We didn’t really have a plan other than to just cruise through a specific area of the city and see what restaurants there were that we hadn’t gone to yet. We decided on Outback Steakhouse, even though I’d been there once with my daughter. When we went in, we were told it would be a 45-55 minute wait and we decided that was okay, even though we were both pretty hungry. It turned out to be only about 15 minutes, though. BONUS!
Lisa had prime rib and I had a really good sirloin with sautéed mushrooms. I was full to the point of bursting, not having finished my meal. Lisa, of course, was up for dessert. We had our remaining food boxed up, Lisa had a chocolate brownie sundae, I drank coffee, and we chatted about nothing in particular. It felt good to just prattle on about mundane things in the world, at our jobs, and our life together. It was unspoken between us that we wouldn’t mention anything concerning my father that evening. We succeeded in doing just that.
After dinner, we went to Joann Fabrics looking for a good baby blanket pattern or book with patterns. We weren’t terribly impressed with the selection, as most of it was crochet, so we decided to go to Borders.
I can get lost in a book store, easily. I found a couple of really nice books with blanket patterns (one specifically for baby blankets), and continued to just browse. I came across a book entitled The Complete Chronicles of Narnia – something my Aunt Wanda had wanted a lot for Christmas. Her birthday is January 25th and we were going to drive down over the weekend to see her, so I suggested to Lisa that we get it for her for her birthday. Lisa agreed and, two hours after getting to Borders, we went to the checkout line.
Back in the car, Lisa asked me if there was anything else I wanted to do or anyplace else I wanted to go. We decided that home sounded enticing and that’s where we went. Lisa chuckled and said “Obviously we’re old if we’re home by 11:00 on a date night.” Well, in my mind, if your “age” is defined by what time you get home from a date then I’m old. *shrug* Do I care?
Saturday we went down to my Aunt Wanda’s. Lisa helped Bob install some cabinets that he’d made for the kitchen, and Wanda and I sat and chatted. She sewed on her quilts, and I knitted. At 4:30 we sat down to watch Denver and New England battle it out for the next round of playoffs in the NFL. Denver won handily. When Champ Bailey intercepted Brady’s pass in the end zone, and ran it back 100 yards, it was hard to contain all my excitement, as my Aunt and Uncle are staunch Patriots fans. Don’t think for a minute, though, that I didn’t cheer him on. I just kept it low-keyed.
Sunday, while Bob and Lisa installed cabinets, Wanda and I went down to visit Le and Vanessa. Le is looking really good these days, and Vanessa doesn’t slouch when she walks any more. Both of them seem to have really blossomed in the week or so since everything broke. Vanessa had an exam (at the request of Child Protective Services) to determine if any “damage” had been done to her, and she was highly annoyed with the fact that she had to tell her story all over again. I chatted with her a little bit about it. She says it’s hard to talk about with people that she doesn’t know. There’s a child advocacy center here where I live, and I’m going to try to get her in there so she only has to tell it one more time. I explained to her what the place is and asked her if she’d be willing to tell her story one more time, at the center, and they’d make sure she didn’t have to tell it again. She agreed to that. Today I have to make some phone calls and try to find out if we can get her in there, even though she’s already given her statement(s) elsewhere. She’s a great kid, I can’t say enough about her.
Tomorrow, Le has an appointment with an immigration lawyer here in the city. She’ll drop Vanessa off at school at 7:00 for band practice, then drive the 90 miles up here and meet me at my house. I’ll drive her into the city for her appointment, and attend with her (at her request).
No further word on my father, other than the fact that he’d been released from the hospital in Corning after his suicide attempt, but we’re not sure where he is now, or what his condition is. We only know that he’s alive.