A Whirlwind Week, or Why SFO Mom Was Not Made to Live in the Country

My parents invited me, Middle Sister and Little Brother to come visit them while Daddy and Big Brother are camping with the Boy Scouts.

It’s always a crazy time when we visit because we live over 100 miles away, so there’s always the “pack as much into the visit as you can” mentality. This week was no different.

We left the house on Monday after Middle Sister’s Summer Art Camp finished for the day. This way she’d only miss one session of Art Camp. We arrived midafternoon and my parents decided that we should come swim in the pool in the Restricted Living Community they moved to nearly 3 years ago.

They’re in one of those senior townhouse-and-condo communities, where you can’t have a flag, a gas grill, a clothesline or outdoor Christmas lights. Mom thinks she’s countercultural because she refuses to hang a wreath of any type (except evergreen at Christmas) on the front door. I can’t believe that my dad, who will not subscribe to E-Z Pass because “then the government will know my driving habits,” has consented to live someplace where he can’t throw cornhusks to the local deer.

Anyway, after the kids swam with a whole bunch of other people’s grandparents, we had some dinner, played some board games, and watched some TV (evening highlight all week long: the Tour de France.)

Tuesday was spent in very pleasant company except for the mosquitos, who unfortunately outnumbered the people about 100 to 1. We drove another 25 miles on windy, hilly, unmarked country roads to visit my sister. We were all attending a cousin’s birthday party at the local lake. Thunder marked a premature end to the swimming portion of the party, so we went to our cousin’s house for cake. It was Mosquito Hell up there in that neighborhood. I don’t know how they all stand it. We had dinner with my sister and her family and enjoyed the sight of 3 deer who roamed the backyard during our meal, watching us and waiting for handouts (which they got). Then, another round of Dodge the Mosquito as we piled into the van to head back to Mom and Dad’s before it got too dark to see the unlit landmarks on the unmarked country roads.

I counted no fewer than 21 mosquito bites all over myself. Little Brother only has 4 but he has much less surface area than I do. He thinks he has 4 because he is 4 years old–guess that makes me 21? (I’ll take it!)

Yesterday we ran a few errands with Mom and then hung around; it was rainy and we just played games, sat, read, napped and ate. Middle Sister took advantage of the ready supply of clothing and bedding catalogs to “window shop.” I spent a few tedious hours reworking a design for my dad so he can make a stained-glass piece for my godfather. (I do not wish to pursue a career in stained-glass design–but he was happy with the result). At dinnertime my brother and his family came over, as did our great-aunt. It was a nice visit.

This morning Mom took us to a local store and got the kids each an outfit. And it was time to go, as I had plans to return to civilization and meet Amy and her little guy Bubba for lunch at a diner.

My sister lives 15 minutes from the nearest gallon of milk. I would go berserk! I live within walking distance of a 7-11, Target, Rite Aid, post office, a few delis, Taco Hell and the future home of Panera Bread. I think I saw a sign for a dollar store coming soon, too!

I miss my family when I’m not there, but they don’t live where I grew up. And I wouldn’t want to live in either place, to be honest. Here is pretty good for my family, right now. God knew what He was doing when He put us in this spot.

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