19 May 2011

Someday, She'll Be Ours, All Ours!

My sister, Erin, left New Jersey today. It was a brief visit, but I think we packed in the shenanigans. I hardly made her clean the house at all, and she and the Captain enjoyed much television and wine. Indeed, the Captain was happy to have someone beside him on the couch, because I rarely watch anymore. Plus, Erin enjoys the same shows. They got to watch "NCIS," "The Mentalist," and "Castle." On two occasions, I joined them, only to fall asleep. It's like some sort of Kramer/Mary Hart seizure disorder-some voices just knock me right out.

We got Erin all to ourselves for a few days, and set her up in her room downstairs. Sometimes we let other people use it as the "guestroom," but it's officially known as "Aunt Erin's room." We told her we'd put in a bathroom if she came to live with us permanently. From the way we talk, you might assume that Erin has no family of her own. In fact, she has a husband and three daughters, all of whom are in Arizona. Her twins are entering their last year of college, and her third will be a junior. They are all lovely girls, who really don't know us, because they grew up on the other side of the country. Over the years they've visited more often, and have developed a tolerance for the chaos and noise of my home.

The girls and their father, Donald, flew to New Jersey to join Erin at a fancy birthday party for Donald's niece. We got to spend a few days with them, and it was terrific. They ate dinner with us, twice, as we peppered them with questions about their future plans. They were game, and went to watch Three perform in "South Pacific,"  before heading home exhausted (it was overly long). They sat, patiently attentive, as Four and Five demonstrated their Tae Kwon Do moves in the living room. Then they ran for their lives. I'm probably exaggerating; but it takes years of immersion in the House of Penii to withstand its rigors. Not everyone can survive it.

Erin has spent the last few months visiting my mother and sister in Florida. Tonight, she and her girls will return to the Gulf for ten more days. Then they will all go back to Arizona, and their "real" lives. I'm happy she's been able to take the time to be with Mom, which is what we all long for now.

My sister will return to New Jersey in July to join us, and twenty-odd other relatives, in the big Victorian by the sea. For two weeks, various families will come and go, swim and crab, play Rummikub and cards, and eat Pappou's ice cream. It will be chaotic, noisy, bittersweet fun, because it will probably be the last time we all get to share a house with Mom. I don't think she'll be up to the massive undertaking next year. But wherever she goes, we'll follow. With Erin, because we're planning her abduction.


  1. I vote we produce a show called The Actual Jersey Shore. It will be slow moving and dull, but soothing. The drama can be supplied by deer flies, jelly fish and Saturday morning traffic jams on the Parkway. Episodes can feature long lines at the ice cream shop, attempts to amuse children on rainy days and trips to Hoys 5 & 10. Of course, mostly we would show long lazy days at the beach. Frankly, even I wouldn't watch it. But it's the only reality show I would consider being in.

  2. First, I'm glad that your tests were positively negative. I know it's probably annoying to not have an answer, but I'm of the mind that a non-answer at this point is much better than "Hey, it seems like you're missing a couple of important parts." If you suspect your gall bladder I'd suggest milk thistle. I got my MD from years of attentive House-watching and an obsession with PubMed. :)

    I've been trying to convince Carrie to move in with us for quite awhile. She seems to think she should live her own life. Whatever. She's got excellent monkey-wrangling skills and, well, she's my sister so it's nice to only have to say half a sentence and have the whole meaning understood.

    Lastly, my in-laws live in NJ (Red Bank/Middletown area). Should your Victorian by the sea be near Manasquan or Lavalette you'll probably run into many of them. And I will not stop talking so others will have room to comment. :)

  3. @Sarah: Yes, I do love the conversational shorthand!

    Have your in-laws lived in New Jersey for long? I grew up at the shore, spent my youth vacationing in Manasquan, and later, bar-hopping, before settling down in the northwestern part of the state. I feel like I would know them-isn't that funny? As if all shore people know eachother!

    Thanks for the medical advice, Cuddy.

  4. They've been there for as long as Sean's been around, so 35 years plus. And his mother is one of 13, so you think of an Irish surname and they're probably related. Gallagher, McAndrews, McDonnell, you name it they've got one or two.

    And to be more butt-in-ski about the gall bladder, if your next test is a HIDA scan then you will probably want to punch the person in charge of it much like I did. Because they're trying to actually give you a gb attack it's not pleasant for everyone. I know Carrie said two weeks post surgery, but I had complications with mine and when I came home (two nights in the hospital) I was lifting my then one year-old. Yes, I'm sure I wasn't supposed to but she simply refused to do things like put herself in the high chair or the car seat or her crib. Rude! So the two week thing is more like a suggestion in my opinion. ;)

    Ugh, Cuddy. I'm still annoyed with her over the break-up. But clearly, I'm still watching.

  5. Anonymous19.5.11

    You're family get together sounds wonderful, I want to have a family get together by the sea now...fancy adopting me for two weeks?

  6. @Sarah: Yep-that's the next test. Yay. And..."complications?" Ugh.

    @curiousmisskris: If you can stay an extra month in the U.S. we will adopt you!


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