Family has come to the house, or when you realize you’re a true introvert…

My past few blog-less days were spent frantically cleaning my house and yard (mostly the house) as much as I could and then having my mom and stepdad over. They got to see my new place for the first time. I kept joking “commence the judgment call” all week prior to my friends, but it wasn’t bad.

No politics were discussed (except for some nasty commentary about Mark Zuckerberg and her leaving Facebook for good because of comment policies…I can only guess). Other than that, my mom and stepdad were all about keeping busy.

That’s my mom for you–even her vacation is all about keeping her off her butt and moving along.

They helped me out so much in the garage and the yard that I’m just stunned. Even now, I just can’t believe how much those two can do. They were moving concrete bricks, mowing and weed-eating, hauling logs and helping me secure the carport again (had to move it to move the old house out and it never went back onto the screws properly, though I kept trying), burning limbs and old garbage, cleaning up and fixing the travel trailer…wheelbarrow-1022031_640

I helped a bit, but I gotta admit, I could do so damned little in comparison. Part of it is that I probably outweigh that woman by nearly a hundred pounds now (dammit), and part of it is that “monthly visitor” wreaking havoc on my sleep schedule and energy reserves. And then the neighbor kid came over and I kinda entertained him in between things (he must’ve been bored to come over and check out what his occasional babysitter was doing, but then again, he loves playing with my dogs).

I just don’t know how she does it. How both of them do it.

She’s gonna be 60 years old in a couple of weeks and she’s got more energy and drive to work than a high school star athlete in their prime on a case of Red Bull. She makes me dizzy, and I wonder how come I’ve never had that kind of drive to just do, do, do. I could be a multi-billionaire by now (probably), or at least super successful as an author or musician or something if I had half her drive to keep going and have that energy.

As much as my mom’s driven me nuts personality and politics-wise, I always give props to her work ethic. But at the same time, it makes me just remember her doing nothing but working throughout my childhood. I mean, sometimes we’d go to the library and whatnot, but more often than not, I’d be a good kid and accommodate her work by staying out of the way when possible. Once in a while, her work and me actually meshed with good results, but not that often.

I ended up spending most of yesterday looking for things and trying to make bread. I made a decent loaf of whole wheat and tried out a recipe for English Muffin Bread. The taste is fine, but the texture is not what it’s supposed to be. On the other hand, I sliced it up and put it in the oven to get crunchy with the homemade breakfast sandwiches, and it worked perfectly. I think I gotta do it in the bread machine to get the yeast to do it’s thing properly.

It just stinks that when I try to do loaves in the pan, it never quite goes right. And then there’s the yeast issue. It did make the house smell great, though.

Well, they stayed the night the night before, which it surprised me that they hadn’t counted on staying with me. They were talking about going to a hotel or something (they hadn’t made arrangements yet), but I said “hey, you can stay with me.”

Hell, it never occurred to me that they might not think they could stay with me.man-2138962_640

I spent days making sure to clean up where they could sleep and pack their gear. Well, the futon daybed thing was ready to go and I knew mom wanted the couch, so that was that.

It was strange that we were dancing around each other a bit, on what was okay and all. Granted, other than the neighbor and her kiddo, nobody’s really been in my house, or at least not for too long. Hell, I got up about 5:45 and mom had been ready to go and start the day. I hadn’t slept too well myself because she needs the TV on to sleep and that TV is against my bedroom wall, so I got partial sleep. Still, I said I didn’t mind her getting up, but she said she didn’t wanna make the dogs whine about getting out of their cages (I didn’t want them waking mom up all night, so I locked them up).

Oh well. It’s a learning curve, I guess. Maybe all parents go through this when they visit their kid’s homes. I wasn’t sure what I was expecting, maybe something like a bad family comedy where you have parents taking over the place or extreme judgment.

It never occurred to me that they wouldn’t know how to act in my house.

I did all I could to be accommodating, made sure there were plenty of towels and other toiletries, clean sheets, I bought some extra food I knew they could eat (especially mom, doing the keto diet and all) so I could cook for a few days and we could eat together. They stayed Saturday night, but there wasn’t much talking and hanging around. Mom was beat because they’d been in a truck for 12 hours driving to get down here and then she was outside working on the burnpile because she needed to stretch her legs and everything else. She ended up too tired to eat, but my stepdad and I chatted over turkey burgers and tater tots while she passed out on the couch.

I just keep remembering how different it is to visit or have mom around versus dad or his side of the family. They were always “sit and watch TV” people, or go out to some restaurant and then back for more TV. There wasn’t much seeing things or anything like that, but some talking when that was more interesting than the TV. Much different when it was mom–tons of working and walking around.

My legs were super stiff after a week of moving things and going all over the place, barely sitting down… and then a whole day of being on my feet yesterday. The only good thing about feet throbbing so much is it can help lull you to sleep.

But this weekend, especially yesterday, taught me that I am a true introvert.

Sure, I’ve considered myself a chatty one, but after all the accommodation Saturday night and Sunday, trying to be helpful and a good host and helper, and then the neighbor’s kid coming over on and off (he apparently likes my mom)… I’d had enough. I did want to check on mom and make sure they wanted to be elsewhere that night, but she told me about my stepdad’s shoulders freezing up and I agreed. They saw me again this morning–briefly–bringing back some stuff and checking things out to make sure we were all good, and then they went to see other people (which I expected) and do some road-tripping.

I wasn’t expecting them to stay all week, no way. Certainly 2 or 3 days, but they were leaving their plans in the wind. As nice as it was to see them (especially without freaking politics in play), it was awkward and I was glad they didn’t stay too long.

That’s the crazy thing about being an introvert. You want to be around people, but like your supply of willpower, it burns out pretty quickly and you can’t wait to be alone to recharge a bit. Then, when you’re alone again, everything feels off because you wanted to spend more time with people (or try to).

And around and around it goes.StockSnap_X6RIFQQO1H.jpg

It felt strange knowing they were going down to see other people, then swinging out west to see some other sites before going home… and here I was, back to normal, only with a much cleaner house that was very quiet all of a sudden.

I guess it’s a sigh of relief knowing that there’s a ton of things off my to-do list, and that family came and all these “what-if’s” just didn’t happen. But that made things weird, too, because we still weren’t spending much time together. A little in drips and drabs, but it felt like I’d hired people to come and clean the place more than family coming to visit.

I guess we suck at the being sociable thing. That’s just mom’s version of it, now that she doesn’t do the “socializing with a beer in her hand” thing anymore. She quit drinking that years ago, but has to keep super busy or else she’ll end up doing an impression of me on Sundays–ready to fall asleep mid afternoon out of boredom.

Strange how alike we may be in many respects, after all.

I just wish I had her energy toward work. That would help me out so damned much with writing and music, and anything else I’d love to set my mind to. Maybe I could develop it, somehow.

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