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all content 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005
Suburban Island

Tour Time
Saturday, Jul. 26, 2003, 5:13 p.m.

QUESTION: Do you know where your phone charger is?

What I Learned: Company time is fun time.

Company came and company went. It always seems a long time in the coming and the leaving is upon us just like that. My best friend and her son arrived earlier this week and now they are gone again already. I really wish she lived closer or at least kept an online diary! I don't get to see her as much as I'd like since she lives so far away. As it is, I use up a lot of my cell phone minutes talking to her and I am sure she does the same.

It was fun for my kids to have her teenage son visiting along with her. Music was shared, movies were rented, carry out was ordered. Many visits to friends were made. The Pirates of the Carribean was enjoyed on the big screen. And late hours were kept.

We even got to do the local ghost tour. Something I have thought would be fun but had never gotten around to doing. Our ghost guide shared some interesting history and some local ghostly tales. Perhaps as interesting as his tour, was his outfit - white open shirt and white pants with a black scarf knotted around his neck. It was my guess that he had a secret yearning to be a pirate or the star of a movie set in a tropical locale. The kids immediately linked the scarf to the stories about the girl with the ribbon around her neck that held her head on. We don't know for sure but it was an intriguing choice of tour guide garb. Because my foot is still hurting me from the curb-stepping incident on Monday, I was especially happy with his last stop on the tour - an old church graveyard - that was just a 1/2 block from where we had parked. Some history, some scary stuff, and a short walk back to the car, made us all happy.

It's always great to have people visit from out of town because it reminds you of what is cool in your own city and buys you a renewed look at it too if you get enlisted into the excursion.

The best thing we did this visit was sit down at a sidewalk cafe under a sea of umbrellas as a cool breeze lifted the tree branches and normal life moved up and down the street in front of us. The occasional honking of an impatient driver seemed to fall slowly to the ground and be crushed under the soft roar of tires rolling across asphalt as the traffic flowed by us - a metallic river under a perfect blue sky. An old man in a straw hat stood for a second to take off his necktie before passing by, a group of tourists in neon t-shirts moved together like a school of fish in the big ocean, jaywalking locals flashed across the street - confident in their city and themselves. And there we were in the heart of it - cool in our umbrella shade - eating chocolate cake and drinking micro-brewery beer (just the moms) and sodas (just the kids) while we waiting for our ticketed time to visit a local attraction. The chocolate cake was amazing and the beer and sodas were refreshing. Best friends, a summer breeze, a city street in motion, and some refreshments too - a perfect moment in time.

Like all good things, the visit did have to come to an end. My friend and her son drove off to their next destination on their road trip as we waved goodbye from the front yard. I miss having her so close at hand already. I know I'll hear from her very soon though because I think she left her phone charger plugged into the wall of my office.

I may have to wait a bit, however, until she runs out of battery power and then a few minutes more until she finds a phone.

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