Dinner With The In-Laws

Today was Franny’s last soccer game for the fall season. Last weekend was Sal’s last game. It has been kind of nice to have their singular, final games on different days (let alone different weekends). Today’s game was out of town, close to Milwaukee. About an hour’s drive. We had to wake early– 6am is early for a Saturday– and head out while the sun was still rising. We opted to just take Franny, sparing the other boys the misery of bolting awake on a cold Saturday morning. But also, with just Franny we can comfortably take the car; less gas.

McDonald’s supplied our breakfast fuel. We stopped halfway, picking up a sack of breakfast sandwiches and coffee. I don’t know what it is about their coffee (crack), but I’m pretty darn sure they put something in it (crack) that has been drawing me back daily this week for a cup (crack), twice one day. It’s not like it is the world’s greatest coffee, or the best bargain in town (1 medium cup = $1.42), but I’m literally craving it again now as I type. I’ve got to break that addiction because it simply doesn’t go along with our movement of more mindful spending.

The game went well, Franny’s team lost in the last minute, too late to tie it up. Some of the kids went to a bar close by to watch the Wisconsin game, but we headed back home since we had dinner plans with Frank’s brother.

They have 3 girls, and we brought the 4 boys plus 1 male cousin. There were a couple neighborhood kids over, too (boys, also), and everyone had a nice time playing outside until the sun set and the air chilled. They served breaded pork and beef, garlic mashed potatoes and salad. Semi-simple, but very comforting food. Even after dinner, the kids went back outside into the dark with flashlights to hike the hill out back and scare each other over the noises they thought they were hearing. While they played, I enjoyed wine and conversation with my sister-in-law, coffee and more talk; Frank spent some much-needed time with his brother.

It seems the best plans are the last-minute ones, since those are the times where it works out. We get a call a day or so ahead, we confirm hours before, we arrive, we have an extremely enjoyable time. We wonder aloud why we don’t do it more often, we give strong hugs goodbye, and and leave feeling fulfilled and loved. It is good.

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