Olla and Florence pay a visit

The Cat loader got fixed today. Diesel is now flowing uninhibited into the engine, and we're not sure why. Whatever, we'll take it. And I immediately started cleaning out parts of the swamp.

When I drove back to the yard for a break, I found that Olla and Florence had driven out. Florence, 91, picked up Olla, 95, at the Fertile Hilton and they drove out to visit the gardens.

Both were in fine form. I packed them on the golf cart and gave them a ride around the gardens. Florence recalled the last time I had put them on the cart and made them drive it themselves. She was terrified. She'll never forget it.

Olla and Florence immediately struck up a conversation with some gardens' visitors from Arizona. The gentleman introduced himself and said that most people call him by his nickname, "Rat." Well, Florence said, "most people call me 'old bag!'"

Florence continues to mourn the loss of her dog, Fufu. She is still getting sympathy cards from the vet's office. They were all stricken with grief. In fact, the vet took Fufu home and buried her next to her own beloved dog under the old oak tree. They planted a geranium on the grave, too. Fufu was in surgery for a tumor when she died.

As Florence was telling about Fufu, Olla whispered to me, "Mama would have died." Apparently, doting on pets wasn't something the Norwegians from the old country indulged in.

Olla told a story about the time in the 1920s when she spent three weeks varnishing, painting and scrubbing her family's old house. Nobody noticed. Her big hope was that her big brother Roy would take notice when he came home. When he walked in for the first time after Olla's makeover of the house, all he said was, "well, looks like somebody lives here."

That was enough, Olla said. Somebody had noticed.

Florence has trouble with two things: losing her cane, and losing her car keys. Her solution? Attach the car keys tightly to the cane with several layers of electrical tape. Since she did that, she hasn't lost either one. It was fun watching her try to insert her car keys into the ignition with a cane attached--sort of as an oversized key chain.

Florence said, "are you going to play something for me on the piano?" I said no, you don't like what I play anyway--because she doesn't. She laughed, and that was the end of it.