narrated by: Mandy
When George had asked me what I really wanted for Christmas, all I could think of was a trip to Paris to visit Violet-Adele. Instead we put in new kitchen cupboards. We really needed to, they were older than Finn who is forty-one now. Like George said, they just weren’t safe anymore, especially with all the grand babies in the house these days. The front of the silverware drawer would fall off, and exposed screws were right there for little ones to get hurt on.
George promised we can fly out and see her next year, and as much as I’d like to see Paris, I’m really just hoping she comes home. I worry about her alone in a different country, so much that at times I can’t sleep. I started getting books from the library, so I could try and strain my eyes until I dozed off. George is a good sport about it, the light doesn’t bother him.
George is an accommodating man, and doesn’t mind being more active than his nature is really inclined to be. He teases that I can’t sit still for even a two hour movie, which is completely true. He was thinking ahead when him and Violet-Adele bought me a puppy before she left. Sydney goes on all my runs with me, he’s pretty unhappy being cooped in the house, and howls for his daily jogs.
In many ways, he’s like having a child in the house again. He has separation anxiety when we leave him home, so we try to always bring him with us. Grace is the most understanding in our family, they don’t have any children yet, and their dog, Murphy is pretty much spoiled like a baby would be. Thankfully Murphy and Sydney get a long really well.
We drive up to Millwood about once a week, I usually prepare a meal for all of us to share. I know that Grace gets lonely with Benjamin’s long shifts, I also know that she doesn’t prepare proper food for herself while he’s at work. I’ve made it my duty to make sure she’s having a good meal at least once a week.
George and I enjoy Benjamin’s company, that we often plan these dinners when he’ll be home, which sort of defeats my original purpose. We don’t get many opportunities to spend with our grown grand daughters though, so I use that for my excuse.
We never hear from Finn and his family except when Nicole needs someone to babysit Lily. We know that she relies on Grace far too often for this, especially since Grace is a young woman, with her own salon. I try my best to hold my tongue, when we stood up for Emma back in 2010, things got really ugly, and never fully recovered. We think they are irresponsible with their money, and have too many children to efficiently take care of them all, and as of 2010, they know these are our feelings.
We don’t judge the children for their parents indiscretions though, and welcome them into our home as often as Finn and Nicole will let them.
Nicole never stays more than a second to drop Lily off, and head into her boutique, Zoe-Gen. I really try to keep my opinion under control, but really think she should stick around a little, we’d like to know what they have going on in their lives.
Finn doesn’t get together with Hazel ether, nor does he talk with Violet-Adele at all, so I make it my responsibility to have Lily meet her cousins, I usually pick up Bea for an hour or two, so the girls can play.
George does really well getting down and playing with the kids, which makes me fall in love with him all the more. Bea is only six months older than Lily, and they play together really well.
Hazel lives in downtown South Port as well, so we get by her house more often. She’s home alone quite often, like Grace is, unlike Grace though, Hazel has her hands full with two month old Monroe and 2 1/2 year old Bea.
Our son-in-law, Jude is working on his first record. He was discovered at Planet Java in the fall, and is overwhelmingly busy jumping through the hoops needed to get his record finished and on the market. Even when he is home, he’s usually tweaking his songs, practicing them to death, or on the phone with his agent.
They want his album on the market in mid-spring, and him touring as an opener this summer. It’s mostly a Pacific-Northwest tour, but I worry about Hazel juggling all the babies and her diner.
Of course we told them that we will help out in anyway possible, even taking the grandbabies for a weekend, so Hazel can go to a few of his concerts. It’s always good for a wife to be present and seen supporting her husband. I don’t have any personal experience with groupies, but I know plenty well how flirtatious and unabashed young girls can be when they fall for a rocker.
And we really don’t mind giving a helping hand. With me and George retired, there isn’t much else we’d rather do than spend time with our family.
Notes: Originally Mandy was going to get to take her trip to Paris, but when I called Violet-Adele and her dog, Gustave answered the phone, I knew something was astray. I peeked in, and found this.
I had to go into Simpe and make him a small dog again, but didn’t until after I played Mandy’s household. So next time she can go visit her.
When I was a kid I grew up watching The Man from Snowy River, and was going to marry Jim Craig when I grew up, never mind that he’s quite a bit older than me, cause tv characters never age. I had a golden retriever/border collie mixed puppy, and I named him Sydney, which I thought was the most amazing name in the world. (In honor of Australia, where Man from Snowy River was filmed.) In honor of my childhood dog, I named Mandy’s dog Sydney. (I also had a cat named Trixie in honor of Trix cereal, you see I was all kinds of original genius, lol).