Then we all worked on dinner prep-- Kelley and I made a curious but highly nutritious salad out of Bok Choy greens, regular greens and green peppers, and we had a lovely meal together. We couldn't really decide whether it was bad luck or good luck to count money at the table, but we did it anyway, and we found out that we did make enough at the showing of the film to cover the cost of getting the movie plus a little bit more. all proceeds beyond the cost will be sent to ICAN, something that Rixa announced before the film. We didn't make very much to send to ICAN, but every bit counts--a really good turn out, for sure, especially in such a tiny town.
After dinner Kelley brought out her super cool and extensive jewelry making supplies, and invited us to make stuff with her instruction-- bracelets, necklaces, earrings, all with real clasps and tools to do them right. I ended up with 3 new pairs of gorgeous earrings, and they are now part of my "thing"-- really cute with short hair, I think! Rixa brought out her silk art kit, and we went craft-nutty. I made a Mama and Baby silk thing, which turned out quite nicely, except that the black paint parts got smudgey...but this was just so fun, so girly, so relaxing! I was disappointed in how tired I was, but I was tired and took Rixa up on her offer of taking an evening bath in her gigantic jacuzzi tub before retiring for the night. It was really fun, my mom has a tub like this in her house, super deep and bubbly! How do these people do anything but take baths???? I slept very soundly that night.
In the morning, I think my sneezing attack woke up Kelley, and it was getting to be sad and bittersweet, but I didn't want to cry. Was it already over? I wanted to see my family but I wanted this to be my new life, too--- going to functions and discussing things with intelligent people in a beautiful town, eating special bread and making jewelry...I vowed to take lot of this vibe home with me, and that positive decision is what kept the tears at bay as I packed, brushed my teeth in the gorgeous bathroom, walked up and down the stairs, loaded up my sweet racecar with all the flim flam I brought, ate more of the bread and mysterious french jam (what was that, Rixa? with the little tiny black berries in it?) and packed a sandwich for the road. We hung out that morning and we somehow got talking about how I was different than they expected, but how I spoke the "exact same way" that I wrote on my blog, and who had an "accent", me or them? It was really nice. I didn't leave until 10am, and I didn't cry until I called my husband from the first highway.
I was blabbering, bawling, stammering on and on about how nice it all was and how much I love all the ladies and what an amazing man he was to "let me do this", and how nice all of our friends were to support this trip in so many ways, and how sad I was for all the moms who couldn't find a midwife, sob, sob sob, I had better save my minutes on this phone, huh? and I hung up and DROVE.
The ride home was long. Long long long. My legs ached, my back ached, I stopped ALOT. I was tired of the CD's and people were driving like idiots. Alot of it was one and two lane highways and people were going about 60 in both lanes. Very dumb. I didn't get to use my cruise control hardly at all, the funnest part of driving the racecar, it turns out. At one point I almost freaked out when I realized just how far I still had to go, but I hung in there, and made it home in 6 1/2 hours. I parked in front of the house and surprised everyone by coming to the front door which we never use. The house was clean and they had raked TONS of leaves. The kids looked so cute and so kissable, it was just amazing to get to miss these guys! I always get to love them, but seldom get to miss them. All the fat little cheeks and blonde little heads got kisses and kisses and we had such a cuddle! Daddy made a fire in the fireplace and even brought out the whole queen mattress so we could have a fireside hangout. It was so perfect, the fire warmed my bones after cramping my six foot one frame into the smallish Caliber, I was tense and stiff.
We returned the car the next day at lunchtime, and I had a good giggle with another woman when she joked about "not wanting to give the car back" to the rental man, I chimed in with my own love for my rental car! We joked about gas pedals that accelerated, brake pedals that stopped on a dime, and, yes, boomin stereos. As I climbed into my crusty, trusty, loosey-goosey minivan, I wondered where that lady had gone this weekend, and if it was her first time away in her entire adult life. I doubted it, but I hoped that she had done something meaningful, something special, something even remotely as unforgettable as what I had done.