Tuesday, 26 June 2012

#287: Relatively Speaking

My sister-in-law Toni will be returning home next week and we’ll be sorry to see her go.

She is a pitch-in-and-help-out sort of guest, and that is just what she has done for the past month. She has extended our menu options (Bruce won’t eat fish? Too bad!), put together my new composter, and helped plan a 70th birthday surprise for You-Know-Who.  When I acquired 72 large print books at a library book sale, Toni helped to re-label them and today she is going to the retirement home with me to integrate these new items into the collection. 

Toni, don’t leave!  Alberta family and friends can get along without you for a little longer!

When she has visited in the past, I was working and I missed out on the day-to-day hanging around that is always a pleasant part of a long visit.  But this time we have had a very leisurely time together while still enjoying the usual expeditions to Toronto and other destinations in Southern Ontario.  And I keep thinking of other places to go and more things to do.

She’s just going to have to come back again soon. She’ll be able to see if I’m still in love with the rolling compost bin.  She may even hope that I have learned to embrace baking soda as an all-purpose cleaning product.  (Like her older brother, Toni is a whiz at kitchen clean-up.  A bit of a slacker, I am in awe of their speed and efficiency, but I recognize that they were both whipped into shape by that domestic goddess, Dorothy Ryan.  I thought the world of my mother-in-law, so having Toni here reminds me in the nicest way of Dorothy and her many kindnesses.)

And Toni is only one of Bruce's siblings.  For someone from a small family, marrying a guy with four exceptional sisters and brothers has been unexpectedly wonderful.  Too bad they all live out West.

But retirement does mean more opportunities to  visit family, and that is what Bruce and I will do in August when we head for Edmonton, Penticton and Vancouver.  We are pitch-in-and-help-out sorts of guests, too, so the Ryan relatives need to think of a few jobs we can tackle for them. 

Too bad Toni’s own composter is already assembed....  

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