The Lighthouse

the lighthouse

10 August 2011

The Return

Rather unexpectedly, the Nuts have returned home - 2 days in advance of the original ETA.  It would seem that rain trumps plans, especially when it is nearly biblical rain.  They awoke this morning to a camp site shin-deep in water and mud, a tent collapsed under the weight of all the rain, all earthly possessions they had with them in a sodden state, and five very soggy children.  They conceded defeat (for now) and packed as well they could and pointed for home.

Meanwhile, I had been somewhat less than tidy at home, planning to do a thorough clean tomorrow before they came home the following day.  I planned to cook a mess of chilli as it can be reheated any time and really sticks to the ribs after five days of hot dogs and hamburgers over the camp fire. I fielded phone calls from various of Number One Nephew's friends who needed reminding - again - that One would not be back until the end of the week (and was asked by one of them if I was the housekeeper... he'd had trouble with a housekeeper in the past.  Brat.)  and by Grandpa who wanted to talk over the upcoming football season.  Today was going to be about picking blueberries and turning them into lovely jars of home-made jam. Rain changed "picking" to "purchasing" but jam was still on the agenda.  What fun to greet the family with a tidy row of goodness!

It was while I was elbow deep in mashed fruit, red-faced from the steam, that I got the call from my sister alerting me to their imminent arrival.  "We've just crossed the border," she said.  "We'll be home in 30 minutes."

Gak!  Images flashed through my mind of floors that could use a re acquaintance with the vacuum, the upstairs bath somewhat in disarray, the empty fridge with only a wedge of pie to feed them, and a kitchen in chaos. Oh well.  I had to shrug and carry on.  This is what life looks like, right? It never works when I try to pose as June Cleaver anyway, if you recall the incident of the grape pie from my stellar domestic career.

Just as the last jar was being sealed and all eight were dunked for boiling, seven very damp, dirty, and tired people came through the front door.  With an arm full of very squishable three-year old boy, I heard stories of triathlons, roller coasters, worm races, face-dives into the mud, marshmallow roasts, and being wet... very, very wet.

What is a clean kitchen compared to that?

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