sandy was already up this morning taking a shower, her last day in cambridge/boston. when i used the bathroom afterwards, i noticed she'd cleared out all her toiletries. i was going to my parents' place for a few hours to do some tree planting, particularly the krauter vesuvius cherry plum, which we purchased a week ago but haven't planted yet while waiting for the ground to thaw. i felt a little bad leaving sandy at home alone, the courteous thing to do would be to take her out to lunch, but during the first 5 weeks she was here she was out with kelvin on a daily basis, so we never really formed a type of relationship where i felt like i should be treating her to anything. i did get her some KFC yesterday, which turned out to be a dud.

so i left by 10:30am, told her i'd be back around 2-3pm. she said she probably wouldn't be home in the afternoon, out running errands.

my father was outside when i arrived, looking at our neighbor's ongoing construction project. for some reason the entire front yard had been excavated again. my father said it was because of a leak in the basement. that's when we saw the owner who confirmed his suspicion. the septic line was improperly installed and had leaked into the basement.

we started working right away. first we relocated the hosta, digging out the root ball and moving it about a foot away from where the new tree will go. then we dug out the previous kwanzan cherry tree. we tried to keep the root ball intact but the soil was too soft and much of it crumbled. we moved it onto a tarp to transport it to the southwestern corner of the yard. the hole there was already dug, we just had to amend the soil with peat moss, potting soil, and some organic fertilizer, before planting the kwanzan tree.

we went back to were we dug out the kwanzan, widening and deepening the hole, amending the soil (this one with half a bag of composted manure) as well. the krauter vesuvius plum was just as big as the other mahoney kwanzan. instead of removing the pot completely, we sliced off just the bottom, so we could still have something to hold on to when moving the tree. but with the bottom cut out, the remaining pot sort of pulled, leaving the exposed bottom portion of the root ball exposed and bulging. we finally got the tree into place by sliding it into the hole. after adjusting it to make sure it was facing the right way and standing straight, my father filling up the rest of the hole with dirt.

we finally finished by 1pm. my mother cooked up some tiny wontons for lunch. after i finished eating, i biked back to cambridge around 2:20pm. sure enough, sandy wasn't home. she'd washed the bedsheets earlier, stacked neatly on her bed, and her suitcase was already packed, sitting outside her room. at one point i texted sandy, asking her if she remembered to pick up her pecan pie at petsi's (she did).

sandy came home by 3pm. she brought home two cheesecakes, one strawberry, one triple-layered chocolate. after cancelling her td bank account at harvard square, she took the bus into boston (partly to see the city one last time, partly to use up the value on her charlie card). she had lunch at the copley mall cheesecake factory, a medley of lobster and shrimp. she let me have one of the cheesecakes so i picked the chocolate one. she put them in the fridge until we were ready to eat them. she also remembered to return the house key.

we then just hung out, chatting in the living room. at 5pm we took out the cheesecakes. i was already full halfway through, but sandy had to finish hers since she couldn't leave it behind. at 6pm she ordered an uber, which arrived in a matter of minutes. i helped her bring out her suitcase and load it in the car. and with that she was gone, off to make her 9:40pm british airways direct flight to london heathrow airport.

as far as roommates go, sandy wasn't bad. she liked to talk and we had some interesting conversations. even though she was chinese, we spoke almost entirely in english, as her mandarin isn't as good (though probably still better than my mandarin). i didn't like that she cooked all the time, and was always fearful that she was making seafood or stir-frying something in the pan, but she always cleaned up afterwards, so the only thing remaining was just the smell. she was on the phone with kelvin a lot, videochatting so much that even though he wasn't here, it still felt like he was. and cantonese people only have one volume setting when they talk which is loud.

sandy left very few items behind, partly due to her spartan lifestyle. she ate pretty much everything she had, leaving just some uncooked rice and a package of imitation crab meat. she also donated some cooking oils, some soy sauce, some mirin, and some sesame oil. and then some shampoos and a half-used tube of crest toothpaste.

sandy texted me from the plane before she was about to leave. she had some bad luck and once again was placed next to an obese woman who asked if she could the aisle seat and sandy sit by the window. i tracked the progress of the flight as it left logan airport.

the cheesecake was so dense i wasn't hungry until 10pm, when i microwaved a package of frozen cheese pierogi and sausage, along with the remaining bits of chocolate cheesecake. i finished the evening watching SNL with kit harington as the host.