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George McCarthy (68 years), Mandy McCarthy (66 years)
(Hazel Woodfolk – 30 years, Jude Woodfolk – 29 years, Bea Woodfolk -8 monrha, Zilla McCarthy – 6 years, Julius McCarthy – 6 years, Elias McCarthy – 6 years, )
When Violet-Adele left for Paris, Mandy had been concerned about the time change and missing each other. They found the past year that this wasn’t an issue. The nine hour time zone difference, meant that Violet-Adele could call after work, and Mandy had already been up for hours, did her jog, and was ready for the day. They had talked every few days for the past year, but in May, the phone calls began coming in every morning. Violet-Adele was running out of time, and she had to decide if she wanted family or love, and Mandy wouldn’t decide for her.
Mandy wanted her daughter back on the same continent as herself, but she wouldn’t tell her to throw away the only love she’s ever had for another man. She wanted all of her children to be paired up with their own little ones, knowing full well that her and George wouldn’t always be around. She was relieved when Violet-Adele’s boss gave her the summer off to make her decision. He didn’t need her til September he said when the new interns came in.
George was a patient man, and the anticipation of Violet-Adele arriving in June did not make him go stir-crazy. After all, had had loads of yard work to keep up with, now that he didn’t have any kids at home. Oliver volunteered to help out in the summer months, when he wasn’t busy with classes.
Every weekend, Hazel with her family would come over for a grill out, George grilled out even in the winter. If anyone mentioned grilling, they were in for a long conversation about the perks of gas over charcoal. Jude had learned his lesson a few months back, so George would tell his speech to Bea. They were a little concerned her first words would be “gas grills rock.”
Mandy could hardly sit still, it seemed once a week with Hazel wasn’t enough to cure her anticipation of Violet-Adele coming home. He decided they needed a quick trip up the mountain. It was Mandy’s idea to bring their three year six-year old grandchildren. Ever since Emma dropping out of college, their relationship with Finn and Nicole had been strained at best.
They had been invited over after the surprise birth of Lily, but it wasn’t enough to build relationships with the twins and Zilla. They had expected resistance, and that they’d have to win Nicole and Finn over, but they practically pushed them all out the door.
Emma had moved out awhile back, but she still came by regularly, sometimes very late into the night.
Sometimes they would talk, and other times they’d just watch tv together.
And sometimes, George would fall asleep on the sofa while they watched a show. He didn’t know everything that was going on in her life, just enough to know that she needed someone to just be there for her. Her relationship had suffered the most with her parents, and even with her younger brothers and little sister by default.
Memorial Day weekend arrived, and they were off on their trip. The kids whined about the travel time, more frequently then Mandy remembered her own kids doing it. But when they finally arrived, it seemed it would be a good weekend away.
They found the kids required more energy from them, and it wore George out. He spent a lot of time sitting on furniture or holding his back. In the evening they took the kids to the Lodge to burn off the rest of their energy, otherwise they would be up all night in the room next to theirs.
George tucked the kids in at night, many times Mandy was already out as well. He found himself gazing at her a little longer then he did during day time hours. He remembered when they were dating, she had seemed unattainable for a soul like him, and here she was, the mother of his children, and all the grandchildren that had come, just because she had accepted him.
He found, she had really kept in shape all these years. She even beat the grand-kids on the log roll. This was upsetting to Elias who had also lost at darts to Zilla.
George wasn’t sure if it was the long day, or just a kids thing, but Elias picked a fight with Zilla that night. Their own kids had been quite spread apart, and as far as they could recall, had never gotten into a full blown out fight.
Mandy had been quite shocked by Elias’ behavior, and it only continued for the rest of the trip. He didn’t take well to his grandparents disciplining him ether. Elias started a fight with Julius too, and they never fought before.
George tried to have a talk with Elias over dinner. He wanted to get to the bottom of the sudden fighting, George was certain it was issues at home they weren’t aware of, while Mandy thought they were all just exhausted from the long days of tours and fishing. He wasn’t surprised to find that he was partly right, Elias was very upset about his sister Emma. He didn’t feel like they were friends anymore, or that she even cared about her family.
George had him call Emma to talk a little the next morning before Emma went into the salon. She assured him that she did care, and they’d hang out when he got back to Millwood.
It seemed to help enough that he stopped fighting with his siblings. They were able to have the famous pancakes on their last morning, and Elias was pretty pleased to be served first. George had always thought Finn had too many kids, and Elias’ behavior added fuel to this frame of thought. It wasn’t that he didn’t want his grandchildren, it was just concern for his son’s ability to meet each child’s needs. If him and Mandy had that many, they wouldn’t have been able to do all their vacationing, or send Violet-Adele to Paris, or even Finn to college.
George kept an extra eye on Elias for the remainder of the trip, watching his every reaction and he was more concerned. He was positive it wasn’t just lack of sleep, but an actual problem with his grandson. He was very angry when he played arcade games, almost violent.
George bought all the kids souvenirs to take home, a gemstone for Zilla and log statues for the twins. While Zilla and Julius were sincerely excited and grateful with the gifts; Elias wasn’t. To say the least. He might as well have called the gift a piece of crap.
Julius and Zilla hung out together more then he’d ever seen in the past. They were happy about seeing the eagle, and were very excitable over the entire vacation. While Elias was often found sulking or doing his own thing in a different corner.
Mandy and George only had a few days left before Violet-Adele’s plane would arrive, and they were both so exhausted that they relished the time ahead of them. He could do his yard work, and she could go jogging. He considered getting her another dog to be her running partner, since Gypsy had died a few years back. Maybe this summer, just in case Violet-Adele decided to go back to France, then she’d have someone to keep up with her.
Notes: Zilla, Julius, and Elias all have the constant want to be friends with Emma. For some reason I can’t get this easily fulfilled. Elias has a 75 daily relationship with her, and they are still not friends. I was pretty surprised by Elias’ behavior, because I just played his household, and he was fine, for what I saw. But he picked fights with both his siblings, and they are all friends. The twins are actually BFF, and I don’t see anything that triggered it. Zilla did seem to gloat about beating him at darts, and he had a negative response to that… then they got back to their cabin and he attacked her right on the sidewalk.
Violet-Adele’s time is up in June, and I haven’t decided what to do with her. So she’s coming home for the summer. I need to play her more to see what her wants are. I have an idea of where she’s leaning though, but we shall see…. 😀
Emma does come and hang out with her Grandpa all on her own. Which I think is sweet. And Violet-Adele does call Mandy pretty regular too, which I love.
No one could get Mandy off that log! She’s one fit grandma!
And, um.. when did her dog die? I went to send her on her morning jog, and there was no Gypsy, I scroll around the lot and find an urn in the fitness room (Finn’s old bedroom, oh yes, they turned their sons room into a gym). So I’m thinking maybe a new dog for her to go jogging with.