We said our “goodbyes ’till next time” to Linda H., Ron, and Mary last night as they went off to bed. Linda and I were up at 7 AM CDT and had the car loaded by 7:45. Marilyn was also up so we got to visit and say goodbye to her before we left at 8 AM. We got back on I-270 westbound and headed to Bridgeton, Missouri where my sister lives. We stopped at the St. Louis Bread Company bakery cafe on St. Charles Rock Road for coffee and bagels first and arrived at Patty’s house a little after 9 AM. St. Louis Bread Company is the original name of the Panera bakery cafés, and they still use the original name in the St. Louis market where the company started and is still headquartered.
Patty’s house was completely destroyed two years ago April in the Good Friday tornados that swept through the St. Louis, Missouri area. The outbreak damaged over 700 hundred homes as well as the St. Louis Lambert International Airport. This was a newsworthy weather event, and Patty was interviewed by The Weather Channel, but little did anyone know at the time that it was just the first of what would prove to be a very bad season of much worse tornado outbreaks across the south. It took a year to rebuild Patty’s house and she made a few changes in the design that resulted in a nicer, more livable dwelling, a small consolation for everything see lost.
Patty’s daughter, Amanda, came over around 10 AM with her daughter, Lillian Lissette. Lilly is only six weeks younger than our grand-daughter Madeline, so developmentally they are doing similar things. Lilly is up on two feet and very mobile. She is a very sweet little girl who is curious about everything and is verbalizing a lot without actually saying anything. She has all her baby teeth and an infectious smile. She walked over to Linda as soon as she saw her, arms outstretched, and gave her a big hug. Apparently that is not something she does with people she does not know well, so it was a very special moment that surprised her mom and grandmother.
Patty is down to just one dog, Maggie, from the three that she had for so many years. She lost Bootsie (17) and Rosie (14) last year which was especially hard given that they survived the tornado. She also lost Angel, a white female cat our mother had adopted and was another survivor of the tornado.
We visited as long as we could, including staying for a light lunch of fresh fruit. We would have liked to stay longer but needed to get back to our house today. Although Linda did not have to report for jury duty on Monday morning, she did have to go back to the dentist to have a new mold made for her crown. We were also expecting our landscape contractors around 8 AM and would need to move the bus out of their way.
We were back on the road and headed for home at 12:30 PM CDT. We went back the way we came: I-270 E (MO) to I-270 E (IL) to I-70 E (IL) to I-70 E ( IN), to I-465 S (IN) to I-69 N (IN) to I-69 N (MI) to I-96 E (MI) to Latson Road N to Golf Club Road E and finally to the dirt roads that signal we are almost home.
Linda has a nerve in her right hip that is giving her a problem, especially when she sits for any length of time. She keeps a tennis ball in the car and puts it under her hip to relieve the pain. Saturday morning she and Mary went for an early morning walk and she pulled a muscle in her left hip. She was having difficulty sitting comfortably and we agreed that I would drive home in order to allow her the flexibility to change her position as needed. She also took some pain medication that rendered her unsuited to driving. On the plus side, she got to nap on the way home.
The trip took almost 10 hours including several rest stops and a stop in Fishers, Indiana for fuel and dinner at Panera. We brought an assortment of audio CDs with us but did not play them on the drive down as we had a lot to talk about (when I wasn’t napping). We did, however, play them on the way back to help keep me entertained and awake. We pulled into our driveway a little after 11:00 PM EDT. Linda made popcorn while I unpacked the car and brought everything inside. The cats were glad to see us once they determined we were not scary alien creatures invading their house. We enjoyed our popcorn snack and then checked the phone messages just in case there was something important. There wasn’t so we went to bed.