A surprise visitor

This morning I was working on my business plan when I saw that I had a message from Merih. He said that he was in Sister Bay and had just arrived an hour before. You could have knocked me over with a feather! Last I had heard from him and Kader a few days ago, we had all seemed to resign ourselves to the fact that they wouldn’t be able to come this summer. I also got a message from Kader that she will be arriving on the 24th if the influx of foreign students isn’t banned by Trump before then.

Mark was gone all day to Green Bay for a BACA (Bikers Against Child Abuse) ride, so I couldn’t get in touch with him. As I was cleaning the house for Merih’s visit, I hatched a plan to surprise Mark. Around 5:30, Mark called from Sturgeon Bay to ask if we needed anything at the store. I told him I just needed him to come home. He sensed some urgency in my voice, so he high-tailed it home, but when he walked into the house, I had dinner waiting and seemed to be perfectly calm.

At dinner, he looked at me and said, “On the phone, you sounded like you had some big surprise for me. What is it?” I looked around at the house I had spent all afternoon cleaning and said, “Isn’t this enough?” He looked a little puzzled.

After dinner, Mark played into my hands when he said, “Oh, I forgot to get dog food for Tucson.” I said, “Let’s go to the store and get some.” While Mark changed out of his biker clothes, I sent a quick message to Merih that we were going to be leaving and asking where we should meet him. He told me to meet him at one of the restaurants he worked at last summer, Stabbur.

Mark and I got into the car that Merih left behind last year and I tried to act calm, but as we started to approach the meeting place, I said, “Oh, pull over here!” Mark asked why and I said I thought I had seen something. We had to get turned around to be parked in front of Stabbur. I didn’t see Merih, so I told Mark that I was going to go check something out.

Stabbur is a mostly outdoor beer garden associated with the Swedish restaurant in Sister Bay, Al Johnson’s. I walked up to the counter and asked if Merih was there. They thought he had just left, but one of them went in back to check, and a minute later, Merih came out and gave me a hug. Mark didn’t notice us at first when we walked back to the car, but Merih came up to the drivers-side door and looked in at Mark, and you could have knocked Mark over with a feather! They hugged and then Merih got in the passenger side where I had been sitting before. While he was walking around to the door, Mark turned to me in the back seat and tried to tickle my knee to tease me for tricking him!

We got Merih back to our place and he brought along a gift that his mother had made for me…

These look like they took a lot of work!

I asked Merih if he could translate for me if we called her so that I could thank her, and he said yes, but then I asked him what time it was in Turkey and he said it was 3:30 am. I thought of the verse in Proverbs 27:14 “If you wake your friend in the early morning by shouting “Rise and shine!” It will sound to him more like a curse than a blessing.” I decided to wait for a more opportune time.

We sat and visited for a few minutes and then Mark and Merih went out to check the tires on the car. Three of them had been flat when we got home from Arizona, and they had gone down some when Mark checked them again this evening so he put air in them.

Merih has jetlag, so he wasn’t his usual perky self, but he is always interested in watching Mark do things to his car.

We visited a little while longer inside, and Merih said he had a sore throat from the plane. I made him some hot coffee and he drank it all. Mark gave him some throat lozenges to take home, and then we told him to go home and get some rest. He says he’s going to come back in the morning to help Mark around here. I suspect it will be closer to noon before he even gets out of bed. I’m just hoping he didn’t pick up the coronavirus on the flight over here. He said that they took his temperature before they let him on the plane, so he seems to have been OK on that end. He indicated that it had been cold on the plane, so I’m hoping that’s all it is.

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