Sunday, September 6, 2015

When the Relatives Came

Imitation of The Relatives Came by Cynthia Rylant in blue print

It was the summer of the year when the relatives came.
They came up from Florida and Tulsa and Virginia. They left when school 
was out and life was getting boring; but not quite. (Read about the visitors from
Tulsa here

The Floridians left home by plane with plenty of diapers for 
the baby and toys and games to keep the brothers happy.
Big brother packed 5 peanut M and Ms in a ziploc with the Uno cards.
"For the winner", he said. The group barely balanced the teetering loads of
bags and luggage that were on their backs and towing at their heels.

The group arrived to Nana's place late at night. 
Then it was into the house and so much tearing upstairs
and down, checking into closets and rediscovering Nana's toys.
You'd have to go through at least four different ways of saying it 
was time to settle down as you followed the inspectors from 
the kitchen to the basement.  Those relatives! 

The relatives were particular about beds, which delayed the sleeping
even longer, as they asked for night lights and fans, stories and drinks.
The brothers usually don't share a bed, so it was different going to sleep
with new breathing in your ear, an arm across your back or a knee 
jammed into your stomach.

The relatives stayed for weeks and weeks.  They helped us have fun
and visit places outside of our normal routine,  They ate up all Nana's
macaroni and cheese and promised to finish the green beans so they
could have dessert.

Baby Noah happy and adaptable.

Most of the time.

Dominic and Ian being boys. Sometimes fighting; being brothers.

 Nana and Mommy enjoyed time together,
Co-conspirators of plots to keep little bodies active, busy.

 Our scheming led us to parks, the library, restaurants and a Lowe's workshop. We drove to Michigan to see cousins, and hosted other cousins for play dates at home. One of our stay-home days, we made a watermelon hippo. Of course, we had several visits to The Chief and enjoyed the noise and intrigue of the Fair.  Papa joined us in the evenings and the days flew by. We left a few tricks in the bag for doing with Daddy when he arrived near the end of the visit---like eating at Venturis and the Goshen Brewery.  Our last weekend together, we hosted a family picnic with Ashley, Austin and Rowan visiting again, Dan's family, and Amanda and her family who were on deck for moving in after the Floridians moved out. Out of 14 grandchildren we had 10 of them together.  Sadly, we didn't get them all in one place for a group picture.
                                                                  Park Visits

Krieder Nursery

                                        Play Dates and Visits with Cousins

Making Pizza for Lunch

South Side Soda Shop

                            Lowes Workshop, the Library,  Hippo Fun

                                                     The Elkhart County Fair

Corn fun

Ian and Papa on the right enjoying a Crazy Mouse ride

                                                          Sweet Moments

 Our normal empty nest was rocked with a hubbub of action. In addition to people noises, baby toys chimed in with electronic voices and songs.  Strange sightings were spotted:  the sink held captive growing sea creatures, and one day I discovered a ladder blocking my way downstairs.  A dollhouse resident was found hanging out on the kitchen windowsill.  I was told she was in time out until her playmates could decide who should get to play with her. 

 Eventually these relatives loaded up their bags and we drove them to the bus stop. 
We waved them off and watched them disappear inside the bus.
There were lumps in our throats and moisture in our eyes. They thought about their
Legos sets waiting at home in Florida.  But they thought about us, too.  Missing them.
And they missed us. And when they were finally home in Florida, they crawled into 
their soft beds and dreamed about the next summer. 

Goodby,  Dominic, Jodi, Ian, Emanuel and Noah!

Then we came back home to greet the next pack of relatives, from Virginia...

To Be Continued

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