Sunday, August 30, 2009

Guess Who Came to Dinner

Friday night when the phone rang, the caller ID showed a Dickinson number, so I certainly wasn't expecting to hear the voice of my aunt Rose on the other end of the line! She and my uncle Elton live in Colorado Springs, CO, but they happened to be calling from their hotel room here in Dickinson! They had decided at the last minute to accept an invitation to attend the wedding of one of Elton's relatives here. After checking into their hotel, they phoned us to find out if we'd be free to see them while they were in town. What a terrific surprise!

Rose laid out their plans: my aunt Penny (her sister) would drive down from McGregor Saturday (yesterday) to accompany them to the wedding in the afternoon and reception in the evening. She would stay overnight and then go with them to the Medora musical Sunday evening (tonight). That meant that they'd have this morning and early afternoon free, and Rose wondered if they could come to church with us and afterwards stop by our house to see our home and visit. We happily agreed!

As it turned out, our family was already scheduled to provide "special music" at both church services this morning, so I suggested that Rose, Elton, and Penny come to the second service, after which we could lead them to our house. They got to hear the five of us singing an arrangement of "Hymn of Promise" (melody: the daughters; harmony: the parents), which went very well. Afterwards I gave them a brief tour of the church and then hopped into their vehicle with them so that I could talk them through a little driving tour of Dickinson, showing them points of interest related to us (the girls' schools, the university, etc.). Susan and the girls took our vehicle home, and the girls were waiting patiently at the end of the driveway when Rose, Elton, Penny, and I finally got home.

When we stepped into the foyer, a wonderful aroma washed over us, and it was clear to them that Susan had prepared dinner for them. Rose, Elton, and Penny had planned to look around our house and then ask us to join them for brunch at a restaurant, so they were pleasantly surprised to learn that we wanted them to join us for a home-cooked Sunday dinner. (On the phone Friday, I hadn't mentioned that we would cook for them today, but I thought that that just went without saying. After all, we're Mobergs; that's how we roll.)

But first, the girls and I gave Rose, Elton, and Penny a very detailed tour of the house, narrating extensively as we walked from room to room. They seemed to like our home, complimenting us on our decorating choices and remarking how fortunate we were to find a house so perfect for us in size, in proximity to our schools and workplaces, and in terms of the quality of our neighbors. (And we concur!)

Then we sat down to eat. Susan planned the menu, bought the groceries, and started preliminary food prep yesterday afternoon; and last night, Hillary and I set the table with a white tablecloth and cloth napkins with napkin rings and china from Susan's mom and silver flatware from my mom and candles and stemware and a crystal water pitcher. For dinner today Susan served chicken baked in a garlic cream sauce, mashed potatoes with the cream sauce as gravy, steamed fresh asparagus, wheat bread with butter, and a fresh fruit salad. She baked a lemon meringue pie this morning and served it for dessert with coffee. (It was her first lemon meringue pie, and it turned out great! Juice and zest from fresh lemons in the filling with a splash of limoncello to boost the flavor, and a sweet and fluffy meringue on top.)

It was so wonderful to have my aunts and uncle as dinner guests! It brought back many great memories from my childhood of meals with extended family during gatherings for birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, and holidays. It was nice to visit with them over a leisurely meal with phenomenal food. The time came too soon when they had to leave for Medora (in order to take in a few sights before the musical), so we whipped out the multiple cameras for the multiple poses in multiple configurations--just the little girls, just the aunts and uncle, now the girls with the aunts and uncle, now me with them all, now Susan with them all, now just the girls with Susan and me, etc. (again, we're Mobergs; that's how we roll).

For the indoor set of photos, Elton was the photographer. Left to right: Rose, Suzanna, Penny, Abigail, me, Hillary, and Susan. (I think Rose looks a lot like my grandma [her mom] in this photo. Family, do you agree?)

Before they left, Rose thanked us for the opportunity to see our home. She said that, from now on when she hears family news about us, it will be fun for her to be able to picture our house in her mind and imagine the girls' playing in their bedrooms or our making food in our kitchen, and so forth. Then it was time for hugs, kisses, a few more photos, and lots of waves from our front steps as they backed out of the driveway and drove off. Their visit totally made our weekend! Thank you, Rose, Elton, and Penny!

For the outdoor set of photos, Susan was the photographer. Left to right: Elton, Rose, and Penny. The weather is beautiful today with a comfortable breeze, so I'm sure they're enjoying their time outdoors in Medora.

Three generations of Mobergs! (Rose and Penny are my dad's sisters.)


  1. Oh how fun to have them visit! It's not very often that the aunts/uncles of any of our family can visit OUR it! Great pics!

  2. It was a very special surprise -- we LOVED having them visit, and we welcome anyone else who is in the neighborhood to stop by anytime!