The houseguests left for home this morning. My sister-in-law (whose illness is the reason for their unscheduled landing here) is stable (well, physically) for now and life must go on, for now.
It's like the old parable where the farmer goes to consult the wise man because his house is too small; the wise man tells him to bring in a cow. The farmer protests, saying how is that going to help, but the wise man insists.
Every day, the farmer returns, complaining, and the wise man tells him to bring in something else - some chickens, a goat, a punk rock band, stuff like that.
Finally one day the wise man tells the farmer to remove the goat; the farmer comes back next day raving about the difference. Then each day he is told to remove something else and finally when he is back to how he had begun, he is happy and satisfied.
The moral of the story, of course, is that one punk band is equivalent to one cow, some chickens, and a goat, only it doesn't smell as good.
What made the whole thing tolerable was watching my kids interact with their family. The three year old attaches herself to them (particularly Mark) like mine attached themselves to her father when they were little. They are still close to him and enjoy spending time together.
I remember when my husband and I were dating, we once took him along on an outing to Parc Safari, one of those outdoor zoos where you drive through and the giraffes look into your car window and the chimpanzees cavort on your roof.
It's because of parks like this one that vinyl auto roofs went out of style.
Then when you've finished the drive you can spend the rest of the day on rickety little rides, petting the flea-bitten farm animals (see above) and maybe swimming in the cesspool runoff.
No, we had fun and it's a nice park. Please don't sue me!
Anyway, nephew was a skinny little eleven or twelve year old then; he's 38 now.
I of course, remain the same.
Maybe it sounds strange that I would take comfort from my sons becoming closer to their father's family at the same time as I'm beginning to extricate myself from it; I don't see that one thing has anything to do with the other. My own family is close to non-existent (with the exception of my far-flung cousins especially those who read this journal) and I want my kids to have some sense of where they come from and who will be their travelling companions.
I offer a word of caution with this one:
The popups (no pun intended, really) are a bit excessive and annoying. But if you can tolerate that, this is a scream.
My favourite section is Testicle Recipes, which includes such delicacies as Rocky Mountain Oysters, Battered Balls, Butterflied Turkey Nuts, and of course Barnyard Family Jewels.
These appear to be real recipes, but where you're going to find the barnyard family jewels is your problem