Letter from America - Monday Sept 29
I did write yesterday, but I must have done something wrong, as it doesn't appear to be here. I'll try to remember what I said.
It was my son's birthday yesterday, the first one I have spent with him since 1996. We met up as usual at Perkins for brunch - and since I had thought we were only going to have a snack (because we planned for sushi for our main meal) I over did my motel breakfast. So to say I overate, would be painfully true. I had a Belgian waffle for brunch with eggs and sausages - but it was more than I could finish.
Jeri's son's best friend had been staying with him over the weekend. He came to brunch with us, and told me (with me understand less than half of what he said due to the speed and the southern accent) that he wanted to be an electronic music mixer - and had won a competition from Disley, and had a grant to do a project which he was just starting to get going on. He needed to rent a studio to do all this in. This kid, who I will call Max becaue I can't remember his real name, is 14 or 15, and he and his mother live in a trailer, in a beautiful location, with lots of other trailers - including the one his grandma lives in. He was very pleasant and polite and my son seemed keen to help him with his plans to set up the studio - so who knows where that will go.
I met Zac, Jeri's son - also 15, and also very much into computing. But his plans for the future are firmly stuck in the Marines - and when I asked why - he said, "first in, last out". His mom is already worried about this, but he does seem pretty fixed in his plans. He also is a nice kid - and his reltionship with my son is very intersting. He teases Jonathan, calls him names, makes jokes about him, but is pleased to have his help with maths and computing. His birthday card to him said, "to Dad" which really freaked me out.
Our activitiy for the day was visiting the llama farm on their open day. They had 71 llamas of all shapes, sizes and colours. Most of them were happily lying in the shade (very hot day) in a field, but about 20 were in a pen where we were allowed to go and pet them. We all fell in love with them, and I am even considering buying a few - not for me to raise - but Jeri and Jonathan have a 2 acre field which is doing nothing, and it sounds like the raising of them is pretty easy. Their wool is so soft, its unbelievable - and when I considered buying a sweater but was worried that I might get an allergic reaction to the wool like I do to sheep's wool, I was given a little bit to wear inside my bra, because if I was going to react to it, it would show up there. So far, no problem. Llama wool has no lanolin and no barbs on the fibers. The sweaters are expensive, but if you wash and dry them properly, they apparently last well and keep their shape. And they are warmer than wool too, so there is a lot going for them.
Then we went our for a sushi supper. I didn't order any but the others had huge helpings. I had teriyaki salmon which was wonderful. The restaurant provided Jonathan with a cake with a candle in it and everyone sang. He was embarrassed but secretly pleased, I think. He liked his presents and generally had a good day.
Today the plan is for brunch (with me having had a very small first breakfast) and then a visit to one of the sets of caves - probably the Appalacian Caverns. And maybe some antique shop viewing, depending on the time and what else is going on. It's a lot cooler today, and rain is predicted - but the rest of my visit here is supposed to be hot and sunny again.