Last night, Farmer H came to the Mansion a bit later than usual. I was warming up the pot of vegetable beef soup that I'd made mid-morning, and he had asked if supper would be around 7:00. Who am I to disagree? I didn't get lunch until almost 3:30, so the plan was soup and garlic toast at 7:00.
Around 6:00, I heard the dogs barking like crazy. They do that when Farmer H drives his Gator, and they run along with it. So I figured that Farmer H was coming in. He usually shows up between 5:30 and 6:30. Since we had that supper agreement, I made no move to go upstairs earlier. He would have to abide by my schedule.
Imagine my surprise when I climbed the stairs at 6:40, and all the lights were still off, and the TV gone to the blue screen. I was almost sure I'd heard Farmer H walking around. But he was nowhere to be seen. I put the pot of soup on the stove, and some foil on a pan for warming the bread. While I was putting away some clean dishes from the drainer side of the sink, Farmer H came in the kitchen door.
"What in the world did you BUY?"
Ain't THAT a fine greeting for your loving wife who is preparing your supper that she'd made earlier in the day? Farmer H had a giant box in his arms. As you may recall, he injured his arm a few days ago. Which may be part of the reason he was whining about how heavy the box was.
"Clear me a space! Hurry up! Clear me a space on the table!"
Let the record show that I had been filling two boxes with Valentine treats for Genius and The Pony. Including Gracula, a garlic crusher for Genius's new kitchen. The boxes were folded into box shape, since I'd picked them up flat at the dead mouse smelling post office. But they weren't taped yet, because Farmer H hides the good shipping tape (with ropey fibers in it) like it's made of gold. So to pick up those two boxes would mean that all the stuff fell through the bottom. I was merely seeing how to fit the stuff inside, while waiting on tape to form the boxes. I shoved them all to the back of the table, making the room Farmer H whined for.
"I didn't buy ANYTHING! Just Gracula and that ice cube tray that makes big blocks, for whiskey glasses. And the set of long spoons, for stirring tall drinks. I showed you that last night. It's already here. I haven't ordered anything else."
"Well, I came over here and found this box sitting in the gravel under the carport. Where I park the Gator now. Where the Toronado used to be."
"Are you sure it's addressed to US? I didn't order anything."
"I didn't look yet. It's dark outside. Huh. It says it's for Genius."
"Huh. He didn't say he was having anything shipped here. He usually tells me to be looking for it."
"I bet that weighs 50 pounds!"
"Where's it from? Look at the label."
"It's WINE! From a wine company."
"Oh, Genius was talking about that at Christmas. About joining some service that sends you wine. It's cheaper than buying a bottle at a time. He even ordered it online while he was standing here in the kitchen. Remember? He said he hoped it didn't get to his new apartment before we got back from CasinoPalooza 3."
"Yeah. I do remember him talking about it."
"I'm guessing this is a separate order. I should probably text him to let him know it's here. He has an app that notifies him when a package is delivered. He might be looking for it."
Indeed. Genius said that the box was supposed to be shipped to Kansas City. But that since Friend, his roommate, was coming to the general Hillmomba area to visit his parents in a couple of weeks, that he could swing by and pick it up. So Farmer H shoved the box under the kitchen table. For a couple of weeks, anyway.
This morning, I strong-armed that tape out of Farmer H, and had The Pony's box of Valentine treats already sealed, working on filling Genius's box, when I heard chimes. Huh. Did Farmer H get a new clock at the auction? Or out of his 18 storage units? Because I don't remember having a clock that chimes like that. Especially at 10:30 a.m. I started to the living room, to look on the mantel at his other old clock, and saw movement through the glass side panels of the front door. Somebody was on the porch! It must have been our doorbell. Which hasn't worked for quite some time.
The rest of the story tomorrow...