Sunday, June 07, 2009

FOUR Weekends....

Welcome to Our Home

For four weekends in a row we've been playing hospitable hosts to our guests from out of town. For four weekends in a row, family/friends have been utilizing our designated guest bedroom and providing us with plenty of chit-chat and visiting.

Weekends 1 & 2;

First there was my husband's mother who returned from Vancouver with me. She remained for two weekends plus and enjoyed every moment of her time with the family. When our usual weekly routine was in progress (school/work), she spent her hours devoting her time to resting, relaxing, reading, working on a new found love of number crossword puzzles, and chatting with whoever came her way. She was able to spend the first few days gathering round the kitchen while sitting on a bar stool, watching and catching up with my husband before his day's off were over and a normal work week resumed. Together they made a few traditional Indonesian meals each Sunday for our dinner, a feasting delight of "Bahmi Goreng" awaited the rest of us after their chef sessions. Oh - to savor the flavor of all the freshly grated ginger and other assorted spicy flavors while eating our main course meal. One could feel their saliva building up just smelling the aroma wafting through the air before the evening meal was ever served. Yum!

She was here for both boy's birthdays which fall only seven days apart. It was the first time both boys had additional extended family around for their special days the past three years.

She became spellbound as our young daughter introduced her to the wonderful world of "Webkinz" and showed her the parade of stuffed animals she's received as gifts over the past year from family and friends. Playing games on the Webkinz site left her in awe of the silly things, and she even happily obliged her grand-daughter to watch her trade a few objects away to her nieces while there.

When the Stanley Cup hockey playoffs weren't scheduled, she enjoyed watching her love of baseball. When we sat to watch the final live episodes of American Idol, so too did she jump on the bandwagon and rally round cheering for her favorite singers. And when we went out to play, she came along for the ride. She was able to come along to see where the girls did their horse riding, attended mass with us both weeks, attended an ice hockey session for one son, and learned of our general local area when she accompanied us to fetch our mail or spend a few moments at the water's edge.

Warm but nippy at the water's edge - a favorite place to be

Basically she just blended in with the natural rhythm of the family and all were content with keeping their regular routines in place, especially schooling because the older ones are preparing for online course deadlines and one is studying for his upcoming final and mandatory government exams which will account for half of his final marks.

The weather was warm and sadly she had arrived just in time for the hatching of billions of pesky mosquitos. It became the norm to hear someone clapping their hands together or smacking the walls where a mosquito buzzed near to them during the day. Everyone agreed on the necessity of mosquito hunting sessions before retiring for the night with the bedroom doors shut tightly. Heh, though that must leave a silly picture in your brain, as funny as it seems to be, it was very necessary believe me! We learned well the frustrations of acquiring many bites, even those that occurred without notice through our clothing. The locales remarked this was unusual and the black flies were normally worse this time of year, but golly gee (!), the mosquitoes were just something else, like nothing we've ever experienced before. We were given a tip to use "Listerine" by pouring some into a spray bottle and spraying it straight onto window screens.

We sprayed it onto our animals fur coats and our clothing. We also used bug sprays with citronella, and lots of lavender after the fact to ease the itch. What a horrible time to have a guest as it resulted in some sleep deprivation. Each morning everyone huddled round the breakfast table telling all how they woke up to the sound of mosquitoes buzzing in their ears and announced how many bites they endured overnight through their bedding. Most of us actually threw our top sheets over our heads most of the night, though I don't really recommend it. Note to self; Buy mosquito nets for sure before next summer at IKea!

We shared a couple of
"Princess" sessions having our hair coiffed, or when we treated her to a manicure for a belated gift. How lovely that was to take the time out for these moments of pampering sessions. One morning just she and I were able to go off to check out a local golf course. The manager offered us a key to one of their golf carts and welcomed us to tour the course at our leisure. Since this was her forte and not mine, she drove.

With the pedal to the metal (literally at times) we zoomed about the course only to find paths end suddenly and leaving us with map in hand to figure out which way to go next. It was the darndest thing I'd ever seen, paths to nowhere, and obvious danger points of not drifting over and driving on golf fairways when in search of the next numbered hole's location.

Craziest thing I'd ever seen;
Golf cart paths suddenly end and having to guess where to go next!
What a hoot!

I watched as my driver's adrenaline was in orbit with the utter excitement of being at the helm of a golf cart, something she usually partakes of every day back home. Never before have I laughed so hard but during this golf cart driving. It was a blast and we both enjoyed it very much. What a way to create a memory, a fun escape venture we least expected but spoke of for the next few days to everyone at home. tee hee

Her time with us rolled by very quickly and soon it was time to return home again to the westcoast. We were deeply impressed with the airline she flew home with for their care and assistance right from the check-in counter, during a quick layover and home to the exit doors. For an 83 year old woman, they sure did treat her right down there at
"Westjet Airlines", we are so very impressed with their overall service!

Weekend 3;
Our oldest daughter flew into town to spend a few days with the family before having to attend a legal conference for work. This was to be a down time for her to relax and chill out beforehand. Time was spent catching up, resting, hanging out with the family and of course playing big sister to younger ones. What is a visit from a big sis without having your nails all dolled up and painted anyway? Fun!

Big sister times included dolling up the finger and toe nails
Just me and my big sister

After our visit it was time to drive her to her conference location, an impressive historical Inn in the center of the countryside, a unique place for a four day conference. Upon entering the vast countryside location, one couldn't help but admire the mature grounds and manicured gardens, and the old brick buildings with wooden shutters gave way to wondering about all of the history this place had to offer for history buffs.
One of the Inn's many buildings

Just as the "Eaton family" once lived in their ritzy mansion not too far from this place in the area known as Caledon, the Inn where I transported our daughter to for her conference no doubt belonged to someone of wealth many years ago, now designated as an Inn resort area place for others to enjoy. Interesting to be so remote for a conference though, that's for sure.

Weekend 4;

We just said goodbye to a young man, a friend from our former area who now attends a college just over an hour away. He took the Go transit train to our area Friday evening and was very appreciative to us for allowing him to spend the weekend here. With exam time looming for him yet, and the prospect of a summer job that doesn't enable him to get home, he was a bit homesick and loving "friend time" in our home. Add to that another friend of our daughter's from our former area, who also called ahead to stop by overnight for a visit while she was in the big city for her school track meet. Her parents were with her and planned to stay locally to take in some shopping so it worked out perfect for these gals to spend time together.

Both of these visiting teens knew one another from our former home so their evening was spent altogether round the pool table in our sports room. It was great to hear lots of laughter echoing round the walls and up through the furnace vents from below. Our gal friend stayed one night until her parents returned to scoop her away, and the other friend remained one more night until we transported him to the bus depot to return to his school dorm.

Yesterday, everyone was busy participating in activities where the family taxi was in full motion from morning to evening. At long last - our daughter was able to share her love of horses with her friend (pics to come), something she was never able to do while living in our previous home. Not having ever experienced a horse ride, she was carefully suited up and gently mounted on top of a friendly beast, all the gals at the barn guiding her out on a trail ride. Meanwhile the boys were off for a round of golf to try out a new golf course nearby. Another son was attending a full day birthday party and our youngest daughter was escorted on a date with her daddy to the movie "UP" with ice cream afterward.

Our guests are always so comfortable here...LOL

Today a light misty rain continues to drop its moisture and sprinkle it round the driest parts of the earth from the past few day's warmth. Just when another round of mosquitoes seemed to have hatched again a few days ago, we're hoping this isn't the wet climate they prefer to continue tormenting us with a larger population exploding around our forest and home areas.

It's kind of gloomy day for the most part but a good day to recover amidst the height of entertaining and fostering good relationships with our guests the past while. I think there are a few family members about to quietly slip away for a rest before we leave for our later mass time. A big procession gathering was in session today quite a distance away where many were attending, so our mass times were changed around. There is something about not offering up the "first fruits" of a sunday morning that sure feels strange, but it's one of those days isn't it with the dark skies making us feel drowsy and forcing us to regroup and recover from the hype of adrenalin being on overdrive. Perhaps we just all need a day to unwind, so this is it.

Hug the ones you love and have a great day!