Monday night, parilous drove me up to Phoenix to spend the night at her uncles' house since my flight was super duper early on Tuesday morning. They rock for letting us hang out with them. Got to the airport and stood in a really long line. It took almost 20 minutes to get through everything. I had to go through the x-ray thing since I didn't see the line for no x-rays until it was too late. Fine, I've resigned myself to the pornoscanner. As I approached I was told to make sure I had nothing in my pockets and no belt on. No problem, I hate belts and everything was tucked away in my carryon bag. I get into the machine, assume the position, and they ask me AGAIN about whether or not I'm wearing a belt, etc. I was already irritated because I was thirsty and you can't have water until you pass through the magic line, my throat was dry, I was tired, and I just watched one of the most unorganized team of people checking to make sure I don't have a bomb in my bag or on my person. Whatever, get through the humiliating process and go on towards my flight. Get on board and we get moving. I hear them say that we are stopping in St. Louis. Huh? I'm supposed to be on a flight to Philadelphia! Then they say that we are headed to Philadelphia. whew.
Land in Philadelphia and it's snowing. Oh boy, I says to myself, I hope we can get out of here. Thankfully, it was just a dusting. I look at a screen as I am waiting to board my new flight and it shows the temperatures in Philadelphia and then the temps in West Palm Beach. 82. EIGHTY-TWO. What happened to the freeze????
Land in West Palm, get my Publix sub after my parents picked me up, headed to their new place and proceeded to go to bed after eating my delicious precious oh so missed sub. So good.
Got up and met my dad for breakfast. My parents go to the same place on Wednesdays for breakfast, so the ladies knew them, did the appropriate fawning over me since I'm visiting, and the food was tasty. Then my mom and I went to run some errands while my dad went back to his doctor's appointment (they made him fast over night and then needed him to come back for another blood test after eating breakfast, he's diabetic). Once we got back to the house I announced that I would be starting on the front porch. You couldn't get to the door leading out of the porch as it was blocked by stuff. There was a narrow pathway through the stuff to get to the filing cabinet out there, but that was about it. The porch swing was set up, but it was covered in stuff. Just stuff. Everywhere.
I got my mom started on shredding and my dad came back, he held the garbage bag for the most part. He was funny, "How come she gets to watch tv?" I told him he can go watch tv too if he wants, he didn't need to be out there with me. He stayed and helped me for a while, but it was getting close to naptime, so he went to bed for a bit. I didn't get very far on Wednesday, but I worked on it until about midnight.
My mom and I got up and packed an overnight bag and headed to Ormond Beach to see my grandfather and the twins. My grandfather has gotten so skinny. He just doesn't eat like he used to, then again, he's 78. He still smokes like a damn chimney, though. I swear it was like being in a bar while I was visiting with him. He's still funny and it was so good to see him again. We ate a little bit of a late lunch with him, mostly to make sure that he ate because damn, again, skinny. He doesn't drink anymore. That's a good thing to know. He offered me a drink, but I declined explaining that I got a headache from one drink now (which isn't the whole truth as it doesn't always work that way, but it was easier to just say that than explaining the whole thing) and he told me that he pretty much is off the sauce. That was a nice thing to hear given that I remember an outing I had with him when I was a kid where he brought along a minibar to help him get through the day.
We left and headed over to Deltona to see the kids and my aunt and cousin. The twins have gotten so big. They are almost 9 now. I can't believe they are growing up so fast, they were just little things when I left. Awesome, their little sister, is adorable. She's almost three. Speaking in full sentences, you can understand almost everything she says (she still has that little baby lisp, but it's not as bad as it was with the twins) and she's pretty smart. She takes a while to warm up to people, but she only took about an hour before she decided that she wanted to hang out with me the rest of the night. Until bedtime, that is. Then it's all mommie all the time. B, their mom, asked where I got the patience from, I said, "Well, it's not like I'm around them all the time." I read the twins a bedtime story and they begged me to sleep in the room with them, but they sleep with the light on, so I declined and said I'd be sleeping in the living room. They got up around 3 a.m. and both camped out on the couch so they could sleep near me. Crazy kids.
I woke up a little after they did while they had their breakfast and got ready for school. I gave them both hugs, told them to be good and to keep doing well in school and watched them leave. We hung out for a few more hours while we waited for Bobbie to head over from G-ville.
Bobbie gave us a call and we headed to the restaurant for lunch. Yaaaay!!! I hadn't seen Bobbie since her wedding 8 million years ago. C, her son, is ADORABLE. seriously. best baby evar. He was so chill for a 3 month old. Just hanging out, let my mom hold him for a good part of the meal so Bobbie could enjoy eating with two hands for a while. She had to stop eating to feed him, so my mom cut up Bobbie's pizza for her so she could eat it with a fork. It was kind of funny. Bobbie looks fantastic, motherhood suits her quite well. :)
My mom and I headed back to WPB and finalized some dinner plans. My mother usually does karaoke on Friday nights. My father and I agreed that we didn't want to stay for karaoke, but we'd go to dinner beforehand and meet up with some people while they waited for it to start. My dad and I left when the karaoke was about to start and headed back to do some more work on the house. He finally gave up around 10 p.m. as he was about to fall asleep standing there and he had to get up early on Saturday to go to a mandatory work meeting. I worked until about 12:30 a.m. and finally passed out. My mom came home around 1:30 a.m. We won't talk about that. Ok, yes we will. Dammit, I've come to visit and you sit through a whole evening of karaoke instead of coming home? Nice.
However, I worked it to my advantage and threw out a crapton of stuff. There was a nice pile for the garbage men in the morning.
Gloria and Richard came down to visit and help out if they could. Gloria and I took a nice load of stuff to the thrift store for donations. My dad and Richard kind of hung out rearranging the shed and my mom was on the side porch going through books. Seriously, the book numbers are out of control. There was a whole bunch leading up to this, but essentially, I yelled at my mother to calm the fuck down and grow the fuck up. Minus the "fuck", I was respectful.
She got irritated that I was throwing books away. I was throwing them away because they were either moldy, had bug bites, or were water logged/stained. These weren't first editions or great works of literature. They were just mass produced books. No big deal. But it's a big deal to someone who saves. Both of my parents are like "light" hoarders. It's not to the level you've seen on that show, but good gravy, it could probably get that way. Pieces of people collected through the years (not the actual pieces of them, but their posessions), all of my stuff that I left. I tossed it all out or donated it. I didn't need it. I lived without it for five years, I didn't think I would need it anymore. Plus, childhood stuff (stuffed animals), no thanks. Although, I did keep two teddy bears (one is a Pooh bear I'd had as an infant and one I took to the hospital when I had a seriously bad case of strep, he has his own hospital band) and brought them back with me. They have a nice place of honor on top of my bookcase in my living room. :)
We finished the night with some dinner at a small burger place. I had a grilled cheese sandwich. My appetite was fairly nonexistent during my trip. I also had a rager of a sinus congestion and sore throat combo going on.
Brunch at a restaurant that has been around for over 50 years. I had a goat cheese omelet. Uhhh, yeah, it was as good as it sounds. I wanted more! Hung out with an old family friend and my godmother along with my parents. Headed back to the house after. I'd pretty much given up on the process at this point. I'd accomplished the biggest goal: getting my stuff out of their way. We did a little more shredding and I had my mom go through a bunch of clothes someone had given her. She culled out what she wanted and what would fit and the rest she put aside for B. We watched The Walking Dead while we went through stuff/shredded and waited for my dad to wake up.
Dinner out, handled some phone business with AT&T, ran some errands, put stuff in piles for the garbage out the next evening.
Freedom was close, I could taste it. Had breakfast at the goat cheese place. I had spinach, feta, tomato omelet this time. Delicious. Headed to airport. I was through security, seriously, in less than 5 minutes. Organized staff. wham bam i see your panties ma'am. I didn't do the pornoscan this time, I found the line with just the metal detector. Yay!
Hung out until it was time to go and away I went from the humidity and evil that is Florida on a Tuesday. Layover in Tampa for about an hour and then a stop in Houston and then on to Phoenix where I was greeted with open arms by my favorite Tucsonan parilous and a lovely drive in the arid air to Tucson.