Whilst on our mini-vacation, Dana informed me that his sister was going to be visiting some friends, near Austin, and would be coming to stay for a few nights. The answer to my inquiry as to when was followed by a huge intake of breath! "Sometime during the week. I am not sure, I shall have to check my emails". Since the departure of my daughter from my abode, the spare room has been ready for guests at almost any given time. However, the following statement, "She is bringing mom with her", sent me into somewhat of a panic. My next question was met with a resounding "No!" It appears that sharing a room was not an option! It was Monday, and we were hundreds of miles away from the home that had two bedrooms, one of which we occupied, and a disaster area!
I have attempted to clear the room formerly known as Samantha's, but the boxes due to be taken upon moving into her new house, are still stacked high. There are also a few boxes containing my 'can't get rid of' items (for reasons that even I am unsure about - I just know that one day I will want something contained within any one of them,) that were due to be taken down to our storage room. However, the storage room is full. On one side, there are household repair items, and general 'shed' articles. On the other side are boxes, all of which belong to my daughter, whose abode is a good deal bigger than mine, but cannot yet accommodate all her possessions.
Attempting to turn the abyss into a workroom, of sorts, has taken slightly longer than I anticipated. Although I have set up my sewing machine, the floor space has been halved, and my current attempt at making a deress, (from my own pattern; I never do anything the easy way!) was sprawled across the remaining area. The small, (but apparently rathr comfortable,) futon stands against the wall, and is unable to stretch to its full capacity, due to lack of space! Therefore, being told when a few hundred miles away from home, on a Monday afternoon, with the prospect of arriving home a couple of hours before midnight, and being expected at work the next morning, that company will be arriving around midday, possibly on Wednesday, was rather inopportune!
Tuesday morning did bring a modicum of relief! Our guests would not be arriving until Saturday, around noon, and would be staying one night. I assured Dana that the length of stay was not a problem as once I had the rooms ready for residency, they could stay as long as they pleased. Boxes were, once again, re stacked, and the would-be dress pieces were placed upon the flat surfaces, ready to resume their former home, once the futon was returned to fold-away status!
Attempting to make everything look amazing was going to be a tall order. My neighbour's had suffered some water damage during the storms, and in an attempt to find the source, the association's maintenance man had asked permission to check our sun room, to eliminate the 'drain away' prospect. The planter that we had built in the corner of the area, had long been cause for conflict, as several years ago, it had been considered a hazard by an over enthusiastic board member, who thought she had carte blanche over all properties, and unlocked our back gate, and inspected the area. However, my husband respectfully (he is nothing if not respectful) reminded her of the 'trespassing' laws in the state, and she never raised the subject again. Her position on the association board was cut short, and she moved from the complex shortly thereafter! We had decided shortly thereafter to remove the planter, as it was became a shady retreat for another unwelcome visitor, (who fortunately did not have time to invite family members,) but the demolition did not occur! The impending authorised inspection inspired Dana to carry out his long overdue plan, and he set about dismantling the construction when he returned from work, on Saturday!
Our visitors had been invited to lunch, and were not going to arrive until later in the afternoon. This meant that any earth, stones, general dirt, that would no doubt be brought into my house upon completion of the dismantling, could be swept away before they arrived. The sun-room area would not be particularly pretty as there was a large receptacle containing all the dirt from the planter was placed to the side of my back door.
I was able to spend some time down by the pool, before their arrival last weekend, and the rain did stay away for a while. The rumbling of thunder around four post meridiem, sent us running for the hills (or condos), and the tempest ran its course. My 'in-laws' arrived, negotiated the obstacles that lay to the right of their path, and entered my clean floored dining area. Dana's mum is fast approaching her ninety second birthday, and although very alert, needs not to be hindered by household hurdles. I did feel as if I was undergoing a risk assessment, and although had given it some thought, realised that it had not quite been enough! My main concern had been the stairs. However, when Cindy, Dana's sister, came to check out their accommodation, I felt quite inadequate (stupid seems a little strong) but was grateful for the input. The family bathroom door sticks. We have not corrected this issue, as since Samantha left, there has been little need for us to use the facilities. When I had taken the new towels out of the cupboard and placed them on the new towel rail, on Friday evening, I had asked Dana if his mother could sing. Asking why, I said that it would be advantageous when she was in the bathroom, as there was no way she would be able to open the door, should it be pushed shut! The other issue, which I had thought about and failed to act upon, was the single door that had been removed from the recess that houses my washing machine and dryer, and placed, by me, upon the landing, ready for Dana to carefully take downstairs to the dumpster. I would have taken it downstairs, but carefully is sometimes omitted from my list of abilities, and being vertically challenged, taller objects occasionally get he better of me! It has been politely waiting for removal for a couple of months, and would have been a hazard, should mom have needed to hold on to the walls for security, during her visit. This was rehoused in the room formerly known as Samantha's, for what I hope is a short period of time! Cindy was not opposed to sharing her room with a group of boxes and free standing cupboards, She told me that when her children left home, one by one, they took all their belongings with them. Absolutely astounded, I questioned, "Really". She smiled broadly and said, "No!"
Cindy left, shortly after her arrival, as she had a 'graduation' party to attend, and I prepared a light supper for three, We ate, cleared away, and spent the evening chatting with mom. After a while she asked if she could use the facilities. Leaving Dana in charge of the 'ablutions' was also not one of my better moves. Over the years, I have obtained a stock of 'visitor' items, which I set out when we have guests. Our personal toiletries are in our room, and when in need, I am asked by my husband, "Where is....?" It would seem that two towels, hanging on a towel rail, next to the bath, was a little too obvious (bless him!) and for the first time in our marriage, he found the towels (that are not actually hidden) that I use for our bathroom, and supplied his mother and sister with one each. It was a thoughtful act, but I pointed out that if they had been allowed to enter the banos, I was sure they would have seen the items they needed set out! At least my next set of visitors will be treated to brand new towels!
The storms did not prevent Cindy from attending her function, nor from returning, and despite her GPS system wanting her to take every toll road this side of Oklahoma, she managed to get to her destination without spending a dime! We enjoyed breakfast and lunch together, on Sunday, and a very pleasant few hours of quality time, before they had to leave. Cindy has recently become a grandmother, and we commiserated with each other as both of us have to enjoy our beloved new arrivals from a distance, and chatted about the fact that any decent amount of vacation time is used to visit the grandsons we yearn after. No matter how clever technology has become, you cannot cuddle on Skype!
Our visitors left, heading back to Dallas, where they would spend a couple of nights, before heading home to Arkansas. I promised (and meant it!) that I would try and visit for a kayaking session or two, before the year was out. As Dana settled down to an afternoon in front of his laptop, I went to the pool to enjoy the last few hours of sunshine, and a complete wind down before starting another week of work.
The week went by very slowly. The sun shone virtually all day, every day and I returned home each lunch time to take a swim. It was warm enough, and light enough to swim upon our return home in the evening. The maintenance man had surveyed our sun room and could not find the source of the leak from our side of the property. He said that he had a 'water test' planned for the following week, but had checked his records and had considered it may well be coming from the roof of our neighbour, as the previous owners had been a victim of this problem several years ago. Although our roofs are on the list to be renewed this year, so far the work has not started. He was satisfied that the planter was not the problem, but was grateful for our cooperation. I gave him permission to enter our sun room at any time, should he feel it necessary in cases of emergency, and promised to inform my husband of the given authority, to avoid the oration of trespassing laws!
The dog came for a 'sleep over' on Saturday evening, which meant that he got to sleep, but the rest of the household did not! I have no current plans for anything exciting on the horizon, (other than returning the dog to his rightful owners!) and cannot promise a flamboyant post for next week. However, I am an Englishwoman abroad, so anything could occur within the next seven days, which I think might be appropriate to relay in ........... another story!