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I hear this Detroit place is lovely.

However, we didn’t go there.  We went to its suburb, Livonia, and spent most of the trip to Detroit in the backseat of a Honda Accord driving to Madison, WI, and back again, to pick up a small girl named Rory.

Rory belongs to George. More accurately, George belongs to Rory—you can see the heart strings from 20 paces.  She’s a lovely girl, 6 years old, smart as a young Marie Curie.

George and his ex-wife have worked out an arrangement about which I know little except that we needed to drive to somewhere in Madison, Wisconsin, at 7:30 in the morning to pick Rory up, which is basically cruel and unusual punishment for me and Susie. This required leaving the previous day and staying in a motel.

The car ride was excellent, though.  Very smooth and the back seat, where we were, was spacious.  The trip gave us ample time to chat about all the newnesses in our lives that needed catching up on.

For example, George and I got to talk a lot about Amanda, the woman in the passenger seat, who he apparently is married to. smile

She’s also smart, too, and if she isn’t as smart as Marie Curie, I couldn’t prove it… I wouldn’t want to be the child who had grow up pulling wool over this mom’s eyes. I didn’t hear an unkind word pass between the two of them in three days—not a single “well, George is so X,” or “You know how Y George can be,” and while sure they may just still be a couple of goofy newlyweds… they seem to have a calmness that is the seed required for a wonderful family life.

Returning to Livonia, we stayed in Rory’s room, which had 4.3 princesses per square foot, not including Susie. It was pink and lovely.

The rest of George’s house is also pretty nice. They just moved in, and there’s still some organizational work to be done—putting books in some sort of order, etc.—the rest is great. Except, for some reason, the living room is set up with two couches in airline seating configuration: two rows facing the TV at the front. It’s so exceedingly odd, I’ve never seen anything like it.

His neighbourhood is quiet and safe, with more dental clinics in one area than I’ve ever seen.

And while much of the food we ate while there was road food—not road kill food, but rather places like Texas Corral, and Steak and Shake, we did have two memorable meals…

The first was the collection of lovely baked goods Amanda made: ginger chocolate chip cookies, and muffins that she CALLED chocolate chip, but which seemed to be a delicious delivery mechanism for zucchini or something. I didn’t ask because Rory was gobbling one down and I didn’t want to burst that bubble. There was also bacon toffee, which was smokey and salty and made my heart hurt.

The second meal was at a place called Harvest in Madison, one block away from the capitol building, which was a Grown-Ups Place. With wine, and bread plates, and tablecloths and everything. I had a pork loin that was almost undercooked but so tender delicious I couldn’t NOT eat it.  Susie had beef tenderloin. Everyone rolled their eyes at how yummy everything was. Yum.

The walk back to the car was the coldest I’ve been in AGES, though I’m about to land in Minneapolis, so some records are going to be broken…

I slept long and hard our final morning in Detroit. Our original flight was delayed, and so we had three hours to use however we liked.  I would have liked to use it reading one of George’s 10,000 books, but sleep works too. Ahhhhh.

Overheard

“The sad truth is that most evil is done by people who never make up their minds to be good or evil.”

...who said it?

“Almost every American I know does trade large portions of his life for entertainment, hour by weeknight hour, binge by Saturday binge, Facebook check by Facebook check. I’m one of them. In the course of writing this I’ve watched all 13 episodes of House of Cards and who knows how many more West Wing episodes, and I’ve spent any number of blurred hours falling down internet rabbit holes. All instead of reading, or writing, or working, or spending real time with people I love.”

...who said it?

“Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones.”

...who said it?

“I play with variables constantly.”

...who said it?

“Only the person who has learned Continual Love coming from a heart of Gratitude/Worship can effectively deal with the problem of loneliness.”

...who said it?

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