We flew from Reykjavik to Boston, spent the night at an airport hotel, and continued at the crack of dawn to Kansas City where I had parked Jo’s car about three weeks ago. Before lunch we are driving past rolling fields of corn, dark green and already taller than we are. Carol is expecting us. She has left Sadie in her bedroom so that when we arrive, Ouiser can greet us properly without having another dog around. The kids grumble that Grandma has never shown this level of consideration for her grandkids. Jo adds that Carol was never this nice to her kids. Ouiser has been very well cared for.
The next few days in Dawson are slow and easy. The only things we really do is walk the dogs up to Heim cemetery and go to Frosty Queen for crunch cones. One day I get to visit the fields with Tom. As usual Tom patiently answers my questions about everything – corn futures, the internal workings of combines, an infestation of Japanese beetles. I see the copper and green Japanese beetles first hand eating their way through soy bean leaves. A crop duster flies low overhead dusting a neighboring field.
Carol has helped Vivian learn how to crochet and has given her a hook and yarn. Vivian and I fly back from Kansas City airport to home. She crochets obsessively all the way back. Over the next few days she makes herself a very shaggy looking sweater and calls it “cottagecore” while I call it ugly. At home we are greeted very vocally by our dear Zeus who tells us all about how she has been alone for weeks and that we are assholes, over and over again. She lays on top of us meowing very loudly.
In a few days Ouiser, Jo and Evan drive back to Austin from Nebraska and we are finally back to full strength at the white wooden house. Soccer and the schools start up. Summer is supposedly over and it is only a 100 degrees outside. Vivian is in 10th (I have a hard time wrapping my head around that) grade and Evan is in 7th.
It has been another epic summer trip, especially our 3000 km drive around Iceland. But we are happy to be back home and reunited with our furry kids. Once the hairless kids are in school Jo and I go for a nice brunch to Josephine House and enjoy our customary back to school celebration. Cheers to another academic year.