The girls were sleeping - one on the couch, one in her bed upstairs. A bunkbed that looked identical to the one Mary and Elaine had as young'uns. Young Andrew was asleep in his room. Liisa offered us her room or the bunks and we finally went for hers, although with some reluctance. We didn't want to take Liisa and Andrew's room. But I know how I have gladly and happily taken the couch so that friends or family could have a real bed. I know I am more comfortable letting others have the good bed, so I feel I understood Liisa and Andrew's willingness to take the couches.
Before we turned in, though, we talked! Talked a lot. Until late. It didn't matter how tired we were, and I only passingly thought about Andrew having to get up early the next morning, greedy as I was for his company, his thoughts.
When I awoke Monday morning, I heard noises downstairs. People up and having breakfast and finding shoes and getting going with the day. I can't stay in bed once I am truly awake, and I knew I'd be dead tired but still I got up. My legs were stiff still, that arthritic stiffness that I can't adequately explain to someone who hasn't had it (even someone with arthritis, as it is the "flareup" syndrome). We had plans for the day. We had reservations for a bike tour in the afternoon and thought we'd take in a museum tour in the morning. The tour started at 10:30.
I found my way downstairs, down the steep staircase that caused me to wonder if building code standards are that much different in Maryland (given the Uniform Building Code most cities adopt). It's almost like a ladder, and without a railing. Carpeted, though! So a fall would be cushioned.
Liisa was up making pancakes! How totally housewife of her! And yet not, not of this age. Almost back to the 50s, except I believe Liisa has a better understanding of nutrition and child raising than many parents of the fifties did. I sat with Molly and Clara, and briefly with Andrew, and ate pancakes and eggs and strawberries. Clara truly loves strawberries. Her excitement was infectious, her love of this fruit.
The girls are warm and physical, sat on my lap, talked to me. ASked about Elaine, who was still sleeping upstairs. Liisa had explained the time change to them but these girls are five. I don't think the concept was all that clear. Clara said, rather disapprovingly, "People don't sleep in in Frederick".
Finally they welcomed the slept-in Elaine, "Cousin Elaine" they called her. Took to her, sat on her lap, asked about her hair, told her she was "beautiful". The girls notice what others wear, comment on it, say something nice about it even when it takes some stretching.