Surprise Visit from Joe and Elizabeth

Tuesday–Friday, May 15–18, 2012
Posted here April 15, 2022

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It had already been a busy day; our central air conditioning had just been fixed, and our Internet service was fixed for the second day in a row. Joe had previously contacted me about him and Elizabeth coming down for a visit, but he wanted this to be a surprise for Wendi.

In the middle of all of this, Joe texted me at 11:07 a.m. and said he would call me in a few minutes. They were getting their oil changed at the time; they also had the “check engine” light come on in their van, and they had fixed this by adding transmission fluid (because it was low). ~ He texted again at 1:54 p.m. saying they had dropped by Winona but were finally leaving there. ~ I checked on them at 5:42 p.m. (after Wendi was home), and Joe said they were stuck in rush hour traffic in Madison. ~ Wendi wanted to go out to dinner, and Chrissy suggested that Wendi and I make it a date. I texted Joe back to let him know, and he asked where we were headed (this was at 6:03).

Brilliant day! We had our central air fixed this morning, then our Internet and finally our phone this afternoon. More posting to follow...
~ Posted at 6:18 p.m.

We ended up at Denny’s. We ordered some fusion drinks and a sampler platter of appetizers, then the main course: Wendi ordered a Prime Rib Philly Melt, and I ordered a Bacon Slamburger. ~ As we were starting the main course, Wendi saw Elizabeth get out of the minivan outside. “Elizabeth! Elizabeth!” she exclaimed. I thought she was going to jump right out of her skin. A moment later, Joe emerged. “Joe! Joe!” Up she jumped, took her cane and met them with hugs just inside the entrance. ~ They ordered dinner and ate with us (we checked out at 7:39).

Joe had been scheduled off work from Sunday through Thursday, and this was a perfect opportunity to pay us a visit. He felt bad because Wendi had been ill and also depressed over the recent deaths.* They would stay with us until Friday morning.

(*My aunt Katie passed away on May 5, the day after Kim Meton’s visitation and funeral.)

After dinner, Joe and Elizabeth went to buy soda while Wendi and I went to McDonald’s to get her the Big Mac meal and chocolate milkshake she had requested (8:00).

An already great day finished with a flourish: after the brief rain shower (which was lovely) I took Wendi to dinner at Denny’s. As we were eating dinner, Joe and Elizabeth showed up at the restaurant and ate with us. They had come down from Minnesota to spend a few days with us. Wendi was so surprised, I thought she was going to jump right out of her skin!
~ Posted at 9:10 p.m.

Later this evening, we played Monopoly on the Wii; Joe and Elizabeth brought it with them. Wendi went bankrupt first, then Chrissy; finally Joe went out, and I won shortly after midnight.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mocha pancakes with syrup, pork sausage and Spam made an awesome breakfast. Weather is gorgeous. Joe and Elizabeth are here. What a fine day!
~ Posted at 12:38 p.m.

Church pictures taken for directory, 3:30-4:59 p.m. ~ Wendi and I ordered a package ($173, 4:24); Joe and Elizabeth did too. Chrissy got only the free one, which she said she would give to us.

Open Mic Night (6:30-8:30) afforded me a new adventure: playing my ukulele in public. Despite being a newbie, I tackled six songs in five keys with a variety of chords. I missed some chords here and there, but the vocals made up for it, and everyone loved the performance. My low notes were a bit fuzzy toward the end due to nerves, but I managed quite well and will probably try this again. ~ Performers included Ken Wagman; a new guy named Josh who played guitar and sang; myself; Jim Seekamp (who played some Xylem songs with Ken and the bongo player); and Jimmy Hodges. My set is listed below:

  1. Be Unto Your Name (1st time)
  2. Four Walls
  3. Loving 101
  4. Today
  5. Emerald Sunrise
  6. Try to Remember

Alex Jeffcoat called and talked to Joe this evening; Wendi had contacted him earlier today.

At home, Wendi, Elizabeth and I played Monopoly on the Wii again, this time using the space board, and the computer as a fourth player. Joe, Chrissy and Elizabeth were on their computers (Elizabeth was doing both). Again, I won; the computer was the last player to go bankrupt.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I tried unsuccessfully to nap at home (2-3 p.m.). ~ Alex Jeffcoat and Jeremy Lapham came over soon after that; they stayed until about 5 p.m. ~ Wendi had intended to bake a ham, but fearing it would take too long, she pulled out burgers, brats and hot dogs and had me fire up the grill. ~ In the middle of everything, Gary Bellrichard dropped in with some fresh homegrown asparagus and some star anise, which he said we could use to make a tea.

Dinner was served shortly after 4:30; everyone helped themselves to sandwiches and their choice of potato salad, cole slaw, and snack chips.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Joe and Elizabeth left here at 3:39 a.m. and arrived home at 8:19 a.m.