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Full House

Full House

My home has never been fuller than it has been this summer. In June, two of my daughters, Kerri and Amie, and their six children combined, plus one of Jessie’s, came for a visit. Yes, all at the same time!

I encouraged them to stay here rather than waste money on a hotel. There was a total of eleven people – seven of them adult size – under the roof of a one thousand, forty-five square foot house.

I could have benefited from triple decker bunk beds, more square footage, and less sand, but that wasn’t an option. Instead, we pulled out the sofa bed, doubled up in the beds and the one blow up mattress on the floor, with the big ones with the little ones, and everyone slept peacefully.

Meal time was another magic trick. With the youngest being eight and the oldest eighteen, they could prepare their own plates as long as everyone didn’t end up in the kitchen at the same time. By the time the first shift finished eating, the second shift was ready to sit down. I won’t say it worked smoothly, but no one starved.

Getting everyone bathed after our daily trips to the beach took some imagination with one full bath and one half bath between eleven people – all girls except for H. What can you do with a half bath but use the toilet and brush your teeth?

A day at the beach!

Luckily, we had the option of an outside shower in the back yard. That’s all though, a basic shower. No enclosure. No fancy soap holder. No towel rack. We made do and held up a towel for the little girls and washed sand off bodies and out of hair while the big girls stood in line outside the bathroom door for their turns. No one went to bed dirty, but there was still sand in the sheets. It goes with living so close to the gulf.

Beach Day!


I had a few weeks rest after that crew left and then in July, my daughter, Jessie, and her husband and four children came for a visit, at the same time Andrew was home for a few days.

The oldest turned eight while they were here. She wanted to make her own cake and we let her! Yum-yum! Happy Birthday Cadence! The youngest is ten months and not walking yet.

Happy Birthday Cadence!

Sleeping arrangements were easier this time. Davey and Jessie got the Philadelphia room with Pierson in the Pack and Play. Andrew slept on the sofa and gave his room up to Cadence and Ethan with Sydney sleeping on her fold-out cot next to them.

We never made it to the beach with this crew so sandy bodies didn’t pose a shower issue. We did the Armament Museum, Big Kahunas, the Science Center, and fed turtles at the park.

Playing Star Wars Monopoly

Feeding the turtles

There were only three less people in this bunch and I found that small people can be tucked away much easier than adult size, but they do need more supervision and attention. Especially, during the second Big Kahuna trip of the summer. Good thing H and I bought ourselves season passes!

After they left, Andrew was here for a couple more days before leaving to work a band camp for two weeks. There was no line at the bathroom door, meals were eaten sitting down at the table, and the sofa was not used for sleeping purposes.

Although it has been a hectic summer, this is what I learned.

  1. Teenage girls are not that hard to talk to and they gladly help out with younger siblings and cousins – well, not always gladly, but they did it.
  2. When Jessie is fifty and I’m almost dead, we’ll visit!
  3. Andrew now eats peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and mustard on his hot dog – two things I’ve never seen him eat before.

Andrew feeding Pierson at Big Kahunas

My daughter, Terri, and her family won’t be visiting this summer. After reading about this circus, she may decide it was worth it!



The Pay Isn’t Good But the Experience Is Great

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The Pay Isn’t Good But the Experience Is Great

My phone dinged with a text from Andrew at 6:44 am. He was letting me know he was at the airport, courtesy of a ride from his sister, and would text again when he landed.

When he applied for a spot at Chosen Vale International Percussion Seminar, way back in January, I didn’t give it a second thought. But, apparently, it’s a big deal. At least he thinks so. All I know is it cost a $$gazillion dollars and has stressed him out this summer preparing music for it. I think that is a musician’s trait to stress out so much.

The seminar is being held in New Hampshire at this place. He has been there for a week now and it’s a two-week ordeal. The first few days he said he has never been so hot. There is no air conditioning in the buildings they are in because they are kept as authentic as possible. They had to sleep with the windows open and a fan going all night which didn’t help much at all. I expected him to have cooler weather than we have here in Florida or he has in Tennessee, but evidently, they are experimenting a heat wave. This week it has finally cooled off again and he said it’s actually chilly.

When he told me he had to be up early one morning because he had breakfast duty to wash dishes, I questioned why, after paying that amount of money to attend, he had to do dishes. They have to each pitch in a couple of times and he drew breakfast both times. He said, “on the bright side, not as many people get up for breakfast so there will be less dishes to wash.” Smart boy!

This afternoon he said he has eaten more chickpeas this week than he can handle. I don’t think I’ve ever had chickpeas except maybe in soup. I guess I won’t be cooking chickpeas when he stops here next week on his way to work a band camp in central Florida!

I’m glad he has the opportunity in his higher education to experience different cultures, meet new people in his field of interest, and work side by side with great musicians. And let’s not forget, he’s even learned to do dishes!

He should graduate in the spring of 2019 with his masters in music performance and intends to continue his education farther. I’ve decided he’s going to be a professional student, but the pay isn’t very good!


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