Surprisingly, they took me up on it. Not only were the accommodations good, but I had a big screen TV and the super bowl was going to be on. My husband was a big time 49er fan and loved to watch football. So is my father-in-law, Ray.
When we turned on the television, the game had been on about 40 minutes. My FIL took one look at the score and said "Jesus God! They are losing!". He watched a little bit more with impatience. My sister-n-law, Louise, had brought down a delicious treat of fresh dungeness crab. This is an Anzini family favorite (it was also a Godsey family favorite). So, we broke out the newspaper and started cracking the crab, separating the yummy meat from their shells. The so-sweet meat barely missing our lips was thrown into the bowl. Crab Louie was coming our way. We were all in my kitchen, the TV was on, I had food and wine on the table.
First, Louise spilled her wine all over the place. No problem, a good old rag towel cleaned it up. Then, when we were eating our delicious food, my father-in-law, sitting within a foot of my sister-in-law spills a plateful of crab all over the front of himself. Oh, did I say that crab was my husband’s favorite food? Another rag cleaned up that mess. Then my room mate, just in from another event, was standing there, talking animatedly about something, managed to knock over my father-in-law's cup of water. It went flying off the table a good two feet, onto the floor. It was glass, it did not break. Another rag. All of this happened with-in an hour.
While cleaning up the dishes, the sink, plugged up and not draining, starting to cause more problems. I run the garbage disposal…the other sink fills up. Now both sinks are full of stinking soapy water. My sister-in-law and room mate are all in on this event. The plunger is used , swish, swish, splunk, splunk. Nothing. My room mate goes to the store and buys liquid plumber. In the meantime, my father-in-law is watching the end of the game. Our 49ers are losing…but the score is closer. It looks like something positive could happen.
So we put the liquid plumber down the drain and finish watching the game. Our 49ers lose by 3 points. A “holding” protest is called in by the 49er coach, you can see the tension in their faces. I have tension in my face..WHY is there a plumbing problem, NOW????? I go to the sink, it seems to be working. I keep my fingers crossed.
My in-laws go to bed and room mate and I manage to eek out some cleaning of the kitchen. I pour the last of the liquid plumber down the drain and turn off the lights. I didn't sleep well that night. Tossing and turning. I get up several times, and go into the living room. My hips and legs are cramping. Too much crab? No, too much cleaning of the house preparing for guests, one of my OCD habits.
I fall asleep on the couch around 4:30 a.m. At 7:00 a.m. I bounce up when my father-in-law comes in and sits on the other couch. It woke me up and I startled him because he didn't see me there. I get up and start the coffee pot. I’m feeling groggy…but as a hostess, things are rolling now. My guests want to get on the road to drive to San Francisco. My father-in-law says to me in his loud voice (he has hearing problems)…”It takes about three hours to get to San Francisco, doesn't it?” I’m amazed. I've traveled well. I know my north from my south. But I’m always amazed on the geographical illiteracy of my father-in-law. He was born on that ranch in Humboldt and probably will die there. That’s all he has ever known. He is 88 years old. I love him, he was my husband's father. I forgive him and note my impatience.
I gently tell him, “No, Ray, it’s only about 1 hour and 40 minutes. There is commute hour traffic out there, if you leave here by 8:45 a.m., you will have plenty of time to get to your destination, and not get stuck in traffic.”
It seems the sink is behaving itself. I look down in it, remnants of cucumber, and shredded food is stuck on the sides of both sinks. I pour us coffee and then I run the water to clear it out the sink, I hear the “chug chug chug” of the sink drain starting to fill up. I’m thinking to myself-- In the middle of the night, why didn't you just internet a service request from the home warranty people? They would be on their way by now!
So…breakfast is served on paper plates. My father-in-law wants honey (it’s in the refrigerator and not very pliable). He’s sitting there trying to use the honey and complains “Jesus God….I’m such a pig, look at this mess, I’m making!” We all get rags, slightly wet paper towels…and my sister-in-law says, “Dad, just go to the bathroom and wash your hands”.
By then, I need to use the bathroom. I walk by my guest bathroom and notice the toilet water low in the bowl and a piece of toilet paper in it. I immediately start to panic. I go into my bathroom, use it, and flush….the toilet is filling up high, all the way to the rim. Whew! Now I'm panicking, because this is not just the sink...it's the whole house!
In just minutes, my father-in-law has his suitcase in hand, he is ready to leave. It’s only 8:30 a.m. My sister-in-law is running around, panicking. She knows her dad wants to leave now. What energy was that behind him? It was as if something was pushing him out the door. He is focused at the door, standing with there, paused, not moving, blocking the door, it reminded me of my husband so much. He was focused on his task, to get to San Francisco, NOW. I whisper to Louise over his head "it's like the horse going back to the barn, isn't it?" She smiles back at me with a twinkle and moves toward the car.
I’m watching all of this with amusement and realized that all of the spillovers and things that were happening were not in my control, or theirs. My room mate was stridently trying to give directions to my sister-in-law on how to get out of the neighborhood. I'm pulling him away from her, when I saw her eyes glaze over. This happens when you realize you aren't in control of anything. Hugs, kisses, they drive off. My room mate said to me, “Wow, I thought I was helping, but there sure is a surprising amount of unstable energy around her!”
I smiled at that and realized that my husband, his mother, and my nephew were all here with us playing their games with us, together. Each one of them managing a mischievous push at us in many ways. The spilling and the crab on the floor? Probably my mother-in-law, and my husband, perhaps my nephew. The sink? Very likely my husband AND my mother-in-law, knowing how silly I get when things just don't go right. They are in the other dimension causing this supernatural mischief.
After all, it was me who started this thing with pennies from heaven. A frank discussion with my mother and what items she would leave for me to remind me of her when she was gone. My mother-in-law made the same deal with my other sister-in-law, and it was ants! Both of us have collected a lot of pennies...and had a lot ants.
I didn't ask for electrical or plumbing malfunctions, but I'd like to think that all of that is him, doing that, reminding me to plod on, and smile, because nothing really is in your control. I walk into my house and call the home warranty company. The sink was saved, and the toilets.....purely coincidental, according to the plumber. Life is truly good.