We are winding down the last day. The clocks are about to be turned back, Peggy is trying to fit her stuff into the suitcase, and I'm in my office, trying not to think about a few hours from now when we start off to the airport.
We had a nice last day. We did some computer stuff in the morning. Funny, but we planned to spend most of her visit here on the computer, working together on doing new things, her showing me graphics tricks, our making CDs, etc. Ultimately we did almost none of that. Partly my problem, I suppose. I couldn't get off the machine long enough for her to really bond with it. But also because we were on the go so much we just didn't spend that much time playing at home.
I wanted to have one last walk, so we drove up to the University, parked the car, and took the footpath which winds along Putah Creek and through the arboretum. We've lived in Davis for 30 years and I've always thought I should get out and appreciate the beauty that is at my fingertips. Today was the first day I'd made that walk. It was indeed beautiful. It was grey and the wind was cold, but we bundled up. The leaves fell in front of us as we walked, and the ducks along the bank were fluffing up their feathers to stay warm while they napped. We walked as far as the duck pond, near Putah Creek Lodge, where I remember so many social events during the early years in Davis. We met hardly a soul on the footpath and it seemed we had the whole arboretum to ourselves.
By the time we returned to the car, it had started to rain. We took refuge in Borders Books and Peggy, who needed more "stuff" to fill her suitcase (like she needed a hole in her head), bought heavy books. Sigh. Only two of them, but two more than she needed. One, however, was a computer book she'd been looking for ever since she got here, so it was indeed fortuitous that she was able to find it on the last day.
We stopped for lunch at Pluto's Café, where you order salads by standing at a bin of "toppings" and letting them know what you'd like on your salad. Peggy went off in search of a table and I chose the salad toppings for each of us (hers were different from mine). I was thinking back on yesterday's journal entry and how I mentioned how nice it was to become so close that you know what the other person wants. I confidently stood there ordering Peggy's toppings, thinking how much I'd come to know about her in a short period of time.
It was pouring rain when we left the café and we drove to the supermarket to get stuff for dinner. When we were in Seattle, Peggy mentioned to Diane that if she knew she were going to die, her requested last meal would be roast leg of lamb, roast veggies, and for dessert apple pie with cream. So that seemed the logical thing to fix for dinner tonight. We bought lamb, apples, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, parsnips, butternut squash, and cream.
While Peggy packed (she had to pack 3 more boxes to mail home because the suitcase won't close), I cut up apples and got a pie ready. While the apple pie I made for Steve a couple of weeks ago was pretty good, this one was better, since I could add sugar to it (and yes, Steve, I did peel the apples. So there.) Peggy was supposed to do the veggies with the roast, but somehow in all the last minute things, that didn't happen, so I was on my own for that one. I peeled everything, cut the bigger veggies up into chunks, thought it was odd that they would roast cauliflower and broccoli with a roast, but those odd Aussies. I just threw it all in together.
Awhile later, Peggy asked me when I was going to start cooking the cauliflower and broccoli with cheese sauce. Gleep! I told her I'd put it in with the roast. She hasn't stopped giggling about that since. I managed to pull them out and steam them and add some cheese, but I'm afraid my faux pas was the highlight of the night. (On top of that, when steaming the cauliflower and broccoli, I managed to burn the water away!) I also found out too late that in Australia, they roast the veggies whole, not in chunks. Owell. Oh yeah–and I cleverly traced the outline of a map of Australia as a design on the top pie crust–and had it upside down.
But in spite of the goofs, dinner was very good and Peggy was pleased. We are all very full.
Since it had been raining, Peggy couldn't go out on the patio to sit one last time and smoke a cigarette, so she and I took a walk around the block. The stars were out and we just talked about how perfect her time here had been and how we hate to see it end. But I know she's going to be glad to get home to her "girls" (the dogs, Keno and Chippa) and back to normal again.
For me, there is a stack of dictation waiting, I have a review to write, Georgia wants me to take care of a situation on CompuServe, Breaking Barriers wants me to drive next week, we are going to Larry & Steve's for Halloween, I have a business lunch with my old boss coming up on Thursday, and the reality of "life" is going to descend all too quickly, I fear. It's been like a little six weeks of magic. For the most part, I just let everything go and concentrated on getting to know Peggy, enjoying our time together, and doing a lot of traveling. It's almost like it was my vacation as well as hers. But we both have a real life to get back to...
I'm leaving on a jet plane...don't know when I'll be back again....Oh babe, I hate to see you go....