Things we got done while the kids were here that we wanted to do.
- Lots of walks at the lake, local parks, and to the waterfall.
- New tires on their Jeep Commander.
- Stem to Stern maintenance on the Commander by my mechanic.
- Went to see a movie together.
- Some shooting and refresher training.
- Family meeting on pending dental work and medical issues.
- Looked at local stables for my daughters horse.
- Went to see their Grandma. (I didn't want to go but I did.)
- Toured most of the Western mountains of North Carolina.
- Got a complete rebuild of the Cherokee braking system done.
Things we didn't get around to we wanted to.
- Didn't make it to the Tennessee Aquarium.
- Did not complete the hike up Brass Town Bald mountain. We tried, but the wife and I couldn't make it. The kids went on up and we went back down and took the shuttle bus.
- Did not get my daughters concealed carry permit renewed.
- Did not get the cracked window on the Commander replaced.
All in all, we did pretty well. This is the first time they have come down when their mother and I were not working anymore. I got the important things done but there just wasn't enough time to take care of everything and still do the things they really wanted to do.
The City Mouse and the Country Mouse.
My kids were raised right here in the mountains. My daughter was born at Morehead City, N.C. as I was still in the Marines then. But my son was born here a year later.
They grew up here. We did not live an extravagant lifestyle but they never lacked for anything. My daughter had horses growing up, and my son had his off road motorcycles. We moved heaven and earth to give them "enriching experiences" as they were growing up, just as a lot of blogs by young women show that they are doing for their own kids.
My children have turned out well. No drugs, no police problems, they work hard. I'm very proud of them.
They left home to go to Vancouver, British Columbia for school after they finished their home school program. I think E was 18 and G was 17.
After some years up there, they went to Jacksonville, Florida and lived. After that, they moved to a city in the North and have been up there since. Now G is 29 and E is 30.
They work urban jobs, and have developed an urban lifestyle. For instance, my son only drinks Starbucks Coffee. We went into town in the mornings, and I got a "Senior" coffee for sixty four cents at McDonald's, while he got a Starbucks coffee for $5.00.
I usually just microwave something or eat out of a can. My kids cook a big meal every evening, using only fresh vegetables certified to have been raised organically, and meats that are organic but also comply with some other parameters they have, which I did not understand. They have wine with their meals every night. Out of curiosity, and because I am compulsive about numbers, I figured out they were spending about $40.00 a night on the meals they made. If you multiply that by a 30 day month, that's $1200 a month on groceries, or about 3 times what their mom and I spend. But they say it's the highlight of their work day, and that it's good for their health. My daughter says it's the only way she can eat anyway, with her health issues.
My kids are busy, so they let things slide , like maintenance on their vehicle. Preventive maintenance is essential, in my experience. But they have different priorities and I'm not saying they are wrong. They have good insurance on their vehicle but they are riding around in it with a crack in one corner of the windshield. That would drive me mad, but doesn't seem to bother them.
I felt very much the country mouse, if you remember the old child's tale. But I think the moral is the same, what's right for me, and suits me, is not necessarily right for them.
One thing they made pretty clear, is that they aren't going to come back here any time soon to live permanently. E said her horse she rescued is getting too old to ride and she may have him moved down here, where I can take care of him. I don't mind that, but we need to board him as I can't keep up with all the work required to have horses here on the mountain. Been down that road, and it's a hard one.
E brought her squirrel, which she can carry around and let ride on her shoulder. But Conkers flew across the room , jumped on my face , and bit my nose. After that , I didn't go within 20 feet of my daughter when she had "Conkers" out. It's like gravity doesn't exist for that creature. Conkers turns complete back somersaults in her cage when she wants out.
The German Shepherd puppy they brought was sweet natured, but a handful. It's one of those Czech dogs that doesn't have all the infirmities American dogs sometimes do. "Willa" had to stay on her lease because she proved immediately upon arrival that she's a natural born chicken killer.
Iggy got to get in a tree, didn't want to come down. So he got angry and did "alligator rolls" when he had to get out of the tree. That got him out of his tether and he went up the tree, and was trying to get into the woods by going tree to tree. I had to push him off a limb with a dust mop so he could be recaptured. The rest of his visit he focused all his rage and frustration on me when he could see me. I made sure to steer clear of him, that Iguana was HUGE.
My daughter brought a sick monitor lizard. One of the cats made the mistake of going in the lizards big plastic container and got bitten, but not badly. It spent most of it's time sleeping and eating eggs.
Both lizards had huge "heat lamps" which didn't do a lot to help keep the house cool in this hot weather.
All things said and done though, it was a great visit. We traveled a lot, day trips of course. We enjoyed each others company. Whenever I got irascible , everybody would just raise their eyebrows and look at each other as if to say "well, there goes dad again" and I would just calm down.