Who's going to cook me dinner?
Tom just looked at me and smiled.
Are you going to cook up some casseroles, label them with the days of the week and freeze them for me?
I think he thought I was joking.
Well, sure...I was...a little bit...
He's off, away on his own for a few days, as of yesterday morning, visiting his parents, his brother, and his brother's family. If I could afford to take a few days off from work, I'd be with him. We haven't seen his parents since last Thanksgiving! How did this year slip by us so fast?
I stayed so busy yesterday, though, it didn't fully hit me he was gone until I came home from dinner out with friends to this empty house. And it wasn't just because I had to feed the dogs! (Normally, he has night duty.)
After rushing through my morning chores, I spent a few hours in a movie theater with 2/3 of my kids - a noon showing of the latest Harry Potter movie - munching popcorn and trying to remember the storyline of the book it's based upon. It's been years since I read it. I got totally hooked with the first book; Daniel won a drawing at his school's book fair and he picked it as his prize, based on the cover.
I read a chapter of it to these 2/3's every evening...and couldn't wait for the next one. By the second or third book in the series, my kids were too impatient...couldn't wait until evening for me to read...couldn't take just a chapter at a time. They took turns devouring the book in one, maybe two days.
I'm pretty sure that was the end of our nightly readings. Sigh. Dang you, Harry and J.K. Rowling.
But thank you, too, for that magical world, wonderful characters, and makes-me-so-jealous writing.
I'm not sure why we even go to see the movies. It doesn't matter how well made they are - they just can't and don't come close to the experience of reading the books, and we usually end up annoying all of the patrons around us with our whispered commentary.
Yes, I'll warn you next time we go so you don't have to listen to us.
After delivering the 2/3's back to campus (discussing the movie the whole way, and ultimately deciding we need to produce our own) I headed to the bank, the grocery store, home again...unloaded groceries, patted dogs, changed clothes, and jumped back in the car to meet friends for dinner at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse.
I let Tom take my camera with him to Florida...a tough decision, let me tell you. (I think it even surprised him! But I reasoned that he would be seeing his parents - I would be seeing autumn leaves, colorful weeds and wrestling dogs. It was really a no-brainer and I'm ashamed I even had to think about it.)
So, I couldn't take any photos last night of our group! But I can describe it to you...
Six of us sat outside at a rectangular table, enjoying steak, shrimp, elk, yummy rolls, sauteed mushrooms and more. I sat between Rod and Tamara, and across from us were Robert, Roy and Darla. (That's when I first really felt Tom's absence!) A nice breeze blew in from the lake...it bordered on being too cool without a jacket, but overhead heaters cycled on and off, keeping the chill away.
Above us the shy full moon hid behind gauzy clouds.
And if that wasn't enough for a beautiful evening, just a few feet away, Drew Womack sang to us - he's another one of those musician, singer-songwriters oozing with talent that has stepped over the edge of stardom once or twice, but not as far as I think he should go, and I don't understand why.
He has an amazing voice... click HERE to hear for yourself, and check out the video down below that I found of him singing at Steiner Ranch Steakhouse back in January. He's much better in person, of course, but it gives you idea of his talent.
Thank you, friends, for a wonderful Saturday night. It would have been a long, lonely evening here at the house without Tom...eating a sandwich, listening to CD's, typing away at the computer.
Um, by the way, what are y'all doing tonight?