Chapter Thirty Five, welcome home
Pauline slept like a baby, the cats nestled against her, one against her back and the other against her thigh. The two of them loved to be close and Maggie, the little one, liked to have her belly rubbed in the morning. It was comforting to Pauline to have them near, the two of them were so affectionate. Especially with Tyler gone. But it was time to get up.
Moving them aside so she did not squish them, she got up and walked carefully downstairs to the kitchen. They were close behind since they knew they were getting fed. Pauline fed the cats, made coffee, took her morning meds, and took a shower. Next she checked to see if Tyler had left any messages. Not yet.
So she mixed chocolate chip cookie dough, bread dough, and made a pecan pie. Whatever the two of them did not need right away could go in the freezer, but she would make him feel welcome when he got home.
Next she made their favorite chicken minestrone, cornbread, and a green salad with tomatoes, spiced pecans, caramelized apple chunks, and feta cheese. By then it was 11:00 and Tyler should be up, at least if he’s catching a plane.
She booted up the computer and tried his skype number. He picked up right away.
“Hey, I was just about to call you,” he said brightly. “How did you sleep?”
“Fine, and you?”
“OK. Hey, it looks like the storm broke so I have a good chance of getting home and sanctuary tonight. Want anything from Arizona?”
“Just you. You, and that Trader Joes chocolate,” she said. “If it’s convenient.”
“I’ll make it convenient. Do you want to go out for dinner? That is if you can pick me up at 5:30?”
“I will pick you up, but no need to go out. I’m making dinner for you right now.”
“Aww, that is really sweet,” said Tyler. “It will be wonderful. Too much restaurant food these last couple of days.”
“I’ll let you know when I get to Chicago. I’m just leaving for the airport.”
“Great--talk to you soon,” said Pauline. He sounded rushed, she thought to herself. Better make some meringues too, she giggled. Then clean the house.
So she washed and changed the sheets, sprayed perfume around the bedroom, and dusted and vacuumed everything. Finally, she finished up the laundry. Her phone rang.
Of course it was Tyler. “Hey, I’m in Chicago,” he said. “Time to leave to meet me at the airport.”
“Will do!” She exclaimed. “I’ll just change my clothes and head over there.” She took another shower, put half a dozen cookies in a bag for Tyler, and drove away.
It was a quick 45 minutes to the airport, and about a half hour flight from Chicago, but he had been waiting to board when he called her. He called again when he got off the plane in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
“Are you here yet?” He asked.
“I will pull up to the pickup lane now.”
She started the car and pulled it out of the cell phone lot. As she pulled up to the curb, Tyler walked out of the airport, bags in hand. She popped the trunk open.
He put his bags in the trunk and hopped in the front seat. “Great to see you!” He said, kissing her.
“You too, Tyler,” said Pauline. “Always good. Oh I brought you some cookies,” she said.
“You are too good. Wow, they are still warm too,” he said appreciatively. “So what’s for dinner?”
“I figured you would need a little detoxing, so I made soup. Nice and light and lots of vegetables. There’s bread too.”
“Sounds great,” said Tyler. “Thanks.”
He sat back and reflected on how fortunate he was to have a good wife, one who he could be honest with and know that she was honest with him. Even when he told her things like he told her last night, she loved him and trusted him. And, she was a great cook and beautiful too. He must be the luckiest man in the world.