Last Thursday I journeyed out to the wilds of Dunrobin to visit my former housemates, Gord, Kelly, and Jamie (the latter pictured above). They shared their house with me for four years…except for Jamie since she joined the household two years after I did. You’d think that would give me bathroom priority but it didn’t always work out that way!

Since Jamie was 2½ when I moved out two years ago, she has no memory of my living in what today serves as her playroom and mom’s sewing room. I took it upon myself to make sure that she doesn’t forget me again by calling more often and bugging them to let me visit. I think my efforts have met with uneven results to this point. Though she couldn’t remember my name when I arrived, I think she recognised me from my last visit. I knew that more work was required on my part when as she said grace before dinner, she stopped, gestured toward me, and quietly asked her mom, “Mommy, what’s his name again?” But that’s okay by me, two or three weeks are a long time to the young.

I’m not a girl so Jamie took it upon herself to let me in on some of the secrets that have been denied me all these years. I hope she doesn’t get in trouble for it! As I sat quietly and listened (and held the nail polish bottle) she explained to me that she had to put on some nail polish and lipstick because I was there. She explained that one must look nice when company comes calling and also when going out to parties in the evening. She also applied some pretty stickers to the back of her hands! After she was all gussied up, she vogued for a bit (see above) and by then it was time to start dinner.

Dinner, as tradition often dictates when I visit, was tacos. They’re especially good at Chez Greig because rather than simply baking the shells and then making the tacos to eat, Gord goes to the trouble of loading the tacos with meat and cheese, then broiling them to ready the shells and melt the cheese at the same time. It results in a less brittle shell and there’s nothing better than having the cheese melted. I rarely go to the extra trouble myself, but many hands make for light work. I’m in charge of the meat preparation and while the cheese isn’t assigned to any one person, it just gets done anyway. Even though Kelly doesn’t like tacos, she sometimes grates the cheese … she thinks we don’t know it’s merely a ploy to get near the cheese without suspicion so she can eat some! This time however, Jamie seems to have taken after mother.

Afterwards it was bedtime and Jamie asked if I would read her bedtime story. I was happy to do so and enjoyed the tale of Knight George and how he defeated the evil dragon. It seems that even knights are a little more sensitive and politically correct these days as there was no swordplay or blasts of flame. George used guile and a bit of magic to defeat, but not slay, the dragon. Afterwards Jamie told me that I absolutely could not give her a kiss goodnight. Taking advantage of George’s lesson, I planted a stealthy peck on her cheek and made a quick escape, wishing her a good night.

You don’t live with someone unless you think they’re at least decent people, and after four years I found that Kelly and Gord far exceed mere decency. I don’t see them as often as I like, but they remain very good friends of mine. And of course that applies to Jamie and her soon-to-be sibling!