Holy smokes. What a week this has been. Re-entry from my trip doing charitable deeds was difficult. My first day back at work was spent wondering why these people were whining to me about their problems that seemed so insignificant. I forcibly had to remember my vow to come back a kinder, less judgemental individual. It worked in short spurts at first, but settled in after a while.
After work on Friday, I headed down to Iowa to see the family home for one last time before the new owners move in. I got to Decorah around 5:00 and spent about a half hour or so at the house. There frankly wasn't much to see. It was a house. On some levels it was very comforting that the memories of my parents aren't bound to the house or the things that once filled it. The memory of my folks, as it turns out are very, very portable and go with me every where I go. In that way I was relieved to see an empty house and not be crushed by it. I knew I was going to be back the next day with my sister, so didn't spend too much time.
After the house, I took off to Lansing, IA to my sister's cabin. On the way, I did my own brand of deer hunting- with the front of my car. Yes. I hit a deer. I was heading down the winding highway into the valley and caught sight of a fully adult deer in the left lane and hit my brakes pretty hard. Unfortunately, the deer panicked too and ran into my lane. I hit him/her on the back end on the passenger side of my car. I felt way worse for the deer than my car. Poor thing. I don't think the impact killed it immediately, which just pains me. Anyway, I was, of course, a little upset about the damage to my month old vehicle, but comforted by my super-preferred rates and a really low deductible.
After my dad's death, one of my sisters used a portion of her inheritance to buy an investment property that is nestled about a quarter mile into the woods near the Mississippi River. When I say cabin, I really mean fabulous 2000 sq ft, 4 bedroom, 2 bath home. A builder had built it in early 2007 and it had been just sitting there, going down, down, down in price until it was so ridiculously low she would have been a fool not to buy it. Let's just say that when she sells it in 5 years, if the housing market has gone up even a little, she will make a damn killing on this place and do far better than I will have done on my investments. Anyway, she is also a great person and I love to spend time with her. So the gorgeous surroundings are just icing on the cake.
On Saturday, my sister and I took off to spend the morning with our aunt. She is a lot of fun, too, so the morning just flew by. Later on my sisters two boys met us to go back down to Decorah to look at the house again.
After saying goodbye to the house again, we headed out to my friends Brenda and Marks place near Frankville, IA. Suzette was having her birthday today (Happy Birthday, Suzette! I can never remember if you're older or younger than me, so I'll choose to believe you are older. How's 43?) so she came over too. Brenda had a spread on of crackers, cheese, sweets and this frickin' killer olive dip that must have been laced with crack because we couldn't stop eating it. The only thing that restrained us was the embarrassment of lunging for the knife every few seconds. We laughed, cried a little and ate until we were stuffed, then had to head on our way. Before we left though we marveled at how darn handy and skilled Mark is at all things construction related. Brenda should seriously consider renting Mark out on weekends. She could make a mint. Mark might be a little tired, but Brenda would be RICH!
After a great night of sleep, I headed back to lovely Golden Valley, where my sweetness had done tons of yardwork and had on a pot of his mother's famous spaghetti sauce for dinner. I heart him.