One of the rites of winter in Florida is the annual visit of the grandchildren. Four years ago I commemorated this event with an essay. Yesterday marked the end of another week that was long on fun, but short on time. So please forgive me while I repost. Four years later, some things have changed significantly, while others have not. Play-Doh and sparkles have been replaced by shopping excursions (this year it was the quest for the perfect Steve Madden shoes), competitive tennis, and a zealous interest in all sports teams whose names begin with the word “Boston.” The pool barrier is gathering dust in the garage. And the current dog doesn’t hide, but jumps right into the fray. Things that have remained the same: the food consumption, the exuberant energy, and the delicious chaos that resonates throughout the house. And, of course, there’s still the laundry. So if you’re reading this for the first time and have grandkids, I think you can relate. If you’ve read it before, maybe, if you’re like me, you won’t remember!
The Hostess with the Leastest: Random Thoughts on House Guests, Dinner Parties, and Recreational EatingApril 15, 2016
In a temporal sense, living in Florida as a Snowbird is a lot like experiencing a second childhood. Not only do we once again have more time to play, but our very concept of time itself has strayed from the calendar year. In reality, our days do not flow from January to December. As children, our lives were governed by “The School Year,” which ran from September to June. As retirees, we have simply replaced the “The School Year,” with something called “The Season,” which has more individual variety, but lasts approximately from November through April.
All over south Florida the cry can be heard. Grandparents everywhere have marked their calendars. It’s President’s week, and the children have a school holiday. They will visit, and life as you have come to know it will be suspended for the next five to seven days.
Whether this event makes you feel like Paul Revere or Chicken Little, or perhaps a bit of both, you recognize that the atmosphere becomes charged with anticipation.
In our case, the youngest three of our five beautiful grandchildren, ages five through eight, will be arriving, along with their parents and a teen-aged niece, who will be the mother’s helper. A party of six will be sharing our bed and board. How do I explain this to the dogs?