Tom is baaaack!!!How wonderful to be together again!!!…In his words…

Could these three female kudus be any cuter?
There are no words I can use without sounding too syrupy to have my man back in the bush with me. He arrived not much later than we’d anticipated. We hugged warmly, but he wanted to brush his teeth before planting a big smooch on me. He hadn’t had access to his toothbrush and toothpaste since he left the US almost two days earlier. I always carry a travel toothbrush and a little tube of toothpaste, just in case. But Tom hadn’t done this.
He spent a night at the City Lodge Hotel at the Tambo Airport in Johannesburg with nothing but the clothes on his back and a clean pair of underwear. His one piece of luggage was in limbo at the time, causing him some stress after recent events.
Kudus love eating bird seeds off the bird feeder ledge.
Tom had written the following to his kids and siblings when they’d asked him about his return trip:
“When I got to the airport in Minneapolis, I received a text on my phone saying my flight was delayed two hours. Apparently, the plane coming from Denver was delayed getting out of there. I was worried because my layover in Newark, NJ, was only 90 minutes, and I would miss my 16-hour flight from Newark to Johannesburg, South Africa. 
This route is only available two to three times a week. I would have been stuck in Newark until I could get on another 16-hour flight.
Also, I had booked a hotel room at the airport in Johannesburg due to a 14-hour layover to catch my last flight from Johannesburg to Nelspruit, South Africa. If I couldn’t get on this new flight, I would have to pay for the hotel room and not get there in time to use it.
Check out the width between this Big Daddy’s horns.
Quickly, I approached the airline counter, asking what I could do. They told me to go to a  different gate with an earlier flight from Minneapolis to Newark.
When I checked at the next gate (same airline), they said I might have a chance to get on that flight, but I would be on standby and have to wait until all the other booked passengers were on the plane.
I had checked my bag for the first flight, so the gate agent called about it to see if it could be moved from my booked flight to this flight. They told her they would try to get it done.
I’ve never been on a standby list before. I waited about 2½ hours.
While I was waiting there, many others were trying to do the same thing that I had done, get on the standby list I was on. Some of these passengers were getting angry and raising their voices.
After they boarded the plane with booked passengers, I was relieved when they announced that only three seats were available for standby passengers, and I was #2 on the list. When I got to my seat, I heard other passengers talking, saying this particular flight had been delayed; it was scheduled to depart several hours earlier. I was fortunate it was delayed and that I could get on it.
Then I was concerned if my checked bag made this flight. I went to the hotel without my bag, with no toiletries and only a change of underwear I’d put into the computer bag. I didn’t know until I arrived at my final location to find my bag was there. What a relief after what we’d been through recently with lost baggage.

The candy made it without being an issue. I’m happy to be back!”

Adorable Little Johnny contemplating jumping over the fence

Yesterday, we never spent a moment out of each other’s sight. We had a lot of catching up to do, along with an entire afternoon and evening filled with laughter, countless warm interactions, and smiles on our faces. After never being apart in the past over ten years (other than the nights I was in hospital), I can’t even describe how wonderful it feels to be back together again.

Today, now 24 hours later, we’re still reeling. Even breakfast tasted better than ever this morning. Last night upon Tom’s insistence, I never made the chateaubriand but instead cut the meat into sizable steaks, which we enjoyed topped with garlic mushroom, wine sauce I made just before we ate, along with a crispy green salad and rice for Tom.

He hadn’t slept well in the airport hotel and slept only about four hours in the past two days. I could tell he was tired but couldn’t doze off when he tried to take a short nap around 2:00 pm, 1400 hrs. In a funny way, he reminded me of a little kid excited to be where he was and unable to wind down long enough for his nap. It warmed my heart. I am so lucky.

Norman has visited several times already this morning but was annoyed with nearby male kudus, causing him to fluff up with his head low.

Louise wrote to me that last night I was the “happiest woman in Marloth Park.” So true, dear Louise. And I am still reeling today. They say, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” But my heart was already pretty fond before he went away. In reality, we feel as lucky to be together today as we always feel.

Today, we’re making burgers on the braai (no buns) with bacon and the leftover garlic mushroom sauce, salad, and rice. Sundowners on the veranda on this lovely sunny day will begin at 4:00 pm, 1600 hrs., as always—dinner around 6:00 pm, 1800 hrs., and later streaming our favorite shows. Tom slept well and is experiencing no jet lag whatsoever, but surely another good night’s sleep will be worthwhile.

Be well.

Photo from one year ago today, March 16, 2022:

It didn’t take long for the wildebeest fight to commence. We knew that something would happen once they were on their knees. For more photos and a video of the battle, please click here.

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