John’s aim was to get grandson Nathaniel back to Long Island in plenty of time to go to school Monday. He dropped him off at 3 in the morning. I wondered if Nate went to bed for two more hours or if he stayed awake and unpacked.
John slept a few hours before having breakfast with his sister Barbara and Thom. By noon he picked up our friends Karen and Al and began the long trek back to North Carolina. About 2 am Tuesday the three of them tiptoed in our house and went to bed without waking me. Despite the short night, Karen was already up and dressed when I came out to walk. John quickly put himself together, and we three went to the creek. The new camera is learning the drill, that the first walk of a visit should be recorded beside the stream.
Our activity of the day was walking Main Street in Waynesville. The fellows sat on a bench in the sun while we ducked into a cooking store, looking for a French butter tub. Theirs were expensive. Al spotted a sign for a bookstore in the next street, one we had never noticed before. The shop was crammed with books, nooks, and chairs. Al bought an item or so. Going back to Main Street, we looked in windows until we were almost back to our car. The men again sat outside while we went in Mast General. That store is a favorite of mine, and it was an instant hit with Karen. The wooden floors creaked with every step. We passed the clothing area and went straight downstairs for the butter tub. There were two styles, both less expensive than those in the kitchen store. That was an easy sale. On the way home, we pushed Al to go into a cigar store.
When we lived on Long Island, we celebrated Christmas with Karen and Al several days after the 25th. They always kindly said they liked our left-over menu. The food was fresh, but the menu repeated. We had that meal for old time’s sake. Chicken and stuffing was the main dish, with beans and a frozen cranberry salad on the side. The finale was a flamed Christmas pudding with brandy butter. What a delight it was to talk with them all day long!