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‘Vacation’ days turn out OK, but …

I wasn’t in this space last Sunday with good reason.

I took a few “vacation” days, happy to host family get-togethers driven by the arrival of my oldest sister Linda and her husband, Bob.

They were making their annual trip in to Richmond from Clover, S.C., and that means time to call in the troops for X number of days of overindulging and under- sleeping.

I learn a lot about myself during these visits, including that I’m not as flexible and easy-going as I think I am.

Proof of this is when my sister and brother-in-law showed up a day early.

What???? Nooooooooo!!!!

They arrived shortly after I just got home from a long day at work followed up with high-anxiety grocery shopping, the kind that guarantees you’ll forget key things you went there for in the first place. My game plan was to prepare myself mentally to get everything in order for the big visit when I realized the big visit already was in progress.

I was caught off guard to say the least, like the dieter poised to secretly inhale a slab of chocolate cake. The house wasn’t so clean yet. Groceries were waiting to be put away. I was basically in not-ready mode.

But everything turned out OK. I just have to remind myself that people are coming to visit and have a good time. It’s not an inspection, although little sisters prone to bouts of paranoia can sometimes feel otherwise.

I need to be more like Better Half — Mr. Laid Back. Nothing’s a big deal in the world in which he orbits. He is a problem solver, and this applies to boiling eggs, for example, one of the many little details he was tending to on my behalf.

He was doing that in anticipation of our having salad when I noticed he had one of those clips attached to his shirt, the kind of clip you use on a bag of potato chips to keep it shut after you’ve opened it.

I thought maybe it was his subtle way of reminding me he needed buttons sewn on his shirt. Here it was, however, his approach to reminding himself he was boiling eggs, ones he didn’t want to forget about and have explode.

Our visit had its small-world moments.

I took my sister around to some local stops I thought she’d be interested to visit, including the Drosselmeyer’s Nutcracker Shoppe in downtown Steubenville. My sister and the clerk weren’t too long into a chit-chat conversation when they discovered a Clover, S.C., connection.

Now what are the odds of that, I ask you?

And at the Visitors Center at Historic Fort Steuben, my sister and a volunteer there discovered they shared the same last name — Moody. My sister likes to explain that hers is by marriage, not nature.

Our family get-togethers were a lot of fun, and the “vacation” days were one big blink — over way too quickly.

I have been doing some heavy post-visit napping, apologizing all the while to Better Half.

I tell him please don’t hate me because I’m so tired and extra sleepy, and he being the understanding, Mr. Laid Back kind of guy that he is assures me not to worry.

He says there are plenty of other things he can hate about me.

We’ll figure that all out on the next “vacation.”

(Kiaski, a resident of Richmond, is a staff columnist and community editor for the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times. She can be contacted a jkiaski@heraldstaronline.com.)

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