At the beach

It’s time to let up on our tales of toil to have a short vacation. But since it involves my family, it is not without complication.

Our little jaunt began with my sister’s birthday, one of the big ones. She decided to throw herself a party by renting a beach house in Gearhart, Oregon, about two hours away. She invited most of the family to join her on one night or the other, the nights being Saturday and Sunday.

Here’s what was supposed to happen. My middle brother (heretofore to be known as MB) and his dear wife were supposed to arrive from Madison, Wisconsin, late Friday night. They were staying at an airport hotel and then driving out to Gearhart to meet us. My husband and I were staying at the beach on Saturday night, and then MB and wife were coming to stay with us on Monday. On Wednesday they planned to go to Seattle to visit our younger brother (YB) and family. Then they would come back on Friday night and fly out Saturday morning.

Well, that was assuming that YB and family fell in with the plan, which is not a good assumption. Within our family, we call YB’s family the Cirque du S—, S— being their last name. We love them dearly, but there are five of them, and they are very loud and unpredictable. MB had not been able to pin them down to find out if his plan was going to work.

The first part of the plans went fine, except that my husband suddenly went off the deep end and started barricading the house. He hadn’t even taken his shower and was not totally packed when he started cutting poles to block all our doors and windows with. Keep in mind we live in a totally crime-free area. Our county crime map shows only a few “disturbance at house” entries in the entire north half of the county, where we live. He was sawing away when my sister arrived. I could see he had no intention of leaving on time, so we eventually decided that I should go with her. I put our suitcase in our car, though, because otherwise there would be no guarantee that he wouldn’t decide not to come at all.

Our timing was great. We found the house with some difficulty, but it was being cleaned, so we went to a little cafe a few blocks away. We had no sooner arrived there than my sister received a phone call from MB. He and his wife were at the house. They came to join us and within ten minutes my niece and her family showed up. We all had desserts and then we went to the house, quickly unpacked, and went down to the beach.

Part of the family watching my great niece fly a kite

The water was surprisingly warm, but I couldn’t go in past my ankles because my suit was with my husband and I had no change of clothes. However, we spent a couple of hours on the beach, and MB and my great niece went in the water. (Her parents are originally from California, so the water was too cold for them.) My husband arrived around six, which was a good time to go up to the house for dinner.

The difficulties began in the evening. YB called and had a great plan. He was taking his 16-year-old daughter to an Ed Sheeran concert in Tacoma and then they wanted to drive down to the beach house. The occupancy of the beach house was 10, and there were already 9 of us there. My sister kept trying to tell him to stop somewhere else for the night and come the next day, because my husband and I and my niece and her family were leaving. My niece was also concerned that they would come into the house in the middle of the night and wake everyone up. (They would have.) They finally agreed.

We had a nice morning on the beach, although the water was much colder, so I only ended up going in up to my knees. After lunch, my husband was itching to leave, although I would have liked to stay a few more hours. We have dubbed him the official party pooper.

Then we found out via phone that MB’s plans had completely changed because of YB’s plans. Instead of coming to our house on Monday, they got reservations at a hotel in Seaside where YB and his family were staying. They are coming today, and tomorrow we will be blessed by the arrival of YB and his family. We love them, but they are tiring, and since they are bringing their dog, which my niece is deathly allergic to, I get to have them as guests in my house instead of MB and his wife. It is a difficulty with us, too, as we have purposefully kept the lower floor animal-free because of my niece’s and MB’s wife’s allergies. My niece breaks out, but my MB’s wife can’t breathe. We will have to insure that the kids don’t let the dog downstairs. I don’t know why people travel with their dogs when they know their relatives are allergic to them.

I am a little disappointed, as I we have prepared for weeks for MB and his wife, and I was looking forward to having them. YB and his family have already stayed here. Also, my niece and I have been planning the menus for weeks to feed 9, and now we might as well throw them out the window, since we will have 14. Oh well, that is life among the Cirque. We will still have a good time.

On the home front, we finally finished splitting and stacking firewood. We did the last bit yesterday morning.

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