Goats are so perverse. I explained to the girls when I went into the barn that company was coming and I needed full cooperation. Yeah, and how's that workin' for ya? I could, and should, have saved my breath. Inga had been very good lately, but chose yesterday not to come into the milking room. Precious time was lost while I...you know the drill. Milking went better than the day before, thank goodness, but the clock was ticking. Deb and Craig drove up as I let Esther out and it was Tessie's turn. I should call her Tessie the Teaser. Close, but no cigar. She'd come right to the doorway, even put one foot inside, and then back out and walk away. "Psych!" Finally had to do a couple of laps through the pen and chase her down, while Deb and Craig did a walkabout and waited.
Deb and Craig had been redoing their landscaping and had brought three rose plants from their yard. For protection from the deer, we decided to put them in the defunct pig pen. My first choice would have been right in the front garden, but I knew they'd be chomped down before the first bud opened. Deb and I pulled weeds and Craig did the heavy work of digging holes. Well fertilized from the years when Louie was in residence and covered with a heavy mulch of leaves, the pen is a perfect place for roses, and the Kids had brought big, beautiful plants. A mist began falling as we patted in the last one. My mother had always said that a rainy day was the perfect time to plant roses to give them the best chance of survival. For these roses, it was a perfect day. But that wasn't the end. Deb and Craig gave me another peony, a red one to add to the herb garden. Deciding exactly where to place it, we discovered another peony had emerged from last year. With the new addition, that makes eight of these beauties!
The mist became rain by the time we went in, and it was cold enough to need a fire in the wood stove. It wasn't long before Dave drove up and from then on, all I can remember is the laughter. Deb and Craig brought a variety of Easter candy. Busily taste testing the different kinds while waiting for the ham to bake, suddenly I heard, "Mom! Dave just ate your peanut butter egg!" (They'd brought just the one.) Big sister tattling on little brother cracked us all up. Some things don't change. Holiday menus are cast in stone and the only variation this year was adding avocado to the deviled eggs; I was forgiven the deviation as the plate of eggs dwindled rapidly.
A good, steady rain fell while we ate and watched the multitude of hummers feeding outside. Seats at all three feeders were full to capacity, with latecomers waiting for a space. After the plates were cleared, the guys went into the living room for another tradition, an after-dinner nap. Deb and I talked in the dining room, listening to their gentle snores. Far from feeling abandoned, it gives me a wonderful sense of the Kids coming home when they're relaxed enough to fall asleep here. They are company, yes, but they're family.
It was a very good day.