But whenever one of the living-somewhere-else brothers comes home, it's something special - even more so when it's his birthday and we have an obvious reason to celebrate his mere existence among us.
Andy came home yesterday. He was planning on an actual vacation, starting with the farm and circus cake - to be followed by a visit to a friend further south and some time on the beach. The beach part may not happen, a cold snap has dashed his visions of lying on a warm pile of sand next to some big water, but if he sticks around a couple of days, things will warm up.
In the meantime, PARTY!!!!
Grandma was the maker of circus cake all the time I was growing up. When she died, she left behind lots of memories and a piece of tin with a rivet in it. So I took custody of the tin and started making circus cakes when requested.
Andy is the third member of the family to fall in love with Mustangs. I've had two, but realized that other cars were actually better for hauling kids, dogs and groceries. Mustangs are like children or lovers. They require a lot of attention and coddling. Once I had a kid, my mustang became kind of ignored. It didn't like that one bit. Andy is the perfect owner of a Mustang. He has the time and the inclination to spend time riding around with the top down, to wash and polish and tune up and detail his magnificent machine. Jerry has (and has had) many, many Mustangs. I think my favorite was the Mach Fastback though. It's so old that it grew a tree in the middle of it. But he's got three that actually work at the moment, in various stages of repair. Lucky for them, Jerry is a tender mechanic and when he's not busy towing other people out of trouble (or in the case of illegally parked cars, into it), he's lavishing love on his collection.
This is Tom and Dorothy. Dorothy's friendship with my mother can be dated to Andy's birth. They met as Mom was pushing Andy in a stroller past Dorothy's house. And Andy adores her. Once upon a time, Andy had a lovely lush head of curls and his favorite thing in the world was to have Dorothy brush his hair. He would meet her at the door with the hairbrush. It seems somewhat ironic now, but maybe she can rub his bald head instead.
Kylee and ZBoy were also on hand. After lunch and cake were consumed, they entertained themselves while I washed dishes. Building tinkertoys and riding around in the golf cart - and gathering pecans that had dropped from the trees during a big storm a couple of nights previously. When I came out to check on them, they had built a fake campfire out of tinker toys and were "camping" out of the "wagon" in the pecan grove. I let them play themselves out before bringing them home. It's not often that they actually get to play outside unfettered in the fresh air.
After a long busy day of cooking and cleaning and entertaining, Mom fell asleep in her recliner, snuggled under a blanket. Andy disappeared, whether for a nap or to get ready for a trip to town, I don't know. Dad was ready to put his feet up and relax. Jerry went off to rescue people and Dorothy and Tom were already gone. I finally collected children and the remains of the cake and headed for home.
I hope Andy had a good birthday!