It's always lovely when my daughter comes to visit with the grandsons. Sometimes the boys' school holidays coincide beautifully with the school where I work, but this last one was completely out of sync.
After thinking that we wouldn't be seeing each other this time, she suddenly announced that she would visit after all and would leave husband to his own devices and come on Saturday and go home on the following Tuesday, which was the last day of the the boys' school holiday.
Its not a happy marriage and I think she comes to escape and have a bit of peace (if you can call our house peaceful, that is.) You know what I mean, though, a little time out of the unhappy environment!
Anyway, after a tiring journey of six hours that should have only taken half that time, she was surprised when her car engine completely cut out just outside our house. Luckily a neighbour, who happens to be a mechanic, looked at the car and told her that the alternator had broken and obviously she would need a garage. He also told her she was lucky that it didn't cut out on the motor way as it could have done. The thought of that was terrifying. Anyway it was late on Saturday afternoon by then, so no chance of getting to a garage until Monday.
She decided to try and make the best of it and to enjoy her freedom over the holiday and not worry about the car or whether she'd make it back to her home town in time for school and work.
Although the weather was not bad earlier on, it suddenly turned very cold. The two boys were very pent up after their long journey and the thought of her not having her car for the weekend, with its seven seats was a bit daunting. They had been promised trips out!
The next day it was decided to take Harry's car and Sam's and for us to go to a beautiful place that the children love to visit, in a valley, near a large stream and if everyone managed the trip through the woods, there was the treat of a really good children's play area at the end of the walk.
Before we set off there was a phone call from daughter's husband to say he was very ill and needed a doctor. She was not sure if this was for real or if he was trying to ruin her weekend. So from our house she rang her own doctor for a home visit. Apparently he had a really bad headache and was sick!!!!!!! Well I ask you! However there was the niggling worry that it might be serious. She had already explained that the car was not working, so she couldn't get home.
Considering the four grand children were such a mixture of ages, 3,5,9 & 11 yrs, they all managed the walk very well, but took a long time to get to the play area, having stopped off to play near the water and look at this, that and the other. Eventually they all got onto the childrens' swings and slides and were having such a wonderful time even though it started to get really cold. Without warning it started to snow and within minutes the whole place looked magical and white. It didn't last and the flurry was soon over and the snow melted, much to the disappointment of the children.
In all the excitement Millie wet her pants and poor Sam had to carry her home, her wet bottom on his arm as she was much too tired to walk the distance back to the cars. Anyway it was very enjoyable but we were all a bit worried about the sick husband.
Next day, after many phone calls to many garages, daughter's car was taken to the other side of the city to one that promised to replace the alternator by the evening, so we relaxed a bit, realizing that she would make it home in time for work and school, after all!
The car was picked up with a reconditioned alternator, the bill paid and phone calls made to the sick husband who had had an injection & some tablets & an appointment was being made for scans........... A bit worrying !
The boys were so kind and understanding with their little cousins and a good time was had by all, though every one was made to feel a bit guilty about the sick husband. No one knows if he is really sick or whether it was manipulation to ruin the weekend. Only time will tell. He did manage to put a damper on the weekend from afar, though!
Anyway, they are safely home now and we really do miss them all and are slightly worried about the situation, no one likes to see their children unhappy.
However, when she comes here, she really has a relaxed and enjoyable time and we were so glad to have the unexpected visit!