Today was the day, really the day. Olivia was going to get her stitches out. It was also the day William and she had been looking forward to – their cousins were arriving from Texas. It was going to be a great day. However, first we needed to finish the cleaning and moving we started Sunday.
Olivia woke and reminded me about our ‘date’ and we took off for the hospital to have her stitched removed. We checked in and it was a not a busy morning. The doctor checked in and the stitches were out. Olivia noted it took hardly any time at all. Even though the stitches were out, Olivia’s wound was not finished healing. She had to stay out of the water for another week.
Olivia pleaded, ‘What about tubing?”
The doctor replied, “No, swimming, what happens when you fall off?”
Olivia, retorted, “I won’t fall off.”
That is Olivia for you. We stopped at the bakery and got doughnuts and newspapers to ease the pain of no swimming.
When we got home, we busied ourselves with cleaning and getting the cottage ready. We needed to move from three rooms into one as well as tidy the living areas a bit. We have been up here for over a month and we have gotten comfortable with papers, books, and dog toys all over. We will be leaving soon and needed to collect our belongings anyway.
The Browns live in Texas, Houston, Texas; they are Sam and John the cousins, and their mother Aunt Jill. Sam and John have been coming to the cottage since before they were Olivia’s age. Jill, Beth, Grandpa and Grandma hatched the plans for the present cottage as the two played in the old log cabin seventeen years ago. Now Sam is out of college, Penn ’10, and John is in his senior year at the University of Texas. The two, born in Houston, have lived in Belgium and Michigan. Seventeen years ago, they lived in Birmingham, Michigan and were a short, relatively short, three-hour drive from the cottage. Now they live in Houston a plane ride and a drive from the cottage. Houston is the area where I grew up and my family still lives. I am the one who got away. Beth was staying the summer with Jill and Foster in Houston when we met in ’84. Jill is Beth’s older sister and very creative and driven. After Foster passed away suddenly in ’03, she worked hard to open her business and raise her kids. She is amazing and her store is amazing. If you are in Houston, you need to stop in and see her store, Brown.
To William and Olivia, Sam and John are larger than life characters. Older cousins do that. I am thankful that Sam and John take time to play and talk with their two younger cousins. William is all about the electronics and like a typical adolescent; he is awkward and loud struggling to fit in. Olivia does not care, too young to quite get it; she is full of energy and joined the boys in the game that filled many evenings at the cottage – baseball. Sam and John were crazy about baseball and would play in front of the cottage in days before iPods, cell phones, and other distractions. One pitched and the other batted with an oversized plastic bat. The pitcher tossed the plastic ball – ‘crack’ the ball flew far, sometimes short, and the batter ran to first trying to get all the way around before being put out. Innings lasted three outs and the game lasted as long as the two had the energy to continue, or like brothers until an argument stopped play. Thankfully, disputes never lasted long but baseball games do. Olivia jumped right in and the boys included her in their game. She played just like them with enthusiasm and a never give up attitude. William was late to join, but joined, playing the last inning or two.
The Browns arrived early evening, just as the day turned pretty. It had been a breezy day, too breezy to take out the boat out. William wanted to fish to and Olivia came along. Fishing at Howe’s Lake was not successful William lost a leader with a lure attached. I fed the fish and Olivia and I both tracked a turtle. The fish were safe for another day. We pulled in our hooks and came home, planning to fish the lake after dinner. The cousins arrived and William forgot: it was more fun playing with Sam and John. Beth and Jill visited and caught up. Grandma and Grandpa arrive tomorrow and I am sure it will be a busy day.
The sun set providing a beautiful sky. I remember Grandpa saying, “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in the morning, sailor’s warning.” I am not sure if it was from his time in the navy or just part of his knowledge base, either way we had a red sky and tomorrow would be a great day – a million and six times better than today.