Song: “Absolutely Right” by The Five Man Electrical Band
This past weekend was fantastic. I didn’t sleep particularly well and was a little more tired than usual, but everything from Friday to Sunday was wonderful. I had a great time hanging out with FA on Friday, and after J got home, we hung out, watched some more episodes of Brooklyn Nine-Nine, and puttered around the house. There were no crises, no deadlines, nothing… we just hung out and had fun.
On Saturday morning I woke up from a nightmare (tent), but instead of waking up in the middle of the night like usual, I woke up around 8AM, so there was more than enough light to see where I was and that everything around me was okay. I still got out of bed for a bit, but it’s sooooo much nicer when I wake up almost in a panic and I can actually see what’s going on. I was even able to go back to bed and get some more sleep.
J went out to an art show with her mom and aunt, and I stayed home and did some more puttering. FA gave me an Arduino on Friday and I played around with it for quite a while – I wish they had been around when I was in college! I’ve decided that I’m going to make two of those water detectors that I was talking about a few days ago. One will go at the big drain in the basement, and one will go under the dishwasher. The big drain will catch the hot water heater, the laundry room, the downstairs bathroom, and eventually everything in the house if the leak is bad enough. Since we’ve had leaks under the dishwasher, I think I’m justified in putting one under there. They’re not going to be complicated, just a little microcontroller hooked up to a piece of cloth with salt in it, a 9V battery, and a beeper. The cloth gets wet, the salt turns into salt water, makes a connection, and the beeper sounds.
I decided I was going to go back to using a PIC for that, so I hooked one up, programmed it, and promptly cooked it. It’s been a while since I’ve done this stuff and I’m apparently quite rusty at it… at least I know what I did and I can try to avoid doing it again.
When J got home, she brought along some information for a 3D printer project request from my mother-in-law, and I got to work. I sure do enjoy working on this stuff, from the initial staring-off-into-the-distance phase, to scribbling out ideas on a piece of paper, making a model in the design software (which I am learning more about every day), the test prints, and then finally ending up with something that (hopefully) does the job. I was hoping to have it done by the time she left for home but I don’t think it’ll be ready – it’s been printing for 27.5 hours and still has a way to go.
J and I were both pretty tired Saturday evening. J went to bed early and I took my medication, played some STO, and watched some DS9 until I was ready to go to bed.
A bit of history… FA and I had met while we were living in the same on-campus residence at university, and we quickly became friends. When part of FA’s studies involved doing some work in the city my parents live in, they offered to let her stay there, and while she was there, they got along very well (as most people seem to do with FA). We made a couple of other trips out there, they made some trips here, and FA was part of J’s and my wedding, so my parents and FA kept in touch. After the wedding, though, things didn’t sync up very well and… I don’t think FA and my folks were in the same room for the next 17.5 years. She would ask about how my parents were, and my parents would ask how she was, but for whatever reason, the lot of us just didn’t get together.
All of this to say that Sunday was a big day – my parents were coming into town for a day visit, and FA and DM were going to come over too. I started the day off by sleeping through my alarm again, then stumbling around the house in a strange fog that was thick with dumbness and anxiety, trying to tidy up things that, really, probably didn’t need tidying. It was family and good friends, after all – people who have seen dirty plates or a table covered with junk before and still talk to us – but I couldn’t help it. I hopped into the shower to get pretty and by the time I was out, my parents had arrived and were sitting in the living room, chatting with J.
We had a very good conversation and got up to speed on how everyone is doing (the odd thing about my relatives is that quite a few of them are doing poorly but are in great spirits). It was very good to see my parents again. We talked about all kinds of stuff, J made a really amazing lunch and Mom made a fantastic apple crumble and some other kind of dessert square that I need the recipe for, and Dad and I did some investigating into a couple of house and yard projects to get an idea of how to go about it and what we’d need.
While Dad and I were out in the back yard, we met the new neighbour over the back fence. He’s not particularly new – I think he’s been there for almost a year. J met him a while ago but I’d never seen him. There’s been a chain-link fence separating our yards there since we moved in, and J was thinking about putting slats in the fence to give a bit more privacy (we had another neighbour back there up to about five years ago who we were friends with and we’d talk through the fence all the time). I was hoping to ask what the neighbours thought about it (no sense putting them in if they turn out to be the kind of people who just take them back out). We introduced ourselves, met his cute little kid and happy dog, and I asked about the slats. It turns out he was looking to do the same thing. So that worked out well!
Around 4:30PM, FA and DM arrived. Because of my own silly brain I was a little nervous, but everything went swimmingly. Lots of stories, lots of laughs, and before we knew it, the clock showed 6:30PM. I interrupted the conversation to ask if anyone wanted supper, but unfortunately, my parents wanted to hit the road and get home before it got dark. I still feel bad about that – I wasn’t trying to kick anyone out – but my folks did say earlier that they wanted to be home before nightfall. After a quick set of good-byes, my folks were backing down the driveway and drove off down the street.
J and I asked DM and FA if they were interested in staying for pizza and they agreed, and the four of us continued gabbing and having a great time until they headed out a little after 9PM.
What a day! I didn’t realize it until after their car drove out of view, but I was pooped. It was that good kind of tired, though – that fuzzy, “things are good” kind of tired. Everything had gone so well, I had such a good time, and it was wonderful to see FA and DM swapping stories with my parents. Once again, I feel kind of foolish about being nervous about everything, but that feeling is getting kind of mowed down by how good I feel about how things went and how good a time I had.
I am very, very lucky to have such amazing family and friends, and it was a wonderful thing to have family and friends together like that. I hope we can all get together again – and in less than 17.5 years this time!