Trip to my folks up in da U. P. went great. Kevin, despite an aversion to snow, was wowed by the natural beauty of the area (I mean, who wouldn’t be?) Lots of cool stuff, great to see my parents again. Good shopping, too, since the region runs at about 30% of the national cost of living, so stuff is dirt cheap. I bought art I probably can’t afford, (but which would have been four times as much anywhere else) and Kevin got me a gorgeous jean jacket hand-altered by one of the local artists. Got a Common Goldeneye sighting (two hens and a drake) on Lake Superior, in an iced-over little bay.
My mother also painted a truly spectacular portrait of me, but that’s another post all by itself.
Anyway, after a very brief visit, we flew home, and there the system broke down a bit. Our flight out of the U.P . was very late and required tons of de-icing, which meant we missed our connection and were stranded in Minneapolis over New Years Eve. However, all was not lost! With what Kevin calls "the luck of the Ursula," the airline comped us a very nice hotel. And, as it happens, Minneapolis is the single best city on earth for me to be stuck in, as I lived there for the better part of my adult life, and have tons of friends AND a publisher there. So I called up my buddy Alan–the friend who has known me the longest and still likes me anyway–and he came and got us and dragged us off to a restaurant run by my old Shadowrun GM and his wife, where we had one of the best meals I’ve ever had in my life (and the kitchen kept sending us stuff–duck egg rolls and walnut-and-dried-cherry wafer-crust pizza and homemade kimchee, and coconut cream pie, and this jasmine tea creme brulee that would make a strong man weep…) and drank wine until almost midnight with people I haven’t seen for five years. (If you’re in the Twin Cities, go to Blackbirds. Trust me.)
Our flight was at 6:45am, so we kissed in the new year in the hotel elevator, but it was still a really fabulous way to spend New Years Eve.
We got home yesterday around noon–got re-routed through Detroit–and came back to the menagerie, where we experienced The Great Betrayal.
Kevin opened the door to the house, and the dogs exploded out. The border collie was suitably glad to see him. Gir, however…the dog he feeds and takes out in the small hours of the night, the dog he saved from a trip to the pound when a beagle proved unsuitable for a townhouse, the dog who has been his buddy for over a year…Gir tears past him, whimpering, charges me, and glues himself to my legs, peeing histrionically all over the driveway, which is Dog for "Oh god oh god you’re home I thought you were dead oh god I love you I love you you’re home I was so worried oh god oh god I love you never leave me again."
"Gir, you…traitor…" said Kevin, when he could stop laughing, while I tried to fend a peeing beagle off my shoes, with indifferent success.
"He feeds you, you know," I told Gir, who tried–still whimpering–to roll over on his back, while not touching the damp concrete (beagles are terrible prima donnas) and ended up knocking me into the car with his butt on my feet and his torso splayed across my shins. I manhandled him back to his feet and shoved him in Kevin’s direction. Gir made a desultory snuffle of Kevin’s knees, then glued himself back to my legs again, apparently terrified that I was going to go away while his back was turned.
"I think I’ve been dissed," said Kevin.
I sighed. Gir gazed up at me with adoring beagle eyes, a soulful gaze concealing the IQ of a very small turnip. "Let me know when I should take over paying his vet bills…"
It’s good to be home.