“To Do: Cook”: Was Tucker closed? No, the University cafeteria still offered meals, but the kids didn’t eat there all week. For lunches and dinners, Suzie, Matt, Nicole, Ed, and sometimes AJ squeezed around my old kitchen table in Suzie’s apartment. On the menu – tuna noodle, beef tips in wine, salads, Hungarian dumplings, cheesy potatoes, lasagna – all Suzie’s favorites.
“To Do: Go Shopping”: Suzie and Nicole needed dresses to wear to the upcoming University graduation so we piled in Suzie’s car for the ride from Fulton – which has no mall – to Columbia Mall in Columbia, Missouri. Ed got lost at the Barnes & Noble Bookstore; Matt dutifully sat in the chair outside Dillard’s dressing room while Suzie and Nicole modeled dresses. Two dresses, one pair of shoes, six polo shirts, and a Clinique compact later, we met Ed in the book store coffee shop.
“To Do: Take Stuff to Storage”: We scavenged wooden pallets from the local hardware store. Suzie needed these bulky things to create raised flooring in the 8’ by 10’ rented storage cubical, a precautionary measure in event of water seeping into the space. We got banana boxes from Wal-Mart to pack winter clothes, books, and everything else. We put $10 of gas in Matt’s truck’s empty gas tank and hauled the stuff to storage.
“To Do: Repair Apartment Wall”: The hole in the wall was the exact shape of the front door handle. The handle went right through the drywall when Suzie, Nicole and AJ were clowning around a bit too rough. Ed and Suzie’s first attempt to fix the hole failed when the weight of pink repair mixture guaranteed to dry white fell into the wall cavity. Ed’s second repair effort met success so we painted the patch a color barely matching the wall.
“To Do: Watch Suzie Ride”: Suzie is in the equestrian program at William Woods University. We watched and photographed her and her classmates take the jumps. They are all talented riders who love horses.
“To Do: Have Fun!”: Suzie taught Ed how to play Guitar Hero. His skill level never progressed past easy. He played the same song over and over until he succeeded in not being “booed” off the virtual stage. I learned how to play Beer Pong, a game that will get you drunk whether you win or lose. One night, we experimented with recipes for smoothies. Another night, Nicole treated me to a Grande Margareta at a Jalisco’s Mexican Restaurant. I thanked our waitress for taking our party’s picture…in French…just to have fun!