I began a beautifully sunny and warm morning with Chocolate Chip Pancakes. I wanted them to taste at least a little like a chocolate chip cookie, so I added vanilla and a little brown sugar. Yummm. I've really had chocolate cravings lately, and those hit the spot. Had my half of a grapefruit as well. I listened to the original cast of The Scarlet Pimpernel while I ate. There are too few Broadway swashbucklers that don't fall into the operetta category; this is one of them. My Aunt Mary who lives in Manhattan bought it for me when I was in college, and I've owed her one ever since.
Jodie showed up as I was getting ready to go to work. She and Dad were having a barbecue late in the afternoon. She'd just come from grocery shopping at the Acme and the managers told her I was off at 4. Did I want to join them? They'd invited Rose and Khai. Sure! My only plans for later in the day was a walk around the neighborhood and eating leftovers. This would definitely be better than leftovers.
Work actually could have been a lot worse. It was on-and-off busy all afternoon, maybe even a tad slow for Sunday. Either everyone went down to the Shore, or they did all their shopping yesterday for the Kentucky Derby. My relief was on time, and other than some relatively grouchy people, there were no major problems.
I took the back way home via Nicholson Road to once again avoid the road repairs and enjoy the weather. The day couldn't have been more perfect. The sun was shining warmly. There was a gentle, cool breeze, and not a cloud in the robin's-egg-blue sky. It was as lovely a spring day as one could wish for. Kids rode bikes and played catch. Parents chatted, washed their cars, or did their own barbecues.
As soon as I got home, I changed, made a pit stop, then headed back out to Dad's on the bike. Dana, Jodie's son Jesse's girlfriend, was outside with her dog Helio when I arrived. Rose and Khai were inside, watching TV with Dad. Khai showed me his Batman toys (I loved The Penguin's huge mechanical ride-in penguin) while Jodie set up for dinner. (They were going to wait for Jessa and Joe, but despite claiming they'd be around by 6, they never appeared.)
Dinner was delicious, as always. I had a cheeseburger; there was also chicken. I had the macaroni salad, deviled eggs, and asparagus as well. Jodie and Rose had Jodie's very vinegary cucumber salad. Dana (a fellow choco-holic) and I had slices of an Entermann's chocolate cake from the Acme. (They're half-price there this week.) Jesse had a huge plate of macaroni salad and not much else.
Jesse, Dana, Jodie, and I chatted on the porch for a while after dinner. Dana kept trying to keep Heilo from running off the porch. (No one else thinks he would have gone far, but Dana worries about him getting hurt.) Dana went crazy every time she saw a bee come off the huge azaleas in front of Dad's porch. She kept making Jesse swat at it with a broom. Khai spent most of the evening playing with his friends next-door while his mother talked to his friends' parents.
I gave up waiting for Jessa and Joe around 7 PM. I was getting tired. Lauren and I were up late last night, as always, and I had to work relatively early for a Sunday. I gave everyone a hug, patted Helio, and headed home, enjoying the light breeze and the just-setting sun.