"Are you leaving?" I said, trying not to sound too excited.
"Just planning ahead," she said, shifting a couple balls of Rowan felted tweed inside the suitcase. "I need to make sure I can fit everything in here and still have room for a couple bottles of something bubbly. How much stuff are you planning on bringing?"
"To camp. How much stuff are you planning on bringing to camp?"
"Dolores, I'm putting a stop this right now. You're not coming with me."
"I beg your pardon?"
"Me, I am going to knitting camp. You are staying here. Or taking a vacation of your own. Or sleeping under the bar at the Lucky Horseshoe, if you want to. But you are not, I repeat, not coming to camp with me. Don't take it personally. It's just that they have limited space, and I'm pretty sure I'm not allowed to bring guests."
Dolores blinked, then pulled an envelope out of her purse and handed it to me. I saw a Wisconsin postmark and felt the blood drain out of my face.
There was a handwritten note in the envelope.
We were all wondering where you've been all this time. Of course you should come up for camp this year. Don't worry about the expense–as far as we're concerned you're family.
And sure, we'll see about finding room for the fellow you're living with...Fred Something? His application is here somewhere. He sounds harmless enough. Nice handwriting. And I'm sure you're exaggerating, I can't imagine you living with anybody who "missed his calling as a librarian at the cloistered monastery of St. Rigid."
Anyhow, gotta run but all the gals say hi and they still remember that trick you did with the cherry tomatoes from the salad.
After Dolores helped me up off the floor and brought me a glass of water, I sat on the sofa and fanned myself with the Halcyon Yarns catalog.
"I figured you'd be excited," she said. "Oh, and I took care of our ride, too. Martha and Susan from Ohio called to say I can ride with them, and it turns out they also have a seat for you if you don't bring too big a bag. I had to promise them you're not the sort who needs to stop for a pee every thirty miles. Think you can you handle that?"
I'm beginning to question my ability to handle anything.