Last Wednesday we finished clearing out our house. Every appliance, piece of furniture, dish, towel, everything but the stuff packed in our suitcases was gone; sold, trashed or donated. The plane tickets we’d booked didn’t leave until Friday, so we loaded ourselves into our van and followed Dad, who was in his work car. It was cramped quarters, with suitcases and bags on everyone’s laps and blankets shoved in the cracks because we didn’t take the time to load the van properly, and it took us three hours to finally get to Aunt Rose’s house, including the stop we made to drop off the work car with one of Dad’s coworkers. Aunt Rose is our great aunt, really, and she’s married to our Uncle Craig. They live in a mobile home park, which is not as trailer-y as it sounds. It’s just a tiny rectangular house with two bedrooms, one bathroom outside of the master, a living room, a dining room, and a kitchen. It’s up in the mountains, so the scenery is lovely, and raccoons and bears rummage in Aunt Rose’s trash.
The first day, we arrived just before dark, so we watched a movie from Aunt Rose’s massive collection, WALL-E, which promptly ended up on Griffin’s to-be-replayed-until-my-siblings-can-recite-every-word-of-dialogue-from-memory list, and went to bed.
The next day, Dad took us to go get ice cream, which was an adventure because Aunt Rose lives in Small Town, Nowhere so they don’t really have a Baskin Robbins. After exploring for a while, we happened on a little souvenir shop, which sold ice cream. They had a Tiny Cone, about the size of my index finger and twice as thick at the top, with about half a scoop of ice cream on top, which we got.
Mom and Dad went to go see a movie with Aunt Rose, our first cousin once removed Stephanie, Uncle Craig, Stephanie’s boyfriend (Whose name is Steve and who made fun of Aunt Rose’s house because he’s…not very tactful, let’s say.) Meanwhile, they put on Pirates of the Caribbean and left me in charge of the baby.
Apparently, they thought he would actually sit down and watch a movie not on his list. While in a new house, which he screamed about and explored all the nooks and crannies of the entire time we were there. Oh, and we had candy from the souvenir shop, which I unwisely gave him. And it was past his bedtime.
I’m not saying they didn’t pay me, or anything, they did, I got ten bucks, but I earned that ten bucks, okay, I worked for it.
First of all, he kept trying to run outside, and I had to follow him. We had a very spirited argument over the fact that Mom and Dad were gone. It went a bit like this: ( *this is Griffin’s actions* )
“No, she’s gone, she went to the movies with Daddy.”
*intense contemplation* *pointing at our car*
“Yes, well, she took a different car, okay?”
*meaningful pointing and a huge gappy smile*
“You want me to drive the car?”
“I can’t drive the car! I’m only 14!”
“I CAN’T DRIVE GO INSIDE”
And then I picked him up and carried him inside, suitcase-style. (Clamped under one arm with that hand supporting his chest. It’s very hard for a kid to punch, kick, or bite you when he’s being carried like that. I mean, you still get clawed, but at least it’s your arm and not your face.)
Eventually, after a lot of wrangling and temper tantrums, the movie was over and I put him to bed.
Friday morning, bright and early, we bid Aunt Rose and Uncle Craig goodbye and drove to Grandpa Lin’s house, so he could drop us off at the airport and take the car back to his house.
(To be Continued)