Like many houses in sunny southern Florida, Mom has no basement, and a surprising amount of room packed into one floor: ample living room, three bedrooms, garage, dining area, and a kitchen with a pass-through window to the family room. The family room used to be outside, actually, a fully-screened porch. This leads to a few oddities at Mom's house -
1. the wall between the family room and the rest of the house is of course a thick outside wall, meant to endure heavy weather;
2. kitchen, living room, AND master bedroom have lockable sliding-glass doors to the family room (this place must have been hell to insure against theft before it was remodeled);
3. there is an honest-to-goodness wall-unit air conditioner hiding in the corner of the family room, just next to the kitchen doors.
Nearly everything in southern Florida has central air, but this room had to be vented in later; the previous solution had been to stuff a small AC in the wall as a stopgap. Mom never uses it now, but it's too much trouble to have it removed and the wall repaired. She does, however, have the near-mandatory inground pool in the backyard.
(It always seemed strange to me when I was little that in Florida, where everything is one-third canals, everyone had a pool anyway, a complete luxury in our northern climes. It wasn't until later that I learned that the canals were prone to giant reptiles that could eat a swimmer.)
Mom told us to prepare ourselves when we got in, because there was now a third dog in the house: a female pit bull terrier had joined the male pit and the older papillon-mix. "Wait a minute," I said, "I thought Brother's dog wasn't fixed..."
He wasn't. Neither was the lady dog. As a result she is now quite full of puppies. (After we got back Mom told us the vet had estimated 7-9 wee ones, due sometime around the time you read this.) She accepted some scratching behind the ears and then shuffled back to lie down on the doggie bed in the corner. We went to the restaurant where my sister works to have an actual dinner, since the Five Grams of Turkey were strangely unsatisfying.
I'm pleased to note that Sister has the respect of her coworkers and the romantic attention of a decent kid who treats her with respect and kindness. Also, they serve a tasty burger there. Her shift ended, we argued a little about who would tip her, and then everyone went home. We got to meet Brother's best girl when we arrived, and were pleased to note that she was an actual sane person, and that Brother treated her much the way Sister's beau treats her.
Then it was time for everyone to get some rest for tomorrow.