Saturday, August 11, 2012


Eternal Optimist's second daughter, Z, has been visiting with us the last week or two here in Big Coldtown (BCT).  She's married, and lives far away in a foreign and enchanted place.  She enjoys being back in the land of green vegetation and sarcasm.

Last Thursday she decided to go visit a friend in the City.  She started out "late" - by Eternal Optimist's standards - around 11 p.m.  This is not "late" by Z's standards.  Eternal Optimist is in bed by 10, most nights.  Mrs. Optimist, ever vigilant, sprinkled Holy Water on Z before she left.  She kissed her goodbye.

Around 1:30 a.m. a knock at our bedroom door roused EO from his slumber.  EO does not rouse well, but does rouse often during the night.  He does not have the gift of sound sleep.  He used to, but then he had a large family.  Whole different story, for another blog.  His experience has been that nothing much good happens after midnight, whether phone calls or knocks on the door.

"Yes" said EO, as diplomatically as possible, through his CPAP machine.  "It's Z, dad" came the answer.  "Yes" said EO, as kindly as possible, which probably did not sound terribly kindly, but perhaps came across as patient, EO hopes.

"My friend didn't have any place to stay tonight and I told her she could stay here" said Z.  Z has a very sharp tongue and a very big heart.  She picks up strays along the way. I figured we'd make the girl coffee in the morning and listen kindly to the story.  Maybe make her an omelet, too.  Always good to feed people after they've had some harsh domestic issue.

"That's fine" said EO and Mrs. EO, who was also half awake.

"I'm going to put her in my room" said Z.

"Okay" said EO, glad that Z was alive and had not had an accident, and already falling back asleep.

"She would like to say hi and thank you" said Z.

"That's okay" said Mrs. EO and EO in unison.  "We'll see you in the morning."  My eyes were already shutting.  The tone of my voice had probably deteriorated a little by now.

"She really wants to say thank you, dad" said Z.

Pause.  "Okay" I said, mustering all the patience I could.  Which was not much, compared to Mrs. EO, or perhaps most other human beings.  The stray leaned in our bedroom as I tried to sit up in bed a little bit and take my Darth Vader CPAP mask off.  It's very off-putting.  As the lights were not on, and I had no intention of putting them on, I wasn't too worried about my ratty T-shirt, unshaven face and matted hair.

"Hi" said a 20 something voice.  "My name is Rae . . ."

At the mention of her name Mrs. EO sat bolt upright and said "Whaaaaaaa.........?????????????" 

It was my oldest daughter, Rae, who had made a snap decision with her sister to fly out and visit us for the weekend!

What a wonderful surprise!!  The two of them just couldn't bear not to make it an elaborate scam, to boot.  They managed to pull the whole thing off without lying, either.  We talked until 3:30 in the morning.  I was my usual delightful self at work Friday, except that I mumbled a lot and drank a lot of coffee.  Come to think of it, I do that normally, so probably no one noticed anything different.

I am so impressed with my kids.  And I love them so much!


  1. Good friends come and go but family is here forever. Isn't it great!

    Doc Truly

  2. Aww! good story. At our house, our wonderful kids would know that they'd better not wake us up, as they used up their quota of that kind of thing long ago!

  3. Ha!!! My kids trained me well - now I can wake up in the middle of the night all by myself - I need no help at all!!!

  4. What a GREAT story - I am the queen of scams and surprises, this is impressive. Have a wonderful visit! I will now crawl back under my boxes...... love, merrie

  5. That's a great story. But I hope I don't have the experience of my children living far away. At least, I can't imagine what that must be like. We're all homebirds over here. 30 minutes is living far away.