Time has, as usual, gotten away from us. We're two days away from the Great Old Folks invasion and we are not exactly ready. So, during my workday today, I plotted time management strategy.
I arrived home, made a plate of breakfast-for-dinner for my Mom (it sounds like I do this all the time, but I swear it's less than once a week!), and Hubby, Babygirl and I headed out the door. We had a meal at a Chinese buffet and went power shopping.
It was one of those trips where not only do you need extra stuff for incoming guests, but you also need absolutely everything else.
Laundry detergent, cleaning supplies, napkins, paper towels, and lordy, don't forget the toilet paper. Hand soap, toothbrushes, shampoo, conditioner, hair gel, and DAMN, I forgot the razors. Cat food and litter. Milk, eggs, cheese, tortillas, bread, onions, garlic, pepper, peanut butter and ketchup. Cereal, yogurt, meat, fruit, and veggies. Birthday cake and ice cream and candles.
Seriously. I'm not sure what we've been living on. We filled two carts in each of two stores.
I think all we didn't need was potatoes. And we may find out later in the week that we were wrong.
But there is something inherently satisfying in stocking up. This is the time of year where having some extra put up feels warm and homey. Knowing that we are supplied against any immediate emergency is energizing and peaceful at the same time. Seeing apples overflowing the fruit bowl and squash and pumpkins decorating the mantle because there isn't room for them in the kitchen? It feels like we are ready for the storm.
I think this is the first time in over two years when I have felt that way - ready. It may be carelessly naïve, but there's so much bad behind us. Maybe, just maybe, we can breathe for a minute and enjoy the gift of our older family members. I expect there'll be a lot of laughter, a lot of memories, a lot of love.
I can count on my fingers the number of times I've been able to spend a few days with my Aunt. We've been separated by a continent my entire life. I've been out there twice, and she's been here half a dozen times - and each time we reconnect, as if we'd never really been so far away. She's a fire-cracker readhead with short woman attitude. I re-learn each time how to make a dry martini (oooppss need some gin and vermouth and maybe some olives?), but I'll never forget that it isn't safe to let her make the drinks. Her drinks are responsible for the first of perhaps four times in my life that I've ever been drunk. In fact, I can recall lying on the rug in my living room complaining that my ears were too heavy. Stop laughing - they WERE.
So all I need to do is survive work tomorrow and head west to get my dad. In the morning we'll swing north to the airport and come home in time for dinner - steaks on the grill, garden salad, and gnocchi with fresh pesto.
And then let the good times begin!