14 August 2009


My brother, his wife and their 3 kids are visiting this week. Good times! Well, reasonable times, anyway. They are good houseguests, all things considered, partly because they are spending most of their time with my parents. In fact, my brother and his wife and the youngest kid, a 6 year old boy, are staying at my house and the two girls (ages 12 and 10) are staying with my parents. It’s more of an adventure for the girls that way, and one of them is allergic to cats. We’ve got three.

The days have been going something like this: I get up at 4:45 and take a shower. My brother gets up at 4:55 and goes downstairs to work remotely from his laptop. I get dressed and go downstairs to make the coffee. T gets up and takes her shower. I drink coffee and eat toast and read the parts of the paper that I like for about a half hour. Make my lunch, go upstairs to brush my teeth. T gives me a ride to work. In the afternoon, we get home, have a beer and a cigarette, pet the pets, do a little of this and that. We make and eat dinner. About 8:30 or 9:00 the family shows up, chats for a few minutes and then they go to bed. Very low impact house guests!

Still, having extra people in the house is an exercise in patience and tolerance. First thing in the morning my brother is sitting at the dining room table where I am accustomed to sitting ~ by. my. self. Thankfully, he doesn’t talk much ~ I really prefer not to carry on a conversation until I’ve had a cup or two of coffee. After that, fine. Also, he and his son leave the toilet seat up which drives T crazy. I say better up than peed on. Still, it’s bugging her.

They are also using my car for the week. That’s ok with me because we have two vehicles and I can also take public transportation to and from work. It’s just occasionally inconvenient. But not really a big deal. A funny difference between the girlfriend and me: I would never, ever, park in someone’s driveway unless specifically told that I should. She (and all of her family) would rather park in the driveway even if it blocks the car that’s already there. Even if, like my driveway, the only spot to park in was at a ridiculous slant that makes getting in and out of the car a contortionist’s trick. The first night my brother had the car there was no parking in front of the house so he parked around the corner. T actually went out and moved the car ~ parked it in the driveway. Where she thinks it belongs. We all have our little idiosyncrasies, I guess. My brother and I were raised by a parking fiend. Our dad is a nut about courteous parking. We were never allowed to park in front of someone else’s house. We had to orchestrate our comings and goings so that all of the cars were in the driveway or in front of the house. It makes me crazy when T’s brother comes over and has their mom in the car and parks on the slope of my driveway. First of all, don’t park in the damned driveway, second of all, it’s extremely difficult for your seventy-something year old mother to get in and out at that angle! Argh!

I’ve enjoyed hanging out with my sister-in-law. We spent some quality time, without the kids or my brother, going to fabric stores. Of course they have fabric stores in northern Virginia, but she wanted a variety, something a little different. Their daughters compete in gymnastics and she actually makes their leotards. She is quite a seamstress! I, well, I am a quilter and not a fancy one. But, I found lots of good stuff in the remnants section. Don’t tell T how much I spent; she would be shocked! I need to incorporate it into the fabric collection which will make it pretty much undetectable… not that I need to justify or rationalize my fabric expenditures, I’d just rather not discuss them at all!

I’ve enjoyed seeing the family ~ and yes, I’ll enjoy waving good bye. One thing that leaves me a little wistful is that my daughter wasn’t able to come out this summer. We had the Virginians last summer as well, and Zoe came out for a quick weekend visit. That was a year ago and I haven’t seen her since. Too long! I’ve already started campaigning for one of the upcoming winter holidays. I don’t care if it’s Thanksgiving or Christmas, I want her at home for one of them. Or both! Or moving back in to her old room! I may be getting a little ahead of myself there, but I really would like that :-) At least, I would like it if she moved back without the boyfriend. But, that’s another story and one I don’t want to get started on now.

So, I think we’ll all have dinner together tonight and they are leaving on Saturday and then we will have our house back. Back to naked hot tubbing! Back to showering together! Back to the toilet seat being down all the time! Ah, family ~ gotta love ‘em!


Maria said...

I'm the same way in the morning. In fact, the first thing my secretary does is hand me a cup of coffee in the morning when I walk in. In her words, I am not fit to speak to until I have had at least one cup of java. Preferably STRONG, made with chicory.

And the parking thing? I don't get it. I would NEVER block a car in the driveway, yet Bing's family thinks nothing of it.

Murray said...

Your visits by your family sounds so familiar. I love it when my family comes to stay, and it is so quiet when they leave, but it always makes me aware of how many routines I have in my life. The first couple days always makes me feel a little off kilter.

BTW - I would never park in someone else's driveway without permission, but my partner does it all the time. I think on a subconscious level it has always made me feel kind of uneasy when she does this. Funny thing, though, until I read you post I never really thought about it :-)

eb said...

So if you went over to a friend's house you wouldn't park in her driveway? That's interesting. I always park in the driveway. I guess to me it's not a big deal to ask a guest to move their car if they block me in. But, I certainly can see why that would bother someone.

Jen said...

Fabric is SO expensive! And I always seem to fall in love with THIS years new prints and patterns...not the sale ones. I also can't help but purchase without a plan...hence an accumulation of gorgeous fabrics without a cause.

Low impact family visits are great! But yes, its also nice to see them go!