**Here's a small trip I made back in Spring of 2017 I started but never finished writing up. I finally got it done so here it is. **
My brother's mother in-law lives with him and his wife. Unfortunately she has medical issues that make it so she can't be left alone for any length of time. She is "non-compliant" and tries to do too much and thinks she can walk better than she can sometimes and has issues with falling. as well as falling out of bed in the dead of the night.
This means that for the last 5 years she has lived there, my brother and his wife haven't taken vacations together. Someone has to be around and the sister in-law really can't afford overnight nursing care for her.
So being the selfless wonderful sister I am(ha!)I volunteered to go down to their house and "mother in-law" sit so they could take a resort vacation in the Dominican Republic if they paid for my gas and tolls to get down there.
Now my brother is a tad to the right of frugal. Ok, he can be miserly when it comes to spending his money. I am sure he got the "Deal of the Century" on this trip to entice him to part with the cash to pay for it.
That and the swim up bar and the all inclusive(including alcohol)feature of the resort got him to spend it. ;-)
This trip also gave me a change of scenery and a respite from dealing with Daughter's dog and my usual chores at home, including meal planning and cooking(both of which have become a real pain recently).
So I left home on Sunday, Mother's Day. The ride down was awesome. The weather was good(no rain or snow), though it was 42 Degrees F here and foggy as all get out when I left. The traffic through Philly was marginal, it being a Sunday. I guess everyone was still in bed or at church at that hour.
Once I got down to MD I made a quick stop at a Walmart right off of the highway I have to travel on.
The greeter was handing out these small cards to all the women as they came in.
This and the card I quickly tore out of the envelope from Hubs before flying out of the house at 7 am was the extent of my Mother's Day tokens from any family.
I stopped at Walmart for two things-sunscreen and a whistle.
The sunscreen because once I got past Philly the sun was brightly shining and my left arm was getting too much sun on it. (I burn just thinking about being out in the sun....oh! the struggles of the whitest white woman on Earth!) The other need, the whistle was to give to the mother in-law to wear and use at night so that if she did need me during sleeping hours. I am a very heavy sleeper so I needed something she could rouse me with. If she just called out from her bedroom I'd never hear her.
I stopped for a sandwich at lunchtime somewhere in lower DE or MD at an Arby's for a quick food break. Seeing as we don't have an Arby's nearby at home I stopped there. That and I wanted to try a Pork Belly sandwich they were promoting at that time.
Don't waste your money on that Pork Belly sandwich unless you like eating a FAT SANDWICH. It's hardly pork belly....bleck!
So I got off the bridge tunnel around 3:45 pm. And then I sat in gridlocked traffic for 30 minutes! Finally inching along I finally got to my brother's house 45 minutes later so it took me 1.25 hours to get from the bridge tunnel exit to the house! It's only a 20 minute ride usually.
I guess everyone was on the road down there taking their moms home from a dinner out.
I arrived a half hour before my sister in-law had planned to have a Mother's Day dinner on the table.
And the temperature when I got in there at 5 pm?
Ick. Not a "bad" temp but going from 42F degrees that morning at home to that?
Especially since my brother is mighty tight with using the a/c.
So we all had dinner. It was only me, my brother, sis in-law, her mom and some older gentleman my sis in-law knows(who also drives Uber). 5 people for dinner. The sis in-law served-TWO hams, cornbread, potato salad, cabbage and something else I can't recall now.
Two hams for 5 people.
Needless to say there was a TON of food leftover which turned out to be a good thing for me. The mom in-law loves leftovers so she ate for a week on that meal and I didn't have to cook a lick for days! 8-)))
So brother and sis in-law left in the wee hours of the next morning.....not before waking everyone else in the house getting out the door though.
And not before my brother gave me all the directions on taking care of the cats from hell.
Oh yes, they have four cats........
Two "free range" indoor cats.
There is an outdoor feral cat, the one that belonged to my oldest brother who passed.
This one is named KitKat.....
She's wild but she lets my brother handle her and bathe her on occasion. I only saw her from a distance mostly while I was there.
(KitKat passed away a few months after I left. She was quite old.)
And number four cat is the anti-social one that never leaves my brother's bedroom.....
Lilli the psycho-bitch cat. She's the most evil cat I've ever been around. Even after cleaning up hairballs, her turds and feeding and watering her for 2 weeks she still tried to scratch and sink her fangs into me.
Nice kitty my ass......
Turns out these four were more work and bother than the mother in-law ever could have been!
And no, I don't like cats to begin with so there is that too.
So what did I do for two weeks while I was down there?
Not much it turns out.
Which was awesome! 8-)
I did a little shopping for discounted food and unusual stuff I can't find here.
A little Rite-Aid shopping.
Some wine and beer shopping for Hubs and the kids.
I took a childhood friend out to lunch.
I got a Sonic slushie on one really hot day.
I bought the mother in-law and myself a fish dinner on one Friday and a bucket of KFC another day.
I did a boatload of cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming rugs and cleaning up cat puke.
My son and his now ex-fiancee came down after work on Friday to stay over until Sunday morning.
They went to Trader Joe's on their trip down to the oceanfront and I gave them $$ to pick me up a case of their 2 Buck Chuck wine(ok, it was $2.39 Buck Chuck). I use it for cooking.
And I took them out for an early dinner which cost way too much for what it was(burgers).
After dinner we talked and the now ex-fiancee said some things that made me sad and it became clear to me that their relationship was going to fail(and it did 3 months later).
They left early Sunday morning.
But other than all that and watching Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy with my brother's mother in-law I hung out and read books for 10 days. I think I read 3 whole books......"The Revenant", "Ragtime", a Fannie Flagg novel I can't recall the name of right now, and started the one about the Hatfields and McCoys(which I finished up in June 2017).
The biggest PITA was the cat Slingshot. A few days before my brother came home I was putting trash bags of cat poop/used litter into the garage before the city came to pick up the garbage.
Here's a shot of what their 2 car garage looked like then.............
I was leaving the bags of poop on the stairs until the garbage pick-up and I could put it into the cans on the side of the house(before moving them to the street).
Slingshot, true to his name, shot past me into that mess and wouldn't come back into the house.
If I had tried to catch him amidst all this my dead body may not have been found until after my brother returned. It was a bit what you can imagine the "Collier Brothers" house looked like. (Google them.)
So I just closed the door and figured Slingshot would get tired/bored/hungry and eventually come to the door and want to leave.
I checked on him a few times and once he was perched on the top of a refrigerator in the back left side of this photo. How he ever got up there I have no clue!
The next morning Slingshot was at the door meowing and ready to come out.
My brother has hoarding tendencies like our oldest brother who passed away. He never throws anything out.
This is the room that was his office when he was still working..........
Now this was 2017 but if I had to hazard a guess, the room has more crap in it now. lolz
It's a shame because this is a half a million dollar home with 3 bedrooms, a month in-law suite, a 2 car garage and a loft apartment with a bath over the garage.
This is what the apartment looked like back then. At least the bedroom loft above this main floor was usable although either the heat or a/c didn't work(I can't remember now which.)
And since land is so valuable down there, the lots are super small and the neighbors are super close together. These expensive huge houses don't belong on such tiny postage stamp sized lots!
While I was mom in-law sitting the idiots behind this fence decided to throw a party and I had to listen to loud rap music for 2 days--the first day rap music and loud power equipment while they fixed shit up and all day the second day and well into the night(about 1 am?) while the party was going on.
You would think with the houses being so close together that a considerate neighbor would knock on your door and let you know, "Hey! We're throwing a party so you know and we'll be done by 11pm(or whatever). I hope that's ok."
Oh and here's a shot of my brother's front porch.........
Half of it is piled with junk. I spent a lot of time on that lawn furniture reading.
Then Kit Kat the outdoor feral cat left me a present on the back deck. lolz
After my brother and the sister in-law returned we went out to my old favorite bbq joint for lunch.......
Jake's closed up earlier this year.
I will miss it that meat......sniff...........
And then it was time to hit the road and come home after an overnight stop at eldest son's place along the way.
My brother had to check my car before I left.....because he's a car guy and that's how he shows love.
We did a selfie before I took off for Fredericksburg.
Nothing much happened at my son's apartment....we had dinner, we talked and I went to sleep.
5 hours after leaving the next morning I was back home.
And 5 minutes after getting home and Daughter's dog let me know how glad she was that I was home, this is what my pants looked like..........
Husky Hair pants anyone? lolz
And thankfully mother in-law didn't need that whistle the whole time and we got along well.
The cats are another story but it was overall a good adventure.