Sitting down at the computer, Shelley looks over to the couch in their den and spies Fredi, who's settled herself in, having following Shelley from the front room.
"I love you too Fredi" Shelley murmurs under her breath.
They'd gone, Shelley & Fredi, for a long walk down town and picked up a new blouse ($15) while they were at it (for Shelley not Fredi). Brian was in the air. Somewhere between Vancouver Canada and Houston Texas. While they'd both missed Brian on his trip away, they'd managed to keep busy and active. A couple of people had e-mailed to check on them and Shelley had set up a couple of dinners once Brian was home. Soon all would be back to routine; routine's good.
Normally Brian & Fredi get out of bed around 6 AM. While Brian was away, Fredi considerately let Shelley sleep-in until around 8 AM...that is until the day Brian was due home. At 5:45 AM Fredi was on Shelley's neck, licking her and advising it was time to play.
"It's too early Fredi" Shelley told her and rolled over but Fredi would have none of it. At 6:10 Shelley & Fredi were outside having a little romp. "Can you smell Brian in Quito?" Shelley asked Fredi. Fredi refused to reply.
Brian phoned around 8:30 AM and told another tale of hours spent in Houston because there was "something wrong with the hydraulics".
"I thought I'd be stuck Houston for another day".
Spending 3 more hours in Houston than was scheduled, the plane eventually did take off and Brian arrived at his Hotel in Quito around 2:30 AM.
"I'll be in Cuenca around 2:30 PM" he told Shelley. "I'm glad to be back in Ecuador. It feels like home."
In yet another similar turn of fate, Brian's flight from Quito to Cuenca was delayed half an hour. He got home about when he expected however.
Home of course meant a reunion with Shelley & Fredi. Both were satisfyingly demonstrative in their joy at seeing him. So...then the suitcase was unpacked with all the goodies brought back from Canada. Lots of cooking stuff, a lovely present from his brother's spouse (a quilted wall hanging), lots of English language books from Shelley's oldest daughter and some bathroom related stuff (dental tape, crystal deodorant). He even brought a Ukrainian sausage & a large block of good Canadian cheddar cheese to share with a few aficionados. They spent the next couple of hours talking and catching up on Brian's trip, the kids, his brother, his kids, the trip itself, and so on. Brian felt particularly good that the very last thing he did in Canada at the Vancouver Airport was have a double/double and breakfast sausage from that Canadian icon Tim Hortons.
The next day, sitting in a restaurant downtown sipping on cappuccino's Brian said: "You know what I noticed the most back in North America? The fullness of flavour in the foods. I had a chicken burger that tasted like the best chicken burger I've ever eaten. The kids made me smokies and they tasted as good as a prime rib! "
We spent the next morning talking more about what each other had missed while we were apart. We chattered on our walk downtown, chattered over our cappuccino's and chattered on our walk back home. Fredi had stuck close to Shelley for about 2 hours upon Brian's return, but after that she became Brian's little girl puppy again. She'd drift over to Shelley from time to time and give her an apology lick but then turn back to Brian, firmly his girl. Shelley didn't mind; everyone was just glad to be together again.