I used to be pretty good at recording the minutiae that is my life. Lately? Not so much; despite the fact that I have random thoughts of "oh, I should blog about this!" every day. Despite the fact that I currently have an untold amount of drafts just waiting to be published.
The problem with the drafts is this - most of what I write is in the minute, so if it sits for a while - waiting for me to edit or whatever - then I lose that sense of urgency to hit publish.
At any rate, Easter. Yeah, I know, that is SO eight days ago!
As I was saying...Easter. We decided this year to visit my Mother-In-Law. Something we haven't done in at least five years. And that's not because she is a problematic Mother-In-Law. No, on the contrary, she is a fabulous Mother-In-Law. In fact, she is so great that I have informed my husband on many, many occasions that should this marriage go south, she is MINE!
No, the only reason we haven't visited in recent years is due to lack of finances, unemployment and whatever other reason the world has thrown at us; coupled with the fact that she lives about NINE hours away. But this year, we were set on going. Come hell or high water or snow (which was a distinct possibility considering the nasty winter the Northeast has endured this year) - all of which, luckily, stayed away.
My company is generous in their holiday policy, which meant that I had both Good Friday and Easter Monday off. I decided to augment that long weekend by taking Thursday off. With absolutely NO intention of driving up to get Man-Child. I was planning on using that day to relax, pack, maybe throw in a little shopping. You know...some "me" time prior to spending four whole days with family - two of which would find me stuck in a van with four other people.
It didn't quite work out that way. Yes, I got some time to relax, pack and shop. But around 10:00 or 11:00 am I began to get antsy. So I texted Man-Child to inquire whether or not he had bought his bus ticket yet.
See, the plan was for Man-Child to come home on Thursday night, via the bus and my step-daughter and her friend were to drive in that evening; and then we would all leave early, early on Friday.
As usual, MC had put off buying his ticket - hoping to find a ride home. So in a fit of motherly love, I offered to drive up to get him - disregarding the fact that I was facing at least NINE hours in the car the next day. I neglected to mention to Hubby that I was doing this. Only because he would complain that I was spoiling "the boy." Which wasn't true at all. I was doing it to surprise Hubby since he would then not have to go out at 9:00 pm or so to fetch "the boy" from the bus station....and because I was bored.
Finally, we were all gathered in our tiny space - prepping for our long trip. It was a pleasant feeling having us all under one roof again. Although, I must admit, we were short on beds and not everyone was as comfortable as they could have been....but they survived.
And oh, how we laughed when Hubby proclaimed that we would be getting up at 4:00 am for a 5:00 am departure!
Knowing my step-daughter as I do I was surprised that we actually got out of the house around 6:00 am. If the truth be told, that was minor miracle. And not just due to her. There was no way in hell that I was getting out of bed before 5:00 am - so I didn't.
The drive up was long - oh so long! Somehow that nine hour drive turned into an ELEVEN hour drive. While it wasn't completely miserable (there was some hilarity along the way - which I can't even remember now, as we must have been punch-drunk by then) it wasn't a picnic either. It was determined that while Hubby had no problem with potty breaks - he had a problem with lunch breaks. It was also determined that he is a control freak; as in he refused to let ANY of the other four drivers in the car actually take the wheel.
The look on my Mother-In-Law's face when we arrived was well worth the long, long drive. She was ecstatic to see us.
Upon our arrival, after hugging and kissing us to death, she proceeded to stuff us full of food; as is her standard operating procedure.
I swear I gained five pounds that first night alone.
On Saturday, we headed into town to buy supplies. Did you know that in NE PA you can't buy wine in the grocery store?! No, you have to go to the liquor store for wine. Which means that you have to stock up for the weekend because, of course, the liquor store is closed on Sundays, which then brought some serious debate into how much should be bought.
My Brother-In-Law and his new girlfriend (we all loved her and gave BIL our blessings) showed up around 1:00 pm. And Mom declared it was cocktail hour and proceed to set out the antipasto. For the uninitiated, it's basically the food you eat prior to the meal. And no, it's NOT like appetizers. Generally, after having antipasto, I don't want the meal because I'm stuffed. So I try to limit my intake so as not to insult my Mother-In-Law by refusing dinner. Besides, there's NO WAY I'm going to miss one of her meals. That woman can cook!
And, as you might imagine, with cocktail hour starting so early, coupled with be stuffed full of food, I went to bed very early.
During our visit, it we were also reminded just how similar my Mother-In-Law and I are. Pajamas on by early evening? Check. Date Line on Friday night? Check. Crossword puzzles? Check. Our opinions about Man-Child's facial hair? Check.
It goes without saying that Hubby has married his mother. Minus the fabulous cook part.
Easter Sunday was almost an exact repeat of Saturday with the exception that most of us attended Mass with Mom. As Hubby declared he was exhausted (that's what you get when you hog the driving!) he begged off, so it was up to me to drive the rental van. Mom declared that I was an "excellent" driver and told me to call her if Hubby wouldn't let me drive on the way home. It's always nice to have validation.
Unlike Saturday, Mom decreed cocktail hour even earlier *sigh*. It was called earlier this time as dinner was scheduled for 2:00 so my Brother-In-Law and his new girlfriend could get back to Connecticut at a decent hour. As for dinner? It wasn't what I would consider a "traditional" Easter dinner. "Traditional" being ham, etc. No. We had lasagna. It was amazing and between that and the antipasto I was beyond stuffed.
Needless to say, Sunday saw me headed to bed even earlier. Which was actually a good thing as we had a long drive ahead of us on Monday.
Monday morning dawned bright and early and we visited for a bit more before packing up and heading out. Hubby actually let me drive for a while. I drove us all the way to Virginia without killing us (although a semi did almost sideswipe us; not my fault at all). After lunch, we switched drivers and Hubby once again took the helm. As I crawled into the passenger seat I said, "See? Shortlegs Magoo didn't do too bad." And, of course, this announcement was met with much hilarity. And for the remainder of the trip this is how I was addressed. *sigh*
The good news is that we actually made this trip in nine hours and NOT eleven (most likely due to my "excellent driving"). But I did tell Hubby that next time we make this trip, we need to plan to spend a couple more days. Two days of leisure sandwiched between two days of driving is just not enough.
All told, it was a successful trip. Not counting the fact that I probably gained at least 10 pounds over that long weekend; at least that what my clothes are telling me.