Family: Fun, but exhausting!

20 Jul

Back in Ohio this weekend and week to attend the Newsom family reunion and visit with my mother, son, daughter, their spouses and my grandchildren. It is always delightful to be around family, especially since I live 500 miles from most of them, but it is also sometimes challenging.

My schedule for the week went like this:

  • Wednesday
    • get up at 5:00AM, leave for Ohio
    • 1:30 PM arrive in Ohio, go straight to Kroger’s to replenish the larder at the Ohio house
    • 6PM son and grandson arrive for dinner
    • 7 PM husband, son, grandson and I go to visit my 93 year old mother
    • 9PM return home, dust—at least the worst offending furniture, take down winter drapes in bedroom, hang summer curtains, dig out stand fans for living room and dining room ( the Ohio house does not have central air and the weather is not bad enough to put in the window air conditioners)
    • 10:30 go to bed
  • Thursday
    • Get up at 8AM
    • Hang  rattan blind in study to replace curtain
    • Weed at least one small section of the garden where the Asiatic lilies and some black-eyed Susans are making a valiant effort to bloom despite months of my absent neglect
    • Clean mouse droppings out of a cabinet where no food is stored so I guess they just have parties in there among the dishes
    • Hang up clothes that need to be hung up rather than strewn on the guest room bed
    • Noon-Go to meet friends from grad school, Reva—a principal at a huge Ohio high school, Carolyn a professor at UD, Jeff a professor at Millersville who flew in just to have lunch with us
    • 1:30 go to Carolyn’s house for dessert and conversation
    • 4:40 leave Carolyn’s ( reluctantly, we were having a ball)
    • 5:00 leave house for hotel
    • 5:30 meet relatives at the hospitality suite they have set up at the hotel for the reunion
    • 6:00 go to eat dinner at Don Pablos’
    • 6:45 leave for airport to retrieve more relatives flying in from California
    • 7:45 deliver relatives to the hotel and go back to hospitality suite
    • 9:50 leave hotel for home
    • 10:30 collapse in bed


  • 9:00 daughter and kids arrive at the house
    • Sam stays with Wayne
    • 9:15 Nikki, Ella and I go to pick up my mother
    • 9:25 we load my mother and her walker/cart in the car
    • 9:45 Nikki, Ella, Mom and I  arrive at the Salon for pedicures
      • This will be Ella’s  (7) first and my mom’s ( 93) first
    • 10:15 a tardy Marrisa arrives at the salon
    • We all get pedicures
  • 11:30 on the way back into Xenia I stop at McDonald’s and buy a bag of cheeseburgers and several orders of fries for some quick lunch for the gang ( yes turkey sandwiches would have been better, but I had limited time)
  • 12:00 Marrisa and I leave the house for the mall so she can pick out an outfit for work—she finds two, I buy one, she buys one
  • 12:30 Marrisa and I leave  the mall for the theatre to see Harry Potter, we are meeting Jane and Julian—I bought the tickets on Fandango a month ago to make sure we could go
  • 1:30-3:40 we watch the movie—it was good, not great ,but good
  • 3:40 Marrisa, Julian and I leave for home—I figured Jane could use some “me” time to visit the mall
  • 4:00 Marrisa picks up her car at my house and heads for work in Dayton
  • 4:30 Wayne, Julian and I leave to pick up my mother
  • 4:45 we load my mother, her cart/walker into the car and head for the hotel
  • 5:10 we arrive at the hotel unload my mother and her, you know, at the door, Julian and mom and I enter the hotel, Wayne goes to park the car
  • 5:15 we arrive at the hospitality suite which is virtually deserted, foiling the plan to have my mom meet with the Newsom relatives she knows
  • A discussion ensues, some people were planning on getting pizza delivered, but after I said we were going to a restaurant they decide to come too
  • 5:45 we leave to meet Nikki and the kids at a restaurant.
  • 6:00-6:45 we eat at the restaurant
  • 6:45 we load up everyone and go back to the hotel
  • 7:00 I discover I have left my credit card at the restaurant and head back to retrieve it
  • 7:15 I get back to the hotel, Wayne and Nikki head for the liquor store to replenish the hospitality suite libations.
  • 7:15-7:45 I chase grandkids all over the hotel—this part is fun though
  • 7:45- 9:15 we visit at the hospitality suite
  • 9:45 we arrive back home with Julian who is spending the night
  • 10:00 we collapse into bed


  • Visit to the library to find a toast for the sister in law and brother in law celebrating their 50th anniversary
  • More housework—cleaning bathrooms, washing bath rugs, throwing away food in the cabinets that is past its sell by date ( why do I have three jars of mint jelly? The only time we eat lamb is at Easter, this must be three years worth of mint jelly and did I never serve it?) Get rid of the worst of the cobwebs that I can reach-evidently we need to hire a high wire act to get the ones in the stair well, which is two stories high.
  • 12:30 leave for the hotel to check-in for the night, we are spending Saturday night even though the hotel is 12 miles from our house
  • 1:30—4:00 watch the grandkids play in the pool
  • 4:00—return to room to rest and get ready for the evening
  • 4:30—Mike arrives to pick up Julian
  • 5:30- Nikki arrives at the hotel room with her clothes and Ella’s clothes. We all change  for the cocktail/hors’ d’oeuvres/dinner part of the evening
  • 6:25 we leave the room for the private dining room
  • 6:30-7:00—we mix and mingle and visit with relatives who trickle in
  • 7:00—Mike, the emcee starts the dinner program
  • 7:15—dinner is served
  • 8:00—the program part of the evening begins—everyone talks too much, the Mayor Xenia is introduced and gives greetings—she was our special guest and announces my son Christopher was her favorite student ever when she was teaching. Her mother, who is with her, was my fourth grade teacher!
  • Toasts are made to the sister-in-law and brother-in-law who are celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  All the adults have champagne, all the kids apple juice in wine glasses. They cut a tiered 50th anniversary cake and

“ At last” by Etta James is played, this was the first song played at their wedding. Coincidentally it is also the first song played at Nikki  and Adam’s wedding. They dance, we all join in and dance

  • My oldest sister-in-law is surprised with a birthday cake to celebrate her 80thbirthday although she will not be 80 until August. We all sing Happy Birthday
    • We then begin real dancing, Electric Slide, Cupid Shuffle, etc.
    • 10:00 the dining room closes, we adjourn to the hospitality suite where we look at old albums Wayne and I brought over –for some reason we have been gifted with the archives of the family, visit and snack on cake—we had lots, anniversary and birthday.
    • 11:45 I find out my grandson has been left behind having told his parents I said he could spend the night. I have to hustle to find him a bed with a cousin.
    • Midnight we all go upstairs, Wayne and the two grandgirls to our room which is a mini suite with a pull out couch for them to sleep on


  • We get up at 8:30, groggy from champagne, dancing and staying up late, get dressed and wander down to breakfast in the same private dining room. We get there at 9 and are the first ones there.
  • The rest of them trickle in and we spend two hours laughing, talking, promising to stay in touch, and talking about the next reunion in 2013.
  • 11:30—we check out of the hotel, say goodbye and leave for Wilberforce.
  • 1:00—I plant flowers in the pots on the front stairs, yarrow, lavender and  coreopsis. I have finally figured out that since I am not here most of the time the smartest thing to do is plant perennials, and ones that do well with little water.
  • 2:00 Wayne leaves to take relatives to the airport. I take a well-deserved nap
  • The rest of the evening is spent watching television and reading the Sunday paper and doing the crossword


  • I get up at 8:30
  • Pick up my mother at 10:00
  • Take her to the mall to buy shoes
  • We get to the mall at 10:30 unload the wheel chair—the mall is too big for the walker thingee
  • We power shop. Between 10:30 and 11:30 we buy four pairs of shoes (saving $150 on her three pair and my one pair with coupons and sales) perfume—a new fragrance called “Pretty”, hose and house slippers. Wayne wanders off the shopping is too intense for him.
  • We reconnect with Wayne and eat lunch at the food court
  • Wayne goes to get the car, we load Mom, stow the wheelchair and head for home
  • 12:00 we drop Mom off at home.
  • 12:30 we hit Walmart for stuff for the Ohio house pop and a hanging plant and the Beach house, sunscreen, paper products, etc and the Cary condo-cat litter—I will need it having left two cats there for five days.
  • 1:30 we are back home and able to relax for a few
  • 5:00 Nikki  and Adam and the kids arrive
  • We eat Cassano’s pizza, the kids play in the sprinkler
  • The Shopes leave
  • We pack and get the house ready to be closed up
  • We fall into bed


5:00—we get up to drive back to Cary

Uneventful drive back, we arrive in the Triangle at 1:00

Go to Harris Teeter for supplies bananas, milk, bread, etc.

Wade through five days of mail bundled up and left in our front door

Unpack, answer email, watch some DVR’d shows

9:30 fall in bed, good times, good travel, good night!

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Posted by on July 20, 2011 in Uncategorized


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