Stepped into Aunt E's house, gave her big hugs, put down bags and bags of groceries, and rushed to the garden to see how the apple trees were doing. What a refreshing green against the bright sunshine. Hello apples, you're growing really well. How many more harvests, I wonder.
Summer means eating lots of fruit salads. Aunt E made a giant bowl by way of welcome. A cool breeze wafted through the house. No more heatwave. 22°C in the sun. Sat out in the shaded patio with oversized sunnies and ate my share of the fruit salad. The man scooped up vanilla ice-cream for himself, and pottered around. By the time he came back, he was rather dismayed to find that it had melted. Heh.
There was a happy pot of soup bubbling on the stove. Earlier, Aunt E had asked if we liked pea and mint soup. I was like, NO!!! Absolutely dislike peas and mint. The man would love that though. Anyway in the end, Aunt E chose to make asparagus and mushroom soup. Whewww. Drunk big bowls. It was chunky and tasty. Too full for any more food. Shelved the proper food to dinner instead. Tea first. As in, no cakes; just that cup of satisfying tea in the drawing room over wonderful conversation. It was about an hour later that I discovered that the man stole a blueberry scone from goodness-knows-where to munch on.
It got really hot and we retreated into the house. Had fun prepping ingredients needed for dinner. Well, I was more useful at the sink and to fetch items from the fridge, and the man knew his way around the spice cabinet, larder, stove and oven. Aunt E directed us to make a caramelized red onion tart. Once it went into the oven, we set about sorting out herb crust for the sea bass. Dinner was awesome.
As much as I balk at Mozart, I dutifully found the scores in the library and (badly) played three sonatas on the piano. Aunt E loves music and the piano. We stayed till long after sundown. Washed up the kitchen and all, and merrily vacuumed the house too. We drove, so there was no worry about having to catch the last train back into town. Even if we were tired and didn't want to drive back, at worst, we could just bunk over. Didn't even need a room. Plenty of comfy couches at Aunt E's to sprawl on.
Enjoyed every minute of our visit. Lingered as long as we politely could without tiring her out with conversation. There were pockets of comfortable silences too. Locked in all those memories. Will we ever forget? When our time comes, we might. Aunt E has become so much weaker. She's almost 90 and needs a walking stick now. A stark contrast to the cheer of making our way to Aunt E's, the drive back to town was quiet and pensive. How many more winters, we wonder.