laughter at my reaction to Shorts Man.
Tonight I took the kids out to eat at a Chinese restaurant. The food was mediocre, but we all sat in the booth and talked comfortably with one another, and I felt less lonely. I realized that I really do like my children, and I think they like me, too.