narrated by: Milo
Grandma has been down lately, she found out her long-time friend, Norma is terminally ill. When Grandma still lived on her own, and owned the Farmer’s Market in Millwood, they used to drink coffee every week, and catch up on gossip around town. Since Grandma moved in with us, she confesses that she hadn’t kept up those ties, and now feels plagued with guilt.
I don’t really know how to cheer her up, or even what to say. But Mom suggested that I just spend time with her, and that would be enough. So we started watching old-time TV shows in her room at night. I’ve gotten a kick out of Lucy and Green Acres, and now it’s genuinely a good time.
Itzel is back home for the summer, and that is keeping Grandma in higher spirits too. She was spending time with Norma as well, but they left for their cabin to disconnect for a time.
Mom and Dad were relieved that the Millett’s left town for some space. They felt that it gave Grandma time to enjoy having Itzel home. They had also been concerned that she might be making herself a nuisance over at the Millett house with her frequent visitations.
I finally got Itzel to agree to surfboarding. She’s always been hesitant, and terrified she’d make a fool of herself. Suddenly, I find that she’s more daring after a year out of the house. But she was really terrible, even more than I was on my first try.
Mom and Dad sat on the beach, exclaiming in fright very loudly. It definitely did not help her confidence.
Surfing is my quiet place, when Itzel resigns herself, Mom and Dad follow her inside. I like the surf, and the distant sound of the train as it crosses the bridge. It’s absolutely my only hobby, and I think it has spoiled any chance of me living in a land-locked house.
Itzel brought home her first serious boyfriend, and I thought that both of them might melt into the floor. Me and Grandma were on the sofa, and Grandma was told especially to not interfere.
Grandma paid my parents no mind though, she hopped right up and introduced herself. She insisted that Rafael relax, and that no one was going to insist they break up. I can see why he might think that, I’ve often wondered what Mom and Dad might do if I brought home the wrong girl, in their eyes anyway. I was just five when Mom and Dad practically forbade her from ever dating anyone ever again.
I think Grandma relaxed him too much though, as he continued to upset both parents. He didn’t attend Mom’s grammar school, but had gone to Bekah’s high school. Naturally she called Bekah for some recon before Rafael had even arrived, she knew his high school GPA and what classes he excelled in. Bekah didn’t have any dirt on him though, but Mom went on acting like she had a whole delinquent case on him.
Dad told Grandma to take a walk, stretch her legs, but she plopped right on the sofa for moral support. Grandma has always done the opposite of what Dad says when it comes to us kids. Dad tried to ignore her, and went on asking prying questions of both Itzel and Rafael.
No matter what they said, Dad grew more and more irritated by Rafael. It seemed that he had made up his mind to dislike the poor guy before he even met him. How else could he explain hating a guy who was studying Mathematics and aspired to be an architect. It’s no low-class aspiration.
I answered the kitchen phone when it rang, and stuck around talking noisily to Dean. I hoped that it lightened the mood a bit.
Mom suggested they hold off on dating until after they graduate, and Dad got really excited at that notion. Of course Itzel and Rafael refused, and Mom and Dad had to accept that. Since Alice is practically a nun, they seem to think that we should all follow in her footsteps.
With inspiration from Norma and her family, Grandma insisted we have a family picnic up at the scenic look-out. It’s not far from our house, and Itzel agreed to come if Rafael was welcome. Of course he was, because everyone is working to keep Grandma in high spirits.
Alice had many questions for Rafael, but she was part of the reason they started dating to begin with, so she was nice about her inquiries.
Everyone seems to know that Alice is having a mid-twenties crisis, but no one is discussing it. I never realized before how much we don’t talk about the nitty-gritty details in life. If I hadn’t wanted to be a third generation lawyer, would they have accepted that? I’m inclined to think they wouldn’t.
Alice’s roommate, Lainey and her boyfriend, Michael ended up stopping by the picnic. The Grimsley’s are like a second-family to us, so it seemed natural for her to be there. But I could tell that Alice was uncomfortable with it.
Especially when Mom gushed excessively over the baby, their prospective names, and their new house out in Millwood. She completely ignored the fact that now Alice had an apartment she couldn’t afford on her own. Even if Mom thinks it is great that Alice isn’t tying the knot quite yet, it’s clear that Alice is wholly jealous of the relationship. She tried asking Mom and Dad to release her trust fund now, instead of when she turns 30, but they wouldn’t even humor that notion.
After eating, we all kind of separated and enjoyed the area. Rafael and Itzel made their way to the waterfall, where they professed their undying love. It was too much for me to stomach, so I didn’t join up with them.
The adults wandered off for some chit-chat and Dad brought his binoculars. Bekah Grimsley got him interested in bird watching, and I agree with Willa, it’s really embarrassing. But I think it fits the silver-haired club, and we weren’t in the city ether, which counted for something.
I wound up hanging with the girls. I really wish that Simon hadn’t left for the summer. He is my best friend and it’s been rather lonely without him around, especially at the family picnic.
Michael swept Lainey away once she finished eating, and grabbed her butt near the picnic area. Maybe if I had a girlfriend, I’d grab her butt anytime I wanted to, but I doubt it. I didn’t grow up with PDA in my family, and it makes me uncomfortable.
Mom and Dad are having their own crisis, as they decided to buy a cabin up in the Cascade Mountains that very night. Apparently Grandpa and Grandma had one back when Mom was pregnant with me, but sold it before I could walk.
Alice spent the night as well, I could hear her unloading to Itzel about everything. It made me grateful to not be a girl, this is her second friend to get pregnant, though Julia never raised her son. She exclaimed that she isn’t asking to be knocked up, but a date might be nice. She confessed to looking at a donor to have a baby if she didn’t find someone in a few years.
They mentioned dragging me out of my room, so I stripped down to my undies to read in bed; I can definitely not discuss my sister getting filled with a strangers DNA. I feel empathy for my sister, but I don’t want to spend the night listening to it all.
Itzel seemed to handle the situation well-enough. She even talked her out of adopting a second cat, waiting to have a baby, and insisted that eventually she would find the guy she was after. She suggested some modern apps for finding dates, and while Alice seemed humiliated at the idea, they did set up an account on her phone.
When it isn’t the weekend, I’ve been spending my days at the courthouse, working as an unpaid research assistant. It’s the in the career-path that I want, and I’m proud at the prospect of continuing the family tradition, but the early morning hours are something less than desirable.
I always get a thrill in my stomach though as we pull up to the courthouse.
I have found that I actually enjoy drinking coffee. I’ve been making it for the office, and everyone insists that I brew a better cup than my Dad, but it could just be flattery. I rather suck at this law bit, at least for now. I don’t expect myself to be an ace at something I haven’t even trained for previously, but it still stings my esteem. Everyone says that Dad was a natural, and I’d just hoped that I would be too.
Dad’s real help is Trisha, his paralegal. She’s been with Dad for the past decade, and we all agree that she’s better than Marta, who assisted him when he was a lawyer. The only downfall of Trisha is that she breeds and raises large breed dogs. Dad has an issue with pet hair, and would never tolerate a large dog in our home: climbing on our sofas and drooling on the floor. Needless to say, he never accepts her dinner invites ether.
They both tend to be grouchy in the mornings, and butt-heads over non-issues, but otherwise they have a good work-relationship. I think that they do well keeping each other on their toes when it comes to big cases.
Seeing that I’m rather lackluster at this position, I usually get stuffed into a room and filing away books they’ve pulled out for research. I actually enjoy this bit, it’s quiet and I don’t feel stressed that I’m letting my Dad down.
When she has the time, Trisha will lend me a hand and point out where I should be looking in a volume if Dad has an easy question. I can tell already that law school is going to require a real effort from me, not like high school. I’m looking forward to it, Dad and Grandpa were an actual team and I’d like to have that with my Dad if he’s still practicing when I graduate.
When court isn’t in session, I like to sneak in there and just stand in the front. I’m actually excited about knowing the law, and working hard at university.
I start my senior year in the fall, and will begin applying for scholarships as soon as they open up. We don’t need the financial aid, but I think it’s an accomplishment to qualify nonetheless. Both of my sisters earned a full-ride, and I’d like to do the same if possible.
Notes: The picnic was an ROS for an unplugged family gathering. I didn’t think the London’s would sit on the ground and have a picnic, so they rented out the picnic area for their little gathering.
By the time the picnic ended, Rafael had managed to weasel himself out of the negative with her parents. He really was quite upsetting to them, no matter what he said they would take offense, and he kept smiling that big cheesy grin all the while they’d throw their arms up in anger. Yikes!
Alice is a family sim, and is having a bit of a twenties-crisis, she’s very much in the red because she can’t fulfill her wants. Her little sister brought home a boyfriend, her best friend is having a baby, and bought a house with a guy, and she’s still single, and now stuck with an expensive two-bedroom apartment. She might need to stop trying to find guys at the bar, since it isn’t really her scene anyway.
Thanks for reading!
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