Saturday, November 27, 2021

A Worthwhile Post

Some of you are so good at writing on a regular schedule.  Readers do like that.  They like knowing that every morning or even just every Thursday morning (or evening) they can join you with their computer and beverage of choice and live vicariously as you review your daily adventures, challenges, and hobbies. Oh, the food.  Don't forget about the food.

Maybe you are in the sunshine near a beach or maybe you are documenting the first heavy snowfall of the year.  One hundred years ago people had to wait maybe a week to read the adventures of someone they knew.  While personal Post Office Boxes were finally more common, it still was an adventure getting mail.  Catalogs were something that many looked forward to reading over the holiday season for gift ideas.  I don't know about you, but I throw away a half dozen each day!

Anyway, I do not blog on a regular schedule.  I do not deliver text predictably.  I may be a little busier on Facebook with people that I personally know, but my bloggers are like penpals.  I have met very few of you.  You do not want or need to read every detail of my life.  Yet, we read each other like some serial novel.

I am back home after a week away.  My mailbox was stuffed, my fridge (A new one) was empty and I was comfortably tired.  The schedule worked out such that I saw both sets of my children's in-laws (at different times in different homes).  I am so lucky that my children married into nice and tolerable families.  Yes, they are both Republicans, but they both are embarrassed by Trump and even voted liberal in the most recent election.  They do not think vaccines are a statement of belief but a scientific tool to keep themselves and those they love healthy.  (No, we did NOT talk politics.)  They believe that our tax money is wasted on social programs...but the disagreement with us is more a statement of method rather than philosophy.

We spent Thanksgiving in my son and his wife's tiny house.  She is a memory hoarder and has way too much '"stuff" on shelves and in cupboards and stacked in boxes.  They have a nice yard to expand the house but do not have the money right now to do so.  The meal was ordered in and it was not great.  The turkey was dry and we messed up on the heating.  The homemade sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes were delicious.  The green beans and other vegetables were ok.  The pies came from a local bakery and were very good.  We four sat around a tiny table.

I tried to help in the tiny kitchen and it worked, barely.  My DIL seemed distracted.  They had asked that we stay through the day after TG to welcome her parents that made a five-hour drive down.  We agreed as we had not seen them in some long time!  

The six of us ate a pizza lunch together and then son and DIL said they wanted a photo of all of us on the couch.  No problem.  Son spent some time setting up the camera.  He kept changing the timing...or something but finally sat down and joined us for some still shots.  Then he said he wanted a video of us all??!  We agreed and joined on the couch again while he and his wife counted out 1-2-3.  I thought they were going to shout Happy Thanksgiving, but instead, they shouted out "We're having a baby!"  

All of the parents were shocked and weeping and so happy.  This couple has had a difficult marriage.  Without going into lots of details, my son had some serious medical issues and the marriage was very strained.  But they both were strong and overcame those issues and now, while they spent two years using fertility treatments and trying so hard to have a child and being disappointed each time...they are now blessed.

So this Thanksgiving was very special for all of us!  Yes, the fetus is only 3 months old, but we are so hopeful.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021

I Have Not Dropped a Ball, Yet

It is a very quiet morning at my daughter's house the day before TG. Daughter and husband are overseas enjoying beaches and pools and sun. The three grands are sleeping in, enjoying the fact that they have no school today. We got each of them set the last two mornings to their three different schools with three different times, each 30 minutes apart!  The dog was picked up last night by the dog sitter to be watched while we leave for my son's house today and the other set of grandparents arrive to take the TG shift. I think that they will spend one night here, so I will get the guest room sheets changed, once hubby is up and about. Then they drive them up to cousins' for TG and somehow or other they get back to the parents that fly in on Sunday. I am glad I do not have to worry about that airport connection. 

When they left last weekend, my daughter forgot her phone and hubby had to rushed out to the airport before their flight! Fortunately, they were there 2 hours early and the phone drop off went smoothly. 

We did some dog walking over the week and an actual trip to a Mall for lunch and that has exhausted us a bit also with all the scheduling to follow. Now that school is out and the dog is gone, this morning is pretty peaceful. We did miss the little dog sleeping at our feet last night. He totally adopts me when I come to visit and follows me everywhere. 

We also took in a Smithsonian exhibit yesterday while the grands were in school and I will post on that interesting activity in another post when we get home on Friday. We are staying Friday morning to greet my daugther-in-law's parents and then changing the sheets once again in this other guest bedroom so that they can have the weekend (birthday for DIL) at her house. Both of these houses have only one 'small' guest bedroom, so it does require shuffling.

My daughter has a Nespresso machine and I had my coffee from that two mornings. I do not really like all the foam and glad I could try it here, because my single coffee maker is broken and needs to be replaced and I might have shelled out the money for that expensive unit and then been so disappointed. The foam is supposed to enhance the taste but it was too cloying for me. I will continue to see what machine I might like when I go home. My daughter-in-law has ordered the pre-cooked TG dinner from the store and thus we both should feel free to just put on calories...definitely going to exercise when I get back home (she writes with the best of intentions). I have found the week exhausting, emotional, and wonderful. I was able to really get to observe the grands in their environment instead of always running out the door. 

My SIL and daughter have done a very good job of raising smart, polite and easy-going children. They get along wonderfully and no temper tantrums even those the eldest was taking the "fake" SAT via computer while we were here. I will sort the few photos I have taken when I get home and maybe post on some other things. This laptop is a bear to type on!!  Looking forward to being at my desk with my computer again. Have a wonderful rest of the week, whether you celebrate eating bountiful food or not. Stay away from the must get better soon.

Friday, November 19, 2021

Did You Like College?

I keep forgetting about what is really going on in the world. Our lives are spent mostly close to home, although we will be taking our first airplane flight in a long time at the end of this coming February. 

This past weekend we spent a 5-hour drive north to Rochester Institute of Technology. I am not enrolling in graduate school, but that is not because I would not want to.  As much as I was intimidated by college, coming from a poor family in a small farming community, I still loved all the information that was revealed in my struggle to get my Bachelor's in education at the state college.

Grandson #1 will be applying to colleges next year.  He comes from a wealthy family (the ones who will be taxed in Biden's new bill) and he has a tutor already to help him with SATs!  I love this child and want him to have every opportunity, but I also am sad for those poorer children with talent and passion who do not have access to such tools. He is looking into IT work on gaming.  I keep trying to pressure him to look at gaming that would help in the health care industry or the education industry rather than the kind that just makes money.  I try.

It was a five-hour drive, and overnight in a hotel, and due to COVID we were not able to take the student tour.  Only one parent in the labs, library, classes, etc.  The daughter sent us videos of their tours while we toured outside the campus.  It was cold and a bit rainy and even sleeting by mid-day.

The campus has some nice wooded trails.  It is fairly new...maybe 15-20 years old.  I found joy in being around the few young people on campus.  It was a Saturday, so most were hunkered down, but we saw a few joggers and walkers.

We ate lunch in downtown Rochester at some 'favorite" hot dog place that was wooden tables, metal chairs, and cheap food.  It was meh...but I am not a hotdog fan.

The trip was a stretch, but I am glad we went along.  My days to enjoy stuff like this are numbered.  

We are packing today to head up to our schedule of supervising the Grands while they are in school and then turning them over Wednesday to the other set of Grandparents who will drive them up North for Thanksgiving.  My daughter printed out three pages of the schedule...who has to be where...what there is to eat...when the dog is being picked up by the sitter...etc.

I am revving my engines.

Tuesday, November 09, 2021

More on the Saga of TG

I realize that most of you do not need to read about family dramas over the holidays. Who wants to hear about families juggling holidays? I told my children, each after they were married, that they did not have to feel obligated to come to my house over major holidays. They could celebrate as they wished and where they wished as long as they saw us sometime during those months.

This post is to clarify these events based on what has followed, and see that I have had good times as well as stressful ones.

My daughter said after her second child (of eventually three) was born that she wanted to celebrate Christmas at her house so that she could start her own traditions.  I think she has done this most Christmases and we drive up there for the day (or sometimes the night before) to enjoy the day with them.  Sometimes the other set of parents joins us.

She as well as my son and his wife usually try to alternate TG between us and their respective in-laws.  Below is our Hawaii Thanksgiving a few years ago, which was certainly special.

Unfortunately, as the years have passed, we have been lax in trying to find who was doing what and slower in inviting them down here.  My daughter, as I have written before, leads an EXTREMELY busy life with her job and three children and I have reduced my efforts to fit into such a hectic schedule.

ANYWAY, my Son-in Law's mother, Lili (not her name), called me on Sunday to talk about our roles in this crazy scenario.  It was too late for me to answer as my entire weekend had been filled with a painter working on two bathrooms and the ceiling to the master bedroom.  Stuff was moved everywhere and while he did an excellent job of clean-up and moving furniture back in place, I still had lots of things to move into the bathrooms and from the hallway.  So I called her back the next morning.

First, let me say that Lili is a delightful person.  She is the kind of person that would literally give her purse to you if you were in need.  She is generous to her two sons but admitted that both of them drop the ball on trying to get schedule details worked out with their parents.  An additional challenge for her is that her husband has a type of disease that is related to Parkinson's and while he can still drive she knows that the days are getting fewer for driving in traffic.  So she asked her son if perhaps they could just drive down the day before TG, spend the end of the week (including TG) watching the Grands, and then drive up the Sunday for the long trip back to their house.  

Her son said that the children were really looking forward to spending  TG with their cousins!  So, she sighed, then came up with a new plan. (I will not go into the details of sacrifices she making for this 'new' plan.)  She will meet us at the Grand's house the day before TG (we will not have to drive up and exchange them).  Then they will rest that night and drive back home on Thanksgiving day!  Which should be less traffic(?) plus give them time to rest up from the almost 4-hour drive the day before.  They would make it to her other son's house late in the afternoon on TG. We would leave that morning before TG to head to our house.

I was amenable to whatever worked for her.  I would have said let us do TG at the kids' house, but she had said that her son wanted the kids to be together with their cousins up North.  (Remember, he and my daughter will be on the other side of the world that week.)

It takes the pressure off of us somewhat.  We return home earlier the day before TG.  Now I just have to get my daughter-in-law and son to let me know if they have decided how they want to do TG...with us and her parents at her house...or with us and her parents at our house...or maybe her parents do not want to drive the five-hour drive from their house at all!!  They live way "up north" as well.

Whatever happens, I am for ordering a complete TG dinner from one of the stores!!  The food is good and there are always leftovers and it allows any foodie to bring their favorite dish.  Yes, it costs a little more.  I just have to know for how many...2 or 4 or 6??

Tomorrow I am getting my old noisy fridge replaced and so everything gets emptied early tomorrow morning to be ready for delivery.  Then, this weekend I am off to Rochester University to attend a college preview with my oldest grandson and his mother.  They have a good Technical college that has him interested.  We will leave Friday and be back late Sunday.  I guess I just need to cram more stuff into my life.  

Friday, November 05, 2021

Let Me Know What You Think

I have been organizing for the holidays..or trying to. Way back in May of this year...YES,May(!) my son-in-law asked me if I could help him over the Thanksgiving Holidays. He said he had received a rather large bonus and wanted to take his lovely wife (my daughter) away to the Maldives on a week-long vacation. He said his parents (who are somewhat elderly) would be taking care of the kids that week and could I offer to help over the TG holidays. 

Last week I contacted the parents for details and I guess I totally misunderstood, because I offered to cook or bring stuff up the city, etc. His Mother said that they were not having TG in the city but with her other son up towards NY state. The help they needed was to drive the grands two hours close to them on the day before TG and we would drop them off at some mid-point for a grand child exchange. My son-in-law then later explained that the help they needed was the days before the holidays. The weekend before TG and the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of TG week when the children would be in school and needed an adult at home.  They wanted us to spend the night up at their house those days.

So...this means we need to plan on driving upstate and dropping the kids off the late afternoon or early evening of the day before TG for the exchange. Then we can go back home that night, a 4 hour drive or go back to my daughter's house and spend the night before TG and drive home the morning of TG, a 1.5 hour drive. I am thinking I will not be  planning much of a TG dinner when I get home around 10:00 that morning.

Is is just me?