Good and better

The best part of travel is coming home.  After a long flight to Amsterdam, a three hour wait at Schiphol that I filled with reviewing a report under a tight deadline, and another long flight I landed in my yellow-orange-red and green home state with Axel waiting at the gate. When I left it was still summer, now it is unmistakably fall.

We celebrated my homecoming with a dinner in one of my favorite restaurants in Gloucester (Alchemy). We were seated on a comfortable couch in a little alcove – with one glass of wine, nearly too comfortable, given that it was already past midnight in the places I had spent the last 5 weeks.

Back home I got to admire the new appliances that look very settled in – a new kitchen look I still need to get used to (I changed my mind about stainless steel but it is too late now). No more rattling death sounds from the old fridge and an over the stove exhaust fan (also stainless steel) to replace the greasy and rusty one that we bought nearly 20 years ago.

I texted Sita and Tessa about my safe return and got one text back from Indiana where Tessa and Steve are visiting Axel’s alma mater (IU) and taking nostalgia pictures when not visiting friends.

Sita is back from two trips to DC and told me our grandson is in the 100th percentile of height and the 90th percentile of weight. I am not sure what the universe of these percentiles is – I have a hard time imagining that 100 percent of the kids in that cohort are shorter. He is, according to his paternal grandmother, already at the weight his dad was at 1 year. Faro is not even 5 months.  I can’t wait to see him.

Axel has been busy, too busy, with estate management. Things got complicated when our electrical main, running through our new neighbor’s yard, was nearly clipped during excavation works for their new sun room’s foundation.  The engineer had neglected to put utility cables on the plan and, I am told, has now been fired. It could have been very messy.

As a result of the estate management complication he has neglected the garden a bit. It looks like a jungle, full of unpicked edibles. The beans were too shriveled up to eat so we will dry them and put them up. I harvested pints of tiny yellow tomatoes, a few sleek and bright purple Japanese eggplants, some cucumbers, some baseball-sized zucchini and Brussels sprouts. On the fruit front, our neighbor’s orchard is full of apples, many on the ground. He encouraged us to take as many as we want, which we did. I think today is going to be a cooking day.

At night we were among the first dinner customers of the new Foreign Market café/restaurant in town, finally opening for dinner. We were treated like long lost friends (I think Axel went there a few times while I was away) and enjoyed a lovely meal and great wine (South African), reconnecting with each other after this long absence. It is so good to be home!

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