I know, I didn't talk about the last meeting. Mom bailed to go to some Lenten activity at church. We met at the house of the neighbor across and a few houses over from my parents'. I hadn't been in it probably since high school, when I was babysitting the previous owners' kids.
Man, that family was really strange. I could never put my finger on it exactly, but there was something off about the mother. The first time she asked me to babysit, she wound up calling me close to an hour before the time she'd told me and demanded I get over there now. How else was she going to make her appointment? I think she flaked out and told me to come at the exact time of her appointment. Had she never arranged for babysitting before? Her kids were something like four and two years old at the time. Oh, the two-year-old. To this day I have not seen an uglier child. I know it's unkind to say that, but I really hope she outgrew that smushed Cabbage Patch Kid look. The other bizarre thing is that they got a puppy at the same time they were trying to sell their house. When we heard that during one of the showings, the poor puppy--tied out on the porch to be out of the way, I guess--hanged itself, we were all strangely unsurprised.
And secretly relieved for the puppy.
I'm sorry; where was I? Oh, right--the present neighbors' house. I moved out about ten years ago, but I'm at my parents' pretty often. . . you'd think the hostess's husband would've recognized me. Nope! That felt completely non-awkward and great for my self-esteem. He's not the most outgoing person, however.
We sat in the sitting area at the back of the house, an addition they'd put on along with an expansion of the kitchen. I think my parents and the house down the street that's being sold now that the original owner passed are the only two houses left in the neighborhood that have the original size (i.e. tiny) kitchen. It's a nice sitting area--I think it had ambient speakers or something--with a high ceiling and (IIRC) a skylight or two.
I think most people liked the book--maybe didn't like the Hallmark feel of it at times, but overall liked its readability and variety. We also had to clear up some confusion about the end of the book about who ended up with whom. I'm not sure why there was confusion about that, personally, because it was fairly simple and straightforward writing.
Of course, the talk about the book led to food talk. The person who became the May host and is now sort of stalking me, enhancing the hostage feel--more on that in another post) decided it would be nice to go around the room and talk about our own "essential ingredients." I wish I had the guile to just say something inane, but no, I never do. I had to talk about my food allergies. I'm such a weirdo. I hate talking about it, really.
We also wound up talking about co-ops and deliveries from local farms. The new-age sphynx-cat-breeder was trying to coordinate being a drop-off addition (the others in the area are not close by) but she had to recruit enough people to join in. Never heard much more about that afterwards. All that talk made me wistful; I remember getting those good local veggies and stuff from the high school where I worked last year as part of occupational training for special education students.
The only other two things I remember from that meeting: (1) There was an apple-scented candle burning that everyone liked. (2) the family cat, a sweet, fluffy little orange thing with a wee meow, came out--through the cat cut-out in the basement door!--after pretty much everyone left. She meowed back when I talked to her, as she sashayed on her tiny feet around the dining room.
I walked back to my car, which was parked in front of my parents' still-dark house, and drove home.
Next book: The Other Wes Moore by Wes Moore
(Edited to correct formatting)