I'm in North Carolina! And having a great time. My littlest sister graduated from high school yesterday and her big surprise was for me and E to come for a visit. We flew in on Friday morning (ugh--waking up at 4 a.m. to get to LaGuardia in time for our 6 a.m. flight) and arrived while she was at school. When she came home we were hiding in her closet, and we jumped out and scared her. It was great because she hadn't suspected a thing.
Saturday was her graduation, which took place at a small church. K went to a tiny charter school with a graduating class of only 18 students, so the ceremony was very personal and each student was able to give a small speech, which they all did very well. I didn't even know those kids, and I was crying.
After the graduation we had a second surprise for K: a huge party. My mom had been making food for a week to prepare, but I guess K still didn't suspect what was going on. She didn't even notice all the folding chairs we set up in the backyard on Saturday morning! She was amazed and excited to discover that about a hundred people were invited to come over Saturday night for tons of great food and a swim in the pool.
Our family tradition is to make a six-layer cake for the graduate, so I worked on that, but the kitchen was so hot from the chicken wings that were baking that by the end of the day the cake bore more than just a passing resemblance to Pisa's leaning tower! There's a reason cakes don't normally have six layers. But it lasted long enough to be eaten at the end of the night, by the light of pink and blue chinese lanterns.
So it's been such a great weekend already and there are still two more days I can enjoy myself here. I love waking up every morning and going for a swim in the pool, which is delicious warm in the morning compared to the cool air. Then when it hits a hundred degrees in the afternoon, I jump in again and the water feels cool and refreshing. I love all the hummingbirds that are taking advantage of the red trumpet vine on the back porch. I love the round hay-bales. I love the noise of my family.
The other best thing about being home is seeing all my delightful friends. With all that they have going on, they were all miraculously free on Friday night to go out to eat yummy southern food with me. I enjoyed myself tremendously, and it wasn't just the honeysuckle sorbet!