Some of you may be wondering if I fell off a cliff.
I’ve been consistently posting once a week for the last year or so, but here it is, three weeks since my last post. What gives?
“I know, I know”, reply our fair readers, “you’ve been traveling again!”
Well, yes, there have been excursions, but not for all that time.
But it was just yesterday that, as I sat comfortably on a couch, I heard one couple behind me chatting away in Tagalog, whilst a pair of kids in front of me chatted away in a language I believe to be Finnish. I don’t speak either language, I couldn’t swear to the dialects. In what strange place in the world would I overhear Filipinos in one ear and Finns in the other?
What made this international conference even more surreal was the fact the couch I sat upon was my own, the position in it well dented from all the time I’ve spent ensconced there over the years. The view of the children playing in front of me was backed by our living room window shades, the same view I’ve looked upon for inspiration while writing the 160 plus posts that have preceded this one.
There’s an old adage, “when it rains it pours.” This has been the theme lately for family social gatherings. While we often go years between house guests or weddings, both have been on the calendar this month.
No, we didn’t host the wedding. The bride is my sister-in-law’s granddaughter, we were just minor players that know the happy couple. The wedding was a destination affair, a five-hour drive to a town called Bellingham, Washington, near the Canadian border. As it was a travel wedding for everyone, we all stayed for a few days for the festivities, to chat with family we hadn’t seen for years, to meet folks from the groom’s side, to check out the waterfalls.
That was the warm-up act.
Coming home, there was a three-day break before phase two. As phase two meant hosting a family of four, that was about enough time for house and yard prep. No rest for the wicked.
No rest for the family of four, either. They’re from Finland, so they’ve come a long way, and this is a second stop after a week in San Francisco. We took them to the Oregon Coast, and after a couple days sent them north to visit cousins in Seattle. They’ll be back, we’ll host them a few more days. But for now, a break in the action.
Ok, they’re not strictly from Finland. The Finland connection is via a niece on my wife’s side – she moved there and married a local. My wife and her niece were born and raised in the Philippines. Ergo, the international lingua baffling my ears as I sat in wonder on the couch.
Meanwhile, the kids, aged six and eight, are tri-lingual: English, Finnish, and a little Tagalog. Makes me feel a little inept.
But wait! There’s more. The day before the Finnapino family flies out, my in-laws from Michigan fly in. That sister-in-law and her hubby also grew up in the Philippines, so only Tagalog to puzzle over this time. They’ll mostly be staying with the local sister-in-law so the hosting will not be quite as hands on, but I’m sure there will be plenty of visiting and excursions.
So if I’ve been a tad quiet as of late, and miss another week or two, you’ll know why.