It is Memorial Day. I'm sitting on the back porch and looking at my yard. My dog Hawkeye is sitting next to me.
Mom and Dad came up for the weekend to spend time with me and my boyfriend and to meet my dog. Mom and Dad had met Christian, my boyfriend, at Christmas and seemed to get along with him. But that was a brief period (and half of my family was sick with the flu) so I was glad for them to come up and spend more time with him and me.
They had not met Hawkeye before, and while he's a sweet friendly lab (and the dog we had growing up was an undemonstrative doberman) I wasn't sure how this was going to go--would Mom object to being jumped on? I shouldn't have worried. Whether because Hawkeye is a "Charmeh" or because they have mellowed in their old age they both loved him.
It was a very fun weekend--but tiring. I'm glad (for now) to be at home with the dog and no one else. We went to Gloucester, we went to Home Depot, we ate seafood, we walked the dog--and we gardened!
I don't know why--maybe I've learned that life's too short to worry about this kind of thing--but I felt at home with Christian and my parents this weekend. It's true not everybody knew all the same stories--but that was okay. Well known stories were retold with relish (a new audience!)--How my Uncle Kent had decided in the middle of Thanksgiving Dinner that my parents' large mirror was going to fall out of its frame and they needed to move it this instant (!) how the couple "3 years older than G_d" could not remember what to order in Wendy's, etc.
We did lots of things that I do most weekends--go to the shoe store in Gloucester and the bookstore in Gloucester--but this time with parents. There's always something fun about that--going to the stores where they know me and saying "well, this time I've brought my Dad."
Today was the best day this weekend though. I invited my parents to my place for breakfast--I had bought eggs and potatoes and ham steak to feed them. I wanted to cook for them and this was a low pressure way to do so (it's hard to screw up breakfast.) They came over and we gave them coffee while we finished cooking. Dad decided we should eat outdoors, so he and I cleared a table off and set chairs up.
We had a tasty breakfast and then Mom and I walked Hawkeye while Dad and Christian went back to Home Depot to replace a part he'd bought for the toilet. Christian had a list of things he planned to do around the house today. He calls this list his "Honey Do" list, but while I do make a few requests, the list is mostly comprised of things he has decided need doing to my house (we need a dehumidifier?) The list included planting all the tomato plants as well as all the herb plants we bought at Home Depot this weekend.
As Mom and I sat on the back porch drinking seltzer after walking the dog, she said "You know, if Christian is going to plant, we should weed first. I can start weeding--but I don't want to do that in these pants." I lent Mom a pair of pants, and before I knew it she had graduated from weeding to planting. Dad and Christian got back from Home Depot, and Dad insisted on putting a plate on the light switch in the downstairs bathroom (he bought one for this.) I asked Dad to bring the lawnmower up from the basement (meaning to ply it myself) and then went upstairs to move laundry to the dryer. I came back downstairs because Hawkeye was barking--why were Christian, Mom and Dad letting him bark? Because he was barking at my (non-motorized) lawn mower. Not just barking at--attacking the tires! Perhaps (said Dad) he's alarmed because it is a creature from the basement (which he is not allowed to visit.)
Mom and Dad not only planted all my tomato plants and helped week/mow my back yard but Dad also trimmed back the dead parts of my Hydrangea--all while Christian fixed various pieces of plumbing and I ran around between parties looking for this and that, offering fertilizer, garbage bags, beer, seltzer or tools.
Mom and Dad and I drove Christian to the airport. Then I had dinner with Mom and Dad. Returned to my own house, I pick up their coffee cups and water glasses and put them in the dish washer. I sit and look at my back yard and the work they have done there and feel loved.