We met Elsie and John our first winter in Texas. When Elsie found out we didn’t have a car, she took us under her very formidable wing and often took one of us with her when she went shopping.
She is an early riser, unlike us, so many mornings we woke up to a note taped to the door regarding her next foray into town in case we needed anything. We quickly found out that she is a gardener and we had many chats about our gardens.
She is also a baker. All types of cookies, banana bread, date nut bread, coffeecakes and goodies found their way to the bus during the winter. With no oven or way to reciprocate I protested one day saying, “Elsie, you don’t need to chauffeur us around and feed us!” She looked right at me and said, “I like to share.” So simple and direct. And appreciated.
I did get to walk their two very cute kitties for a couple weeks when she had to fly back to Boston. I was happy to help. Buster and Betsy are brother and sister who are now a year old. With their Maine Coon fluffy tails and social demeanor, they are a true delight.
When we left Poughkeepsie it worked out that we could squeeze in a couple nights visit before they had family coming. We took off for Montague, Massachusetts and drove through very beautiful and picturesque areas before we arrived and parked in their driveway. All the New England gardens were in full bloom, adding to the enjoyable drive. The driveway was narrow but Jim backed the bus up and we were surrounded by beautiful flowers. Elsie said, “This is me.”
We arrived in time for Happy Hour and it was hot! They have a Sandpipers style pool that was cool and refreshing. Carmella had a walkabout and Tikita met Buster and hissed at him. Buster and Carmella just laid under the bus together. That evening we feasted on spare ribs, corn and potatoes. If that wasn’t enough, we had homemade brownies and ice cream for dessert. Eating our way across the country continues! Yum!
Carmella checks out the pool.
The next morning she resumed her giving ways and came to the bus to announce that she had made rhubarb coffeecake. It was delicious. Of course.
That day we did some laundry, walked the kitties, swam in the pool, toured the gardens and planned a lobster dinner. John got the lobsters, Jim grilled corn, Elsie got baguettes and I provided a bottle of wine. We were all completely stuffed by the time we each ate a two pound lobster! Or “sea bugs” as John calls them. We had all the tools but sometimes even the crackers weren’t doing the job and John used his powerful hands to help me crack the claws. Elsie also had a hammer, Elsie’s Enforcer, that we put to good use. We ate outside at the newspaper-covered picnic table and we still got butter all over ourselves. John said, “That’s what the pool is for” and we took advantage of it!
They were preparing for John’s daughter and three kids to visit so we limited our stay to the two nights to give them some breathing room. Besides, eating like that is not sustainable!
Elsie sent us along with some of her famous cranberry nut bread and chocolate chip cookies. She also picked a big bunch of catnip for the kitties. See Astrid enjoying it here.
Jim had checked the oil in the bus on arrival and we needed to buy some more. John directed us to the Tractor Supply in Greenfield and we stocked up before taking off for Windsor, Vermont to meet up with some long lost cousins.
What a good time we had. New England is beautiful in the summertime and we got to enjoy it in a beautiful spot with special friends.
I have to go eat a chocolate chip cookie now.