The other weekend the family came to visit.
Son and Wife, Daughter and Wife’s Brother.
The family is coming for early Thanksgiving gathering. I am very excited to see them. In fact, my excitement is making me so excited that I need to write this blog. Which is really saying something since I have not been moved to write anything lately.
Perhaps you can relate reader. Sometimes the world is so heavy and the overhead psychic energy so dense that no words can come out.
That is how it has been.
And I am happy to be here at the laptop, typing a few words here on this page.
My old friend, the page.
So, the family will come. I plan on cleaning up the house and especially the glasses and utensils. We are just not really known for our sparkling cutlery around here. I KNOW. I know. It is kind of a problem when guests come to visit. We SHOULD do a better job of washing. But washing is so boring. And anyway it is just me and Philly here now in the Philly House.
And Zelda. But she does not use utensils.
Anyway, I do not know how it got to this point of untidy. I used to be better. When I lived in the same apartment as son I was careful not to cross contaminate, which meant REALLY washing kitchen items.
In the Philly House front room, once known as DINING ROOM, is now the COVID Yoga Studio, lighting and all. The Family will not be dining there. Instead we will be having a picnic on the Living Room floor.
Just like old times.
Wife’s Brother drives AND has a car. He will be driving the whole crew down from NYC.
He is a good man.
Did I mention son is learning to drive? It is true. I myself have not seen son drive since he is learning in Queens from Father-in-law. I hear Father-in-law is a very good driver.
Son and daughter see each other once a week now, since they both live in New York. This makes me happy. I knew I wanted another child after son was born. I wanted to have two children, not too far apart in age, so there could be a relationship between them.
A close relationship I hoped. My brother and I are nine years apart, with the death of my other brother between. Nine years is a big spread. It was hard to have a relationship with a two-year-old when you are eleven years old.
Hence my wish to have two children not too far apart in age.
And this wish came true. Daughter was born three and a half years after son was born. When they were younger, friends would always comment, “Your children seem so close to each other.”
Now they are grown. Foraging ahead in their lives. Getting new jobs. Cooking things.
Meanwhile we are here discovering TikTok.
Ok. Well it is mostly me with the TikTok.
TikTok is my new favorite thing. TikTok time is always at the end of the night. This is so I can go to bed laughing.
I say to Philly, “It is TikTok time!”
Philly is less enthusiastic about TikTok. He is more a fan of binge-watching CNN.
“Ok.” he says. “I will give you ten minutes.”
“Oh come on!” I say. “I watched CNN for like AN HOUR with you!”
This is marriage in quarantine reader.
Anyway, yes, Philly and I have really been letting it go around here, since Dining Room has become YOGA STUDIO and Living Room has become THE OFFICE.
This is work in quarantine.
Eventually the whole house gets to be piles of papers and props and unwashed coffee cups.
And so, we clean. We make ready the house for the family.
When we are done we say, “That was fun!” Before we go upstairs we have a little ice cream. We fill up the bowl. As we head into the Living Room and I turn off the over-stove light. I go into the Living Room. I have forgotten the spoons. I head back into the kitchen.
The over-stove light is back on.
“Did you turn the over-stove light back on?” I ask
“Yes.” he says.
He ALWAYS does this with the light.
“But we are done in here. We are no longer in this room” I say.
I turn the light back off.
I say, “It is bedtime for the stove.”
We finish our ice cream.
And we go to sleep.
Next day comes and we start the preparations. We have made the decision to order the lunch food. Son has requested Korean food. The morning goes by quickly. I tell Philly, “We should put the food order in now.”
This is not an easy task. We call the restaurant. Nice Lady answers the phone. We try but we cannot correctly pronounce any of the dishes. It takes us three rounds of going back and forth with Nice Lady on the phone to get our order together.
“Phew.” I say. “I hope that works out ok.”
Philly leaves go get the food.
In the meantime, Daughter texts me from the car: Is the food there? I am very hungry.
I text: Philly has left to go and get the food.
Daughter texts: : )
Not too long and THE FAMILY arrives. Soon after Philly arrives with five bags of Korean food.
He puts the bags down. We all immediately tear into bags. There are so many containers we need to use the side bench AND a little bed tray.
Since Wife’s Brother is a sports kind of guy, he finds sporty things to watch on the television for all of us. Philly really appreciate his choice in television programming as entertainment for the whole family. I have not spent much time with Wife’s Brother, but I am discovering more and more he is a very smart young man.
We eat. We eat dessert. Wife has brought homemade, dairy and nut free chocolate ginger cookies. To add to the dairy and nut free after lunch treats, we have purchased vegan cupcakes from the co-op.
After we eat up all the food, we play a board game. Son and Wife are big on the board games. They are also very, very good at playing the board games. And they are competitive. And they are smart.
Mostly, they win.
I ask Wife if Son is as competitive as he seems. Wife affirms this fact. The more time I spend around Wife, the more I get little windows into her many faceted personality. I think she is perfect for son.
Next we play UNO. Son says UNO is the game that never ends. Daughter wins. Luckily, I manage to exit next. Then Philly. Son and Wife’s Brother are playing. And playing. And finally they just give up.
I think. I really stopped paying attention.
Daughter shows me her new boots. She is very tall in them. She asks me if I would also like a pair.
“Try them on!” she says.
I try them on. I feel slender. I tell her, “I think I will buy a pair!”
But I am not sure if I really should because where would I wear them? My job does not require shoes.
Soon the visit is over. We pack up the extra food for The Family to take home. I am very grateful they have all come to visit, and especially to Wife’s Brother for driving the whole gang from NYC to Philly.
We walk out to the car as they are climbing in to head back.
And we stand on the side watching as they pull out.
As usual, I feel sad to see them go.
I wish I could see I could see them more.
For now I am just glad we got to be together today.