Arriving back home a half hour later I was relieved to see Tim's truck in front of the house. I had crossed the finish line of this never-ending week! I parked in the garage and walked in the kitchen door with the pizza. He said, "What's this, you bought pizza? I invited someone to dinner and told them how good our homemade pizza is."
My mind started racing and my stress level immediately shot back up. I only had one large pizza and we were having company. "Who did you invite?" I asked. "They're in the living room," he answered. Oh my goodness, they're already here and we're talking about them, I thought, and walked through the doorway into the living room to say hi. It took a couple seconds for my stunned brain to register that the figure on the couch was MY SISTER GRACE who lives 700 miles away in Cincinnati, and I haven't seen her since Christmas, the last person I expected to see sitting there, and ohmygosh, I am not seeing things, that's really her! In a second we were laughing and hugging and the kids were watching wide-eyed. Tim and Grace had surprised me again, just like they had five years ago. I remember the last time like it was yesterday. We were living in Massachusetts, Annie was a few weeks old and I had just returned with her from a friend's baby shower. I was tired and probably hoping for a rest, and when I came up the stairs to the main floor of our condo, there was Grace in the kitchen. I remember hugging her and then looking at her and saying, "Is this really happening? Are you really standing her in my kitchen?" It was one of the best surprises of my life, and here it was happening again. I was overjoyed. I had not seen this coming, not at all.
I was so excited to find out she'd be with us for a whole seven days. After the week I'd had, I knew I had the best week coming. We didn't even even do anything extraordinary -- mostly just hung around the house or close by. We went to the farmer's market on Saturday and brought home yummy Indian food. I took her to my two yoga classes and I only made her laugh out loud once. On Monday night since it was finally sunny we went to the waterfront downtown and got ice cream. Then we did mostly typical weekday stuff, but having her here to do it with me made it fun. She was a huge help to me around the house too.
Tim liked having someone else around to pick on. For instance: "Timmy's being extra difficult this afternoon ... Grace!" "It won't stop raining.. Grace!" Pretty much everything that went wrong was Grace's fault whether she had anything to do with it or not but she knew it was all in good fun.
|Beaufort waterfront, one of our new favorite haunts|
Grace laughed for days about a conversation she had with Timmy that went like this:
Grace: Who says 'Ruh-roh', Timmy?
Timmy: I don't know.
Timmy: 'Scuse who? 'Scuse me too!
I have always told my kids that if an aunt is from Ohio we call her short 'a' sound antie, and if they're from New England we call them auntie (ahntie) with the British pronunciation. I thought it would also help them to keep track of who's who and who lives where in the family tree. But after this week I think I've finally given up on that system. Grace and I were talking in the kitchen and mentioned our aunt Maggie, and Timmy said, "Who?" I told him that she's our aunt, like how he has aunts (ants). He kept staring blankly at me until I said, "She's our ah-nt, like your aunties." He was like, "Oh!" I threw my hands up and laughing, I said, "I give up! I thought I'd try to keep some of the midwest in these kids but I'm failing!" From now on they are all just going to be British aunties because even I was having trouble keeping them straight anyway, and I was referring to Grace as a British auntie half the time. We agreed that my sisters and sister-in-law might all think it's special to have a few of their nieces and nephews calling them the fancy-sounding auntie anyway.
This past Saturday, Grace's flight wasn't until late afternoon, so we spent a few hours wandering around Savannah's historic district. It was such a beautiful southern fall day, sunny and 75, and I walked around with my mouth gaping as I took in all the sights in all their sun-dappled splendor. The park, the flowers, the houses, the canopies of mossy oaks.. I took lots of pictures of Grace -- and she didn't like that too much -- but I had to, it was my last chance.
|Some lady at the park was putting on a little show with her birds for passersby, and letting them hold them. We got a kick out of this, especially Delaney with the giant bird on her shoulder.|
All too soon, it was time to drive to the airport and say goodbye. It was hard for all of us to see her go, but I am so grateful for the time we had together, and grateful to Tim for making it happen. It's so funny that only weeks before, I'd posted a picture on Facebook after Tim's aunt, uncle and cousin stopped by for dinner, and this was my caption in part: "First family visitors at the new house. Who's next?;)" I literally had no idea it was going to be Grace. I wasn't expecting anyone until Tim's parents in early December. But the guest room was ready, and I'd even cleaned the bathrooms and vacuumed the floors that day -- not that Grace cares about that at all, but it made me happy.
|We miss you!|