Saturday, November 07, 2009

Good Guests

My cuz and her huz (Elizabeth and Bob) are in town! They were coming over for dinner tonight. Tom went to the farmers' market. I decided to clean up the joint and to make a flourless chocolate birthday cake.

Some interesting things happened during cleaning.

When I was clearing out the refrigerator to make room for the farmers' market haul, I noticed a box of wine taking up a lot of space. It was practically empty! I decided it had to go, but I couldn't imagine pouring it down the sink. So I poured it into a large glass.

In a little while I thought, "Why has it taken me this long to figure out that drinking wine while cleaning house really helps? Why do they not teach you this in Home Ec. class? Even if it's right after breakfast, it really helps."

While swiffering the floor, I found a rock and an old receipt under the dining room table. Not a piece of gravel, not a pebble–a rock. Instead of getting upset, I just smiled and took a photo to document it.

A little later it occurred to me why finishing off a box of wine while cleaning might not be such a great idea. I had planned to do some work in the back yard so we could actually open up the blinds on the back wall. Instead, I noticed I was lying with my eyes closed on the couch with my feet propped up on a pile of pillows.

When it was time for the doorbell to ring, the phone rang instead. It was Elizabeth: "Help! We don't know where we are!"

They had decided to do some sightseeing on the way. A half hour earlier they had gotten off the bus at the east end of the park. They had then decided to amble the rest of the way through the park to our house. Tom figured out approximately where they were, so we jumped in the Nebulous and found them.

"Wow, I'm impressed that you thought you could walk 3 1/2 miles to our house in a half hour!"

They showed us the map from the hotel that they were using to navigate. We looked at it and died laughing. Everything west of Pacific Heights had been compressed down to zilch. At the top of the map it said in tiny letters: Compressed Area–4.5 miles. Those 4.5 miles appeared to be a half mile; they had seen no problem in walking what looked like a quarter mile across the park to our house. It was clear that the hotel considered everything west of Pacific Heights completely irrelevant.

Later Elizabeth and Bob were exclaiming over the fact that we had a back yard. They were trying to peek through the blinds. I assured them that there was no need to look outside. Elizabeth persevered, and said–this is the hallmark of a good guest–"Oh but it's charming. It looks rustic."