Monday, July 16, 2007

Empty Casa de Jammies Syndrome


Everybody's gone now, and the house is still and quiet and empty.






Okay, it's as empty as a house with two large male dogs in it can be. That's still pretty empty when you consider that thirty hours ago there were six people here, all folks I adore for various reasons (even, sometimes, myself).

Mallie and Jay arrived safely just before one a.m. Thursday. There was hugging and squeeing and much standing on their parts, for they drove sixteen hours to get to JammiesFest! After the meeting of the hounds and some stretching, they gave me my very extravagant birthday pressies, unpacked, set up their bed and we all went to sleep. Thursday morning, I dropped Bigfoot off for his second tail surgery, and then returned to the house. After a lazy morning, we went to the West Point Market for lunch and shopping for goodies, then home. We also hit a local Target so Jay could purchase a wireless router for my house. Not only did I feel very spoiled, I was heartened by this clear evidence of their intention to return to Casa de Jammies. When we returned from shopping, there was a box for me from my secret swapper, Flip, from the Lush message board. She had sent three tubes of Yuk and a cervical collar to keep rotten boy from further self-mutilation. I just this second realized that I have an Emo dog. *grin*

At the appointed time, I went and retrieved my horrible hound, then dropped him off at the house. Jay and Mallie kindly dog-sat while I went to the bus station to get Rob. Dinner was fabulous cheeses & nibbles from WPM, tomato and green bean salad, and steakburgers Jay and Mallie bought and which he cooked on a hibachi grill also purchased for me as an extra birthday present by Mallie and Jay. The conversation afterwards was fun and far-ranging. We all went to bed on the early side, tired from travel, late nights, etc.

Friday morning was another slow and easy morning. Jay is the best bacon-cooker I know, and I am very glad that I had stocked up on thick-cut peppered bacon from Giant Eagle! My mother's banana bread and my lemon pound cake birthday cake also went over well. Jay discovered that the peppered bacon on pepper cream cheese spread on a black pepper and olive oil Triscuit is an amazing nibble. I was rude and took a nap, Rob discovered the seating area in the back yard was the perfect place for a pipe, some reading, and some critter-watching, and Jay & Mallie went back to the WPM. That evening, Imp arrived in her adorable little white Pri(ap)us. We plied her with alcohol and again talked and talked and talked. I don't remember whether it was Friday night or Saturday morning that I shrieked at Littlefoot and startled Imp. Whenever it was, she jumped and asked if I were mad at her. I said, "Not if you're not the one licking something you shouldn't be," which led to a discussion of what is and is not on the approved lick list.

Saturday was more bacon, lots of coffee, and an afternoon shopping. We went to the Buckeye Bookshop in Akron First and Main and The Learned Owl in Hudson. After the shopping, we headed home and changed for dinner at Mariachi Loco. I didn't need to change, but I wanted to put on my pretty turquoise dress, so I did. Mariachi Loco does a kick-ass chile con queso with white Mexican cheese, and we had that with chips, salsa and guacamole for appetizers. If we hadn't all wanted meat, we could have had just the appetizers, they were so good.

KellyGirl from the Lush message board joined us, along with her sweetie. Kelly and Rob made the same mistake, that of ordering "large" drinks. Kelly's margarita came in a stemmed fishbowl, and Rob's draft beer came in something which strongly resembled a glass gallon jug. Imp, doll that she is, treated everyone to dinner. The conversation was as wonderful as the food, and continued when we returned to Casa de Jammies. Kelly, who is a California girl, got her first look at oodles of fireflies in the back yard. She and her SO are going to have to come back when they can tour the library and visit a bit longer.

Sunday morning, I had a message from Dran to call him early and make sure he was awake. I left a message at 9:30, and he arrived about 10:30. He must have been travelling through a dead spot on I-71 when I called (not knowing my message would be ineffectual and that he was already on the road). We had another quiet day of good food and talk, and squooshed the heck out of Imp when it was time for her to leave.

I planted some gladiolus bulbs in the bed along the street this spring. They are white with maroon throats, most of them. One bulb, however, must have been sorted into the wrong bag, as it opened a rich deep burgundy red. When I saw it, I knew that it was Imp in flower form, and I cut it for her to take home. That red is the color of warmth and beauty and passion and joy, and that is Imp. The bloom was a lovely surprise gift, and that is also Imp. I was thinking that Mallie was the pink and white marbled glads, but after my watering tour this evening, I have decided that she is the beautiful flowing helichrysum, which falls from the planter in the same graceful waves as her hair and is the silvery color of her infectious giggle. Jay is the butterfly bush, strong and tall but gentle with the lovely creatures drawn to his beauty, while Rob is the ajuga, slightly dark and preferring some shadows mixed in with his sunshine, but with some small shy flowers peeking around the dark leaves. Dran could be nothing but a bright redhot poker, standing alone and distinctive.

Sunday night was the first and only time I cooked for my guests. We had Jammies' chicken chili and tomato/mozzarella/fresh basil salad. Dessert was the last of Mom's lemon pound cake, and the hotties in The Mummy. We also saw Blazing Saddles and The Incredibles. Dran left around 9:30 because he had to work today. Bummer. While we were watching movies, I had a glass of a wonderful concoction Jay made from Riesling, strawberries and fresh sweet woodruff, and would have had three or four more had I not been ready for bed. I slept soundly, as I had all weekend. In fact, for someone with more houseguests than she's ever had at one time, I was as relaxed and boneless as a spoiled cat all weekend long.

This morning, Mallie and I toured the yard for the second time. She took pictures of the things that would remind her most of me, and I took garden pictures for the sheer joy of it. There was a moment which reminded me both of my first visit to Snicker and of my essential clumsiness. Mallie had sat down by the front flower bed, and I joined her. When the time came to get up, she asked if I needed a hand, and I said, "No, if you'll hold my camera, I'll be fine." I managed to stand up okay, but when I went to take my camera back, I threw it right on her toe. So our last official moments of togetherness were of giggling and flowers (okay, okay, and quite a bit of pouting on my part--I wanted to keep her).

After Jay and Mallie had left for Clemson, I took my car in for the E-check and then over to the BMV for license plate renewal. Rob was gracious enough to forgive me a nap after lunch, and when I woke up, I packed a survival kit of cheese, chips, crackers and water, and then took him to the bus station.

As I sit here in my quiet house, I am a bit sad because everyone has left, but mostly I am grateful for the blessing of having friends willing to make the epic journey to NE Ohio and fill my house with love and laughter.

Thank you all.


Sherri said...

Really, you should be eskeered.

We know where you live now ;D

When I get to the new abode, I think I want to plant hollihocks. I saw them in Virginia years ago, and they impressed me. They also grow volunteer and on roadsides, which means they may survive living with me.

Pet the critters de fuzzie! and huge yourself for us.

Alessia Brio said...

*squooshie hugs*

rgraham666 said...

Big, big *HUGS*, Jammies.

I had such a good time.


Jammies said...

I miss all of you something fierce!

Pics by tomorrow, Friday at the latest.


Vella said...

I'm so very sad that we couldn't be there.
Like you said, next year.
miss you gorgeous

Jammies said...

Definitely next year, Vellissima, even if I have to send the Frogs of Hell to kidnap you!