He was on my mind while I made lunch, thinking about how much he could pack away in one sitting. I thought about him while straightening up, and placing some of his mail on his desk in his room. I thought about him as I refilled the bird feeder, and checked the suet basket, a gift from him last year. I had many different, fleeting thoughts about him throughout the course of the day. I chalked it up to missing him and wishing he was here. Two more weeks, and he'd be home until after New Years. That thought was comforting and smile-evoking.
On Friday evening, we were trying to figure out what we were going to do for dinner. Frank was here, as he usually is Friday through Sunday, and we were waiting for my younger boy's Dad to come pick him up for the weekend. We had a couple of rock Cornish hens defrosting in the fridge and we weren't sure if they'd be thawed enough for that night's meal, so we were considering our options. As events evolved, it turned out that Alex would be staying with us for a few hours so we had to reconnoiter. Our choices were limited, considering portion quantity, state of readiness (frozen or not) and cooking time. We decided to check online to see what we might order-in. That's when we heard the knock on the door.
I thought it could be Don, on time for Alex after all. Or someone trying to sell me something. Or a neighbour, looking to borrow a cup of something. Or friends from across the street with a somewhat later than usual typical Friday visit. I trudged downstairs to greet whomever it might be. Brightening up my doorway and my heart simultaneously, was my son Jeffrey, with a surprise visit home for the weekend. His Dad knew he was on his way. His brother did too. Only Frank and I were in the dark, but my day brightened considerably upon his arrival.
Dinner ended up being a bit of a free for all. Frank opted to stay home with a sub, and watch basketball while Jeffrey, Alex and I caught up at a nearby restaurant. After dinner, the boys drove to their Dad's together to spend the night. On Saturday, Frank and I dug deep into the chest freezer and found a few racks of beef ribs - one of Jeffrey's favourite meals, so of course it didn't take any arm-twisting to convince the boys to come by for dinner the next night.
The weekend has now come and gone. After stopping by for a satisfying lunch, Jeffrey headed home for his three hour drive back to Kingston. He hoped to keep ahead of the snow storm that they threatened will start late today and continue into tomorrow, and he was successful at that. I've already received his email letting me know that he arrived safely.
Right now, it's pouring rain, and as the wind howls I am wrapped in the warmth of this weekend. I'm grateful for Frank, for knowing what it means to me to have this cherished time with Jeffrey. And to Don for slyly hiding our son's planned visit from me so that I could be joyfully surprised. And I'm grateful for whatever time I get to spend with my boys - my men. Thanks for the wonderful weekend, guys!
Below are a few photos - some are recent and some go back a few weeks. I'll post some more in a few days.
This is the first freeze-over of my local pond. Though we've had above-freezing temperatures for over a week now, parts of it are still icy today. (please click to enlarge)
This is a repeat posting of an apple on the frozen surface of the pond. When Photowannabe saw it, she wondered how it might have looked in black and white, so I took it into Photoshop and de-saturated its colours. This one's for you, Photowannabe. (please click to enlarge)
***Spider shot warning! Next photo only.***
Walking through the snow one day, we happened to notice this spider making its way along to.. somewhere. It was a long way from its home. I hope it made it to shelter. (please click to enlarge)
Nothing remains of this snowfall from a couple of weeks ago. We've had warmer temperatures and plenty of rain since then. For now, we can continue with the illusion that winter has not really begun. (please click to enlarge)
Let's back up a few weeks and breath in the fresh autumn air for a minute. This bench and its shadow caught my eye, as so many things do in the late afternoon sunshine. Have a seat before we move on. (please click to enlarge)
Enough sitting. Let's get ourselves in gear, and move on. (please click to enlarge)
Before autumn's end, this maple tree had resisted turning red. Looking up at its branches, you can see the sun filtering through its leaves. (please click to enlarge)
A vibrant tangle of dead and dying, amber-coloured leaves. (please click to enlarge)
One day in early November, the temperatures were unseasonably warm. I walked up to a nearby lake and spent a couple of hours strolling, sitting and enjoying my surroundings. This seagull landed on a railing close to where I was relaxing on the dock, and kept a close, watchful eye. (please click to enlarge)
After a while, he let out this silent yawn. He must have grown bored with me. (please click to enlarge)
On the dock, a lone oak leaf lies discarded, its skin shining like gold in the warm sunshine. (please click to enlarge)
The sunset burns like fire through the branches of the cedars. (please click to enlarge)
This was taken at dusk as we were walking away from the cedar grove. I had the shutter speed set fairly slow, and was rather unsteady in handling the camera, so everything turned out blurry. Frank is holding a stick and the ghostly smudge on the right is Benny as he jumps non-stop in his attempts to acquire that stick. Classic Benny. (please click to enlarge)
More photos in a few days.