March Madness in the Family
I have had about a month rolled up into one week. I did manage to accomplish my one goal: we visited the daffodil bulb fields in Skagit County. Should be simple to accomplish just one goal in a whole week.
Saturday-lemon meringue pie and birthday candles
Saturday was my grandmother’s birthday, #96, she’s going along. When people ask how she is I say “okay”. Her heart is struggling and she also has lung and kidney issues, but they mostly keep things in balance and she is mentally all there. I suspect that being a voracious reader has a lot to do with that.
We had house guests, one person and two dogs, over the weekend so my sister could attend the party. They left Sunday morning, but I took a cake over to Grandma’s nursing home to share with her fellow residents and the attentive staff that takes such good care of her.
All good, even better we learned that our son and his significant other (hereafter referred to as Son+) would have 5 days off during our visit to them in China next month. So we can all go on a trip together.
Monday-coming down from a sugar high
On Monday we put things away, did laundry, continued to eat left-overs and fielded about four longish, emotional and not exceptionally cogent calls from my youngest sister. Who not only didn’t come to what was, most likely, Grandma’s last birthday. She didn’t bother to tell me she wasn’t coming.
I have two sisters. The youngest one, I’ll call her #3, is the source of much drama. I don’t care much for drama.
She is going through a messy, the nasty he-said-she-said bad mouthing one another type of messy, breakup.
I know that I don’t know everything, because the stuff I do know doesn’t account for how things are going. I am pretty sure that both of the “injured” parties have a good bit of culpability, and any “honesty” is being carefully curated by skilled manipulators. The reason I care is that my two-year old niece is caught in the middle. Even at that I really do not want to know more.
On a positive note we decided that the trip we will take with Son+ will be to Guilin, the part of China known for both the dramatic karst rock formations and the terraced rice paddies that you see in so many pictures of China.
Tuesday-a week unto itself
On Tuesday the weather looked pretty good and my husband and I impulsively loaded ourselves and the dogs into the car and ooched through Seattle to the north. The weather improved as we drove. About the time we drove out of the city we got a call from #3. My husband (I was driving) answered and between road noise and the cell phone cutting in and out little communication happened. I just kept driving.
Ding…Ding…Ding…text messages arrived, some from #3 and some from my cell service saying I was about to use up then had used all of my free minutes/texts for the month. Sposo mio is not good with my phone so he managed somehow to pull up an irrelevant set of messages from random sources instead of the ones that had just arrived. Finally we got to a rest area, we stopped to recover from the long haul through Seattle and let the dogs our for a bit. The weather was even better.
After we had all rested, I read the messages from #3, then replied that we would be home in the late afternoon. I started the car and carefully backed out and headed for the freeway on-ramp. The phone rang, I pulled back in, but let Richard handle the call (he has way more patience than I have). I refused to turn around even then thinking we could get a mini outing squeezed in. We headed north. the weather kept getting better.
Ding…Ding…Ding. A bunch of agreement paperwork had gotten approved by the courts and, if we got back and signed it in time, she could see her daughter for the first time in over a month that very day. I kept driving. But it was pretty clear that we were going to have to turn around. However, in a small show of defiance, I decided that at the very least we could have lunch before we went back.
We found a lovely tea room and had a splendid lunch of quiche, vegetable soup and oolong tea. Then we headed for home, feeling like runaways that had gotten caught.
We got home, she was late arriving with the paperwork, which was annoying given how far we had had to travel to get there quickly, but everything got signed and I scanned and emailed it to the lawyer (she couldn’t make whatever she was trying to do on her phone work). Less than an hour after all the paperwork was signed and delivered we got a message to go and get my niece for a visit (we have to supervise visits, which is why we had to sign stuff.
That visit was, to put it very mildly, awkward. #3 was a palpable bundle of pent up emotion and I think my niece found it a bit off-putting. She has patterns of playing with me and the dogs that she enjoyed from when I took care of her in the past and her mother wasn’t part of those patterns, and to make things about as bad as they could be she kept calling me “mommy”. (I learned later that she has been calling women “mommy” since she was taken from her mother and it wasn’t specific to me. )
Wednesday was another nice day, weather-wise, but we couldn’t go to Skagit because we wouldn’t necessarily get back in time to go over to Grandma’s for our Wednesday evening Happy Hour (a glass of wine with British Sit-coms).
When I got home I researched them made hotel reservations for our trip to Guilin (Son+ had made the flight arrangements).
Another visitation. This one complicated because I wanted to make #3 take my niece to see grandma, who hasn’t seen her since her (niece’s) birthday on February 10th. #3 has too much time on her hands and spends it creating emotional drama, most of which is how badly she is treated…
#3 decided to go and “have it out” with Grandma and went over early, before we got there. Grandma could tell she was pissed, but doesn’t hear very well and #3 isn’t exceptionally cogent on a good day, which today wasn’t. So, beyond the one thing Grandma specifically asked about and I corrected, heaven only knows what was said or understood. (This could perhaps be a start for a new British sit-com).
In spite of the sh…tuff today’s visit went pretty well, both the part with Grandma (less than an hour), and when we got to our place. Perhaps the venting somehow helped #3. However, the 6 or so dings (text messages) I got while driving over and picking up my niece for the visit were not appreciated.
I am not convinced that this supervising of #3’s visits is going to work out. I was not thrilled today. Unless the drama abates quickly I may have to pull out. Or maybe she will. She’s never been one to toe the line. I get a break next week since I have to go to Arizona to drive home with Dad. My husband will be going solo on the supervision. Boy, do I owe that man.