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Grandparent's Visiting Fiasco

(Just a warning. This is quite the novel.)

A visit from my grandparents causes a marathon house cleaning. Clothes, dog toys, kids toys, sweeping, mopping, dishes, etc. My house looks like any other household with kids (a husband) and animals BUT, my Mema is a clean-FREAK! (She used to make me brush my hair outside over the porch railing so as to not get any hair in the house......guess no one told her that you shed constantly LOL. She also made my mother strip on the front porch {they lived in the country with no neighbors}, take a shower and then come and pick the hair off her clothes after riding her horse before she did anything else............just to name a few of her "quirks"). For obvious reasons, I like to have my house presentable for their visit, if anything so as not to give her any cause to notice any "filth" (now, filth, in her mind, could be a washcloth out of place). So that caused me to go into a cleaning frenzy until about 5 in the morning o.0.

Mema and Papa are both in their mid-to-late-80's. They live in Huntersville, NC (near Charlotte) and we see them once, maybe twice a year...usually with us meeting in the mountains. They'd been planning on visiting us for awhile now and finally had the perfect opportunity; they received a wedding invitation on Lookout Mountain. Tada! Problem solved! Visit with family AND get to make a bride and groom happy attending the wedding they (the bride and groom) assumed would be too far away.

They arrived here about 6 Thursday evening and visited for a few hours at my house before traveling to the "condo" in Collegedale. The visit here went smooth and it was nice catching up with them and watching the kids play with their great-grandparents. (In retrospect, if I had known they wouldn't have gotten here until 6, I could've gone to bed earlier than 5. Oh vey.)

Friday, they went with Mom to scout out where the wedding would be and to do a little site-seeing. A nice leisurely day for them, at least the weather was cooperative.

Saturday it was planned that we'd get together at either their condo or at Imagination Station (a huge playground in Collegedale) to visit and have a picnic. Mom was supposed to call them about 3 to figure out the wheres and whens. Well, 3 rolls around and she can't reach them, the condo phone is off the hook and they're not answering their cell phone. She finally gets a hold of them, only to discover that they are already AT Imagination Station, waiting for us. Now, mind you, it's been raining ALL DAY LONG, but they still go there. Mom tells them that I am NOT taking the kids, b/c McKayla is just getting over a cold and there's NO way I could keep her off the playground. After some grumbling, they concede defeat and go back to the condo.

Mom asked about all of us (me and the kids, my brother, dad and her) going to the condo since we couldn't meet at Imagination Station like they'd discussed the day before. No, Mema is afraid the condo owners would be upset if they saw a bunch of people over there......come on Mema! it's FAMILY, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have a problem with family visiting......understandable if it was a loud party with music blaring, but family??!! Come ON!! So, *I* call Papa and tell him the kids wanted to see them and asked if we could come over....either he'd already forgotten that Mema had said no or he was overriding her decision.....regardless, he agreed. I load up the kids, swing by to pick up Mom, and Dad goes home to pick up Bryan and we all head to the condo.

It was enjoyable afternoon after the hassle of the morning's confusion. The weather was cooperative (rain had finally stopped), so we enjoyed a "picnic" on the back deck of veggie links, crackers and grapes and then a watermelon they had grown.

Chris showing Papa his Transformer.

Bryan, Mom, Papa and Dad.

Mema and Dad

Chris, Papa and Mema

Uncle Bryan

Uncle Bryan, McKayla and Chris pausing long enough
in their playing for me to take a pic.

Sunday, Mom takes them to the wedding as Papa didn't feel comfortable getting them back there. They only stay for the ceremony and then head back to the condo for a day of resting.

Today, Monday, they're heading back home, with a stop in Jefferson City, TN (near Knoxville) to visit with Papa's sister. They had both expressed their disappointment in not being able to see John (as he worked all weekend) and Sonny (working too). So Mom suggests that they follow her to the Farmer's Market (where my step-dad is) and that John and I could meet them there. The plan was to meet Mom, follow her to the Samaritan Center (a local Adventist "goodwill" of sorts) and then follow to the Market. They hop on the interstate and begin the trek up here (which is on their way home). Mom gets to the exit ramp, signals she's getting off, looks to make sure they're behind her, only to NOT see them and then looks back on the freeway as they go zooming past the exit. They "claim" that they "lost" her, but I don't buy it and neither does Mom.......we think they were just anxious to get on the road, which is fine, BUT they should've said something.

The visit was racked with confusion and tears, but at least we got to see them, albeit briefly, while they were here. And the time we DID get was enjoyable.


  1. I don't have family so your adventure appears glorious to me, but I know how tears and frustration can rear their ugly head when it is supposed to be a joyus occasion. At least you have the memories and photos!

  2. I do have the memories and even know looking back there's some smiles at the craziness of it all. :-)


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