Saturday, May 18, 2013

My parents' visit, part three

Final installment! I'd already written most of this, but wanted to put photos in, which means sorting through them in Picasa and exporting them, none of which is difficult, but is easier with two hands and no interruptions. I finally got around to it just now and discovered...that we hardly took any photos the rest of the time my parents were here. Oh well.

So...we took it a bit easier Friday, just walking downtown for ice cream in the morning, tidying up the house a bit in the afternoon, and having house group in the evening. Marie had church band practice, but not youth band practice, and youth group wasn't happening, either. And looking through the photos reminded me that my mother also taught Katie and Lukas to knit. :-)

Saturday was much the same at first, except that it included shopping, one of my favorite activities. Not. But much more pleasant in company that isn't into shopping either. :-) At Metro my mother got a birthday present for Jörn AND found seven granola bowls (probably "dessert bowls" or something, but they are PERFECT for my granola!) which she said were for my birthday. :-) (And she would have gotten more, but they only had seven.) And then Marie needed a new swimsuit, so my mom and I picked her up after a meeting Marie had at LCC and continued our shopping spree with a third non-shopping-lover. Both thrift stores were closed, so then we tried Orphanides, which is bankrupt and half empty and in which I hadn't been since about October, but I thought we might get a good deal. And we would have, if they had had any swimsuits, which they didn't. They did, however, have some very nice drinking glasses which were 60% off, and my mom bought (so she thought...) 24 of them. (When we got home and unpacked them, we discovered that one of the six boxes contained only three, not four glasses. And since then, the total has been reduced to 21...) Carrefour also didn't have any swimsuits, so I finally gave in and we went to Marks and Spencer, where we had bought the swimsuit for Marie two years ago which still fits her, but of which the elastic is completely useless now. Elisabeth is wearing swimsuits that were handed down to Marie 15 years ago and the elastic is still going strong, but oh well, I guess they don't make things like they used to. (How do I insert a wry chuckle here, mostly laughing at myself sounding so old??) At least we found a gorgeous swimsuit for Marie, and then my mother insisted on paying for it, too. :-)

Just because, here's another photos of Dad with Makenzy:

Saturday evening was Jörn's birthday party, his birthday having been the day my parents arrived. We'd had a cheesecake on the day, and we don't always have a party, but he'd decided he wanted one this year, complete with a lot of guests. Of course, just ourselves made 10 people, and we invited another family of ten and a family of five, as well as two families of two people each and one more person, making exactly 30 people. It wasn't any more chaotic than it is with just us here, and it was great fun. We did take several photos, but they're mostly of people sitting around, so here's one just of Jörn explaining what's what on the buffet, prepared by him, of course. (I made the cornbread! And the cake. :-) )

Jörn requested a cake with fire on it. I tried, but I think it looks more like a flower. And I couldn't decide what color background to make, then decided not to make ANY background, claiming that that was so that the three dairy-free guests could also eat a piece of cake (the cake itself doesn't have milk, but I made the frosting with cream cheese).

On Sunday my parents opted to attend Larnaka Community Church, where Marie was, as usual, playing violin in the band. Katie and Elisabeth went with us, and since we were so close to the sea front, we meandered over there and had some more ice cream before going home. After lunch my parents and I played a game, and then when Jörn and the others got home, we went over to Sue's and Richard's house, as we normally do every other Sunday. The children watched a movie and the rest of us played several games.

Monday returned to non-school-holiday schedule. Jörn had to go back to work and I had Writers' Group in the morning, so it was nice having my parents here to babysit. At some point my dad and Lukas went out for a walk (and had ice cream), and they played games and survived. :-) In the afternoon my mom went with Helen to her drama class, while Katie and Lukas went to Discoveries, and activity group for 6-11-year-olds at LCC. We'd planned for some of us to go to the beach after that, but there'd been quite a downpour and we decided that it wasn't really beach weather.

Ever since my parents had come a year and a half ago and my mother had expressed an interest in sailing in a small sailboat, I'd hoped to be able to take her out in Richard's boat, Galini, so we'd tried to organize that earlier during their stay. However, the weather wasn't very cooperative, either too stormy or too calm, but on the final day, it was pretty perfect. Normally I go to Sue's house on Tuesday mornings with the three little girls, but that wasn't impossible to change, and in any case, Katie had been wanting to have a one-on-one visit with Sue. So Lukas went with Jörn to the Tuesday-morning art group as always, Katie went to Sue's house, Jacob and my dad stayed home with Helen and Elisabeth (they did go out for ice cream, I heard), and my mom, Marie, and I went sailing!

Galini hadn't been used all winter and Tim (Richard's sailing partner) and Jacob had done some work on her while Richard and Sue were in England recently, so it took awhile to get everything set up, but it all worked. I was REALLY nervous about sailing "by myself" for the first time since last summer, only having sailed one other time without Richard, and that was at the end of last summer, having just spent the summer learning to sail, and with Marie, who has much more experience than I do. Some of my tacks were very wobbly, to say the least, but contrary to some people (this was supposed to link to a blogpost I can't find, about a friend who capsized the boat four years ago...), my mother was excellent at immediately going to the best place to go to balance the boat, and we had a wonderful time. I did relax eventually, but then got kind of panicky when it was time to bring the boat in. I told Marie that I might be at the helm, but I needed her to tell me exactly what to do, which direction to turn what and when and why, and I wasn't even sure I even cared about the why, just tell me what to do! This is why I love sailing with Marie--she did all that, but without one single moment of acting superior or making me feel silly. Not to mention that she was exactly right and we brought Galini in beautifully and in one piece. :-)

In the afternoon my parents had been invited to see a run-through of the play in which Lukas will be performing in a couple of weeks, "The Twits," and they enjoyed it very much.

The highlight of the afternoon for me was seeing a hedgehog in the garden (that's "yard" to Americans!)--the first hedgehog I've seen since we came to Cyprus. I'd heard that there were hedgehogs here, but had a hard time believing it, as I haven't ever seen a dead one on the road, whereas in Germany, we saw them all the time. (As well as two or three live ones...)

My dad got in a last cuddle with Makenzy...
...and then my parents had an overnight flight to Jerusalem (to see my brother and his wife and their brand-new baby), and will be back next week for a couple of days before returning to the U.S. It was very odd saying "See you next week!" when dropping them off at the airport--this has to be the first time in 22 years that I knew when saying goodbye at an airport when I'd next see them, and made it much easier!

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