Oh, yes, my sister-in-law and her husband have a downstairs guest bedroom, and an upstairs guest bedroom, and another bedroom that's to be put to some purpose, they say, but which for now is holding some extra toys for my niece, including her play tent. This made bunny_hugger wonder something that I ought to have asked, to wit, are they planning to have another child? As far as I know they weren't, but I didn't think to ask them, and some prodding around my parents hasn't turned up anything. It's possible that they just didn't have a chance to buy a home less oversized, as apparently homes in their mildly creepy utopian-commune mayorless enclave rarely come up for sale. We'll see.
My brother was at work, and my niece at school, so what we had was some uninterrupted time with my sister-in-law to eat hummus and pierogies and talk a bit more about all the things we're dreading, and about how nice it does appear to be out back with the wooded parklands surrounding all the houses, and all of that. We probably could have stayed until at least my niece got back from school, except for the threat of the weather: a blizzard was supposed to move in, starting early in the afternoon, and we'd either have to stay over an extra night (and maybe two!) or have to get back to my parents' home before the snow got serious. All things considered, including some really trivial things (I'd forgot my toothbrush and had to rely on the horrible flimsy plastic thing I got from the hotel's front desk), we figured we were better off getting back to my parents' home.
So we got packed up and headed out, wrestling the satellite navigator to the point that bunny_hugger worried how distractedly I was driving, but well ahead of the snow. We got back to New Jersey before having to refill the car's surprisingly small tank (who makes a car with a 300-mile range?), although the gas station attendant hollered at us before I got into the rest stop, so I could move the now-filled car out of the way of the pumps. The snow itself didn't even get really started until our last hour or so, and it was merely flurries. It started back in Maryland just a little while after we set out, so, obviously, we picked just the right time to maximize our visiting time without being bothered by snow.
When we got back to my parents, things were a little more sparse, a little more gently weird than even before. There was a little less food in the house, a little less everything. It would even get weirder: while bunny_hugger was doing something or other my parents wanted me to take the dresser (the one that'd been mine as a child) out of the guest room and into the garage, for disposal somewhere I hope it's loved. I had just been using the top surface to rest my computer on, but bunny_hugger had used the drawers as drawers and I had to empty all that to ... well, neat piles on the floor was all the choice there was. We were already sleeping on mattresses and a box spring resting on the floor, like we were teenage males or something; now, there weren't even horizontal surfaces for our computers or an alarm clock or whatnot. And we'd have several more days like this.
The snow kept falling, to a fairly good pile, and in the night I took my camera out to get some night photos of what the last snowfall looked like.
Trivia: Soviet General Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov, introduced to the taste of Coca-Cola during postwar negotiations over Germany's fate, received specially-prepared cylinders of Coca-Cola, made without coloring, so it better resembled vodka. Source: A History Of The World In 6 Glasses, Tom Standage.
Currently Reading: Galatea 2.2, Richard Powers.