This is a photo of my sister Donna, her husband Larry, their daughter Misty and three grandchildren, Jonathon, Lauren and Joseph. Everyone seems to tower over my sister, but she is at least 5’6″. They also have a son who’s married with two children. I’ll post photos of them later.
I live my life vicariously through my sister and her kids. Hardly anything exciting happens in my life. Well, except for the fire and gas leak next door the other day, but things like that don’t happen very often, thank goodness. And the occasional visitor, like my sister, my oldest son, or my best friend.
Between my sister and her kids, there is always something going on.
Like last month, for example, July. Her daughter and three grandchildren (my niece, grandniece and grandnephews) were coming for a month-long visit from Iowa. Well, actually, they just moved from Wisconsin to Iowa, but their new place wouldn’t be ready to move into until August 1, and they had a month to kill before moving in. They hadn’t been back to South Florida in two years. It had been that long since we’d seen them, too, because when we went to Fort Lauderdale to visit during Christmas 2010, Misty and the kids couldn’t make the trip.
So, my sister had a brilliant idea. Why not come down here and stay for the month? We’ll worry about where everyone’s gonna sleep later, no problem. Well, my sister and brother-in-law, Larry, have lived in the same house for 40 years, and they know all the neighbors, even the snowbirds who only come down a few months out of the year. The house across the street was vacant and Larry kept an eye on the place, as well as taking care of the lawn. So, he called the owners and asked if his grandkids could stay in the house for the month. Sure, they said, no problem, and no charge. Nice neighbors, huh? It was a nice little place. Two bedrooms, living room, Florida room, furnished, air conditioning. No cable or Internet, but they had my sister’s Wi-Fi they could tap into.
So, that sounded like it was going to be great for my sister, to be able to spend a month with her daughter and grandchildren. A month with 12-year-old Joseph, 14-year-old Lauren, and 16-year-old Jonathon. Oh, and Columbo, their German Shepherd. A whole month.
Sometime near the end of June, the phone rings and I see that it’s my niece from the caller ID. When I answered, she said, “Hi Ant Sue, it’s Misty.” I always chuckle when I hear that. I’m from Boston, and even though I lived in Florida for 45 years, and now Tennessee, I still have a bit of a Boston accent. It is Aunt, not Ant. It is cah, not car. Pahk the cah in Hahvid Yahd. I don’t really tawk like that, do I?
Anyway, Misty says, “Can I hijack Patrick for the next month?” I said, “Oh, my goodness! Patrick would love that!” Plus, I would get a chance to see them all when they come to Knoxville for a couple of days. Misty, 12-year-old Joseph, 14-year-old Lauren, and 16-year-old Jonathon. Oh, and don’t forget Columbo. I thought, this should be fun.
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