We spent Thanksgiving at my step-sister Stella’s new apartment. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, about an hour and a half drive for us. The view from her living room was nearly breathtaking, but it’s far too remote for full time living for my tastes.
Also present was Stella’s 18 year old daughter, Britt, Britt’s boyfriend Brendan (not sure how old he is), and their 6 week old son. Stella also has a son Steven, who is only 9 days younger than Krystal. Two kids, nearly 10 years apart. Her mother, my step-mother, was also there, along with her father and his wife. A bit of an odd mix, but we’ve done this at Christmas the last few years, and my mother has also been around for that (think about all the dynamics going on for a second), along with others including Stella’s sister Deidre, her husband and their three (adult) kids and grandson.
When we got there my step-mother, Pat, told me that Deidre’s husband’s mother had been admitted to the hospital that morning with a possible stroke, and a few hours later his father had fallen down the steps and was also being hospitalized. A bit later Stella got a call from Jessica, Deidre’s middle daughter, who said that “Uncle Lars might have died this morning.” And so we realized that when we were first told Lars had fallen, it was actually Lars, Jr. and not Lars, Sr. It took about an hour for the “might have” to disappear from that sentence. I had met Lars in the past, but didn’t know him well – in fact Deidre’s husband is from a large family with 9 children, so I wasn’t even sure which brother it was at first. Needless to say this put a damper on the day, even for those of us who didn’t know him. (I’m very sorry if all these family relationships are tough to keep up with – the bottom line is that we had a real motley crew by most people’s definition, but family is family.)
Given the fact that Britt and Brendan are high school dropouts with no jobs (and who planned this baby – don’t get me started) and they have no money, I had pledged Krystal’s crib and high chair which I still had. They already have the crib, but I brought the high chair with us yesterday. And never got a thank you for it. I wanted to take it back with me when we left.
Belle kept asking me when we were going to go home, and it wasn’t until Rick, Deidre’s almost-21-year-old son, got there that she started having fun. We took Tessie with us for the day too. While she is house trained at home, I wasn’t sure how she would be at someone else’s house (without the bells!) so I made many, many forays outside with her. I’m happy to report she had no accidents and was quite charming.
Today she had her first appointment at the groomers – I think she looks quite spiffy!