Last night was my annual BINGO outing with my mom and my aunt. They enjoy bringing me along to their regular BINGO hall for a girls outing. Actually, I think it's more about watching me struggle to keep up with the 36 cards in front of me. Really, 36 BINGO cards, printed up on vast pads of newsprint the size of which could be a giant kids easel pad. The cards stretch across the table in such a way that your BINGO friends are far enough away that you can't whisper about the lady in the shorty-shorts with the biggie leg tat, but must dangerously loud talk your observations down the table to them. BINGO also involves the use of a sort of lap top computer you set up beside you to digitally monitor an additional swath of cards that no human could play on their own at the pace the caller keeps. There is also the BINGO terminology like dual-dobs, and U-pick-ums and progressives. I don't bother to try to understand all this stuff for my once annual visits.
On the way home my mother mentioned that I had been terribly negligent in regards to the blog and requested (demanded actually) that I get something on here, even if it is just a safe arrival notice to put you all at ease in case you were fretting over our whereabouts.
Here we are .
The three day trip was really quite smooth and I attribute that to the two coolers in the back of the truck. The fact that food is basically only an arm stretch away acts as a kind of pacifier to kids and they seem to be relaxed knowing that they won't be inconvenienced by sudden attacks of hunger or long waits for the next town with something more than a seedy truck stop.
The cottage takes a little getting used to as we adjust to the significant reduction in square footage and we relearn how to stow our belongings because things like traffic flow could easily be impaired by a few dinky cars or the army men who normally live in a small paper bag on a shelf in the boys room, a room that some people may sniff at if it was a closet, but the boys are shoe-horned in it with a set on bunks and the crib. This year Will has wowed us with his gymnastic prowess that he shows off at 5am each morning with a crib dismount and a high beam trip up the bunk ladder to have a lofty snuggle with Mitchell until about 7am, at which time he decides to descend and begin poking me for some attention or a "Mom, a bad crow!" in response to the garishly loud squawking and cawing right outside the window on the deck. Just so you know, crow poop is comparable in size to a mid-sized rodent. A steel brush cannot remove some of the more dried on specimens.
Lat night, right after the BINGO, I, and about 7000 of my mosquito buddies, searched the shoreline for Olivia's glasses that were abruptly removed from her face upon entry. Olivia makes it a habit to lose a pair of glasses in a lake each summer. Finding brown framed glasses against the sandy/muddy bottom of a lake is harder than the 36 BINGO cards and try as we might, we were unable to find them with the daytime searches. Alas, a nice big MAGNA flashlight used in the nighttime darkness found them. I also found a fish and a few grumpy crayfish too.
Going out in a blaze of glory .
A few of you may understand what it is like to have a husband who travels and is away more than just a few nights. While we cottage here, Mark has to return to work for a large portion of our time here and I am alone with the kids. As it has happened before, also more than a few times, you get the frightening midnight serenade from a child's battery operated toy. How many mothers out there have had to make the brave trip to the basement or playroom to kick an electronic car or doll or play kitchen in the arse for waking you at 2am and scaring the daylights out of you.
Those high-pitched invitations of "let's be friends" or the realistic frying sounds of your kids Just Like Mom play kitchen are downright creepy when all the children are tucked in bed and there is to be no stirring until the 7am "Mom, a bad crow" poke at 7am. Imagine my frustration at being woken at 2am to hear demented barking sounds or repeated renditions of "Here I am to save the day" coming from outside the cottage, and eventually realizing that it's your son's ride-on firetruck and also realizing that if I can hear it, then the neighbouring cottages on this super quiet point can hear it through the trees and they are wondering who the hell got the freaky dog? Is it the freaky man who keeps singing about coming to save the day? Now I have to get up and wander outside in my nightgown, saying hello to the 7000 mosquito buddies again, and find the stupid firetruck, bring it inside where the barking and singing will reverberate off the close walls of the cottage while I try to locate a damn screwdriver. Then I fiddle with the underside of the possessed thing and wrench the dying batteries, that are determined to go out in a blaze of glory, from the truck and hurl them into the garbage can, the whole time cursing under my breath and wondering why the batteries never seem to want the blaze of glory when dad is home.
So yes, we are here and safe and triumphing over mosquitoes and lost glasses and ride-on toys. We have also survived an especially strong midnight electrical storm, that seemed the shake the old cottage to it's foundations.
Remember, what doesn't kill you makes you stronger and we will return home twice the people we were before we left.