Sunday, August 19: Today my father and his wife Shirley, who I haven’t seen in a year, drive up from Yorktown to visit; my sister and her two kids, who I haven’t seen in over 2 years, drive from Salisbury, Maryland. It’s wonderful to spend the afternoon with them, catching up on all our shenanigans from the last year (or two!).
Sadly my sister from California and my brother in New Jersey aren’t able to make it. Hopefully we can have a whole family reunion once I return to the USA!
My daughter Sarah, who lives in Richmond and doesn’t have a car, wants to come to the gathering, so I dispatch my two sons on an expedition to drive 2 hours each way to pick her up. I send them at 9 a.m. figuring they will arrive in Richmond at 11 a.m., get Sarah, and then turn around, returning by 1 p.m., when my dad and sister are due to arrive.
Well. At some point along the way, the boys decide to make a stop to get something to eat. I don’t know all the details of this detour, but somehow it ends up with them getting lost. I have no clue how this happens, as the route to Richmond from northern Virginia is a straight one, right down I-95. As far as I can figure, it is impossible to get lost. Whatever really happened, I may never know, but I do know they don’t arrive in Richmond until 12:30, an hour and a half behind schedule.
Now for some odd reason, Sarah, despite having had until 12:30 to shower and get fully ready, doesn’t do so. She calls from the car asking what time everyone is due to arrive because she will need to shower once she gets here!
In addition to the delay because of the getting-lost-debacle, there is Sunday afternoon returning beach traffic to contend with. What should have been a 2 hour return trip ends up being 4 hours, inching along as if they are sitting in a parking lot. Traffic in northern Virginia, a huge suburb of Washington, D.C., is always horrible but rush hours and weekend incoming and outgoing traffic are atrocious.
We are all sitting around talking and laughing, and though I’m enjoying catching up, I’m also getting impatient that my own children have acted so irresponsibly. I figure my father has driven about 3 hours to get here, as has my sister, and they may not even get to see my children!!
In the meantime, my niece Kelsey, who recently completed her Master’s degree and works as a school counselor in Baltimore, Maryland, tells us about her upcoming wedding on July 13, 2013.
My nephew Seth is getting ready to embark on his college life at University of Maryland next week.
My dad, who usually keeps busy multi-tasking with numerous house projects says he hasn’t felt like doing anything all summer because of the heat. They tell how July in Virginia was one of the hottest on record, with temperatures and humidity hovering around 100 degrees and 100% humidity all month.
My sister Joan recently embarked on a new full-time job which she enjoys; all these years she’s been job-sharing and only working part-time, so this career change is a bit of an adjustment. I always enjoy Joan and her great sense of humor, mostly poking fun at herself. She tells hilarious stories about her fiascos on the ski lift and snow skiing in general. As we talk about the high cost of weddings these days, she tells the story of her wedding day when she didn’t have a going away outfit. She remembers that I ran to the store and bought her whole outfit including the shoes. Surprisingly, that’s the main thing she remembers about her wedding day. It makes me happy that she remembers that nice thing I did for her when I can barely remember it myself!
The boys were originally planning to make a vegan dinner for my family, which may have caused some consternation for my dad and the rest. But since by 4:00 they are still on the road, Mike decides to grill some salmon to go with a vegetable pasta salad he has made. At 4:45 or so, we all eat dinner and still the boys and Sarah haven’t shown up. Everyone plans to leave around 5:00 to give themselves time to drive back home. Since by 5:00 my children are still not here, everyone lingers a little longer. Finally, at about 5:10, Alex, Adam and Sarah arrive. Sarah has her dog Bagel in tow and looks a little bedraggled as she didn’t shower or dress up. She runs upstairs to change and then we all finally are able to visit together for a short time before everyone has to leave!
Motherhood! Isn’t it true that “the first 40 years of parenthood are always the hardest”?
And, I’m baffled: “Who are these kids and why are they calling me mom??”