Family Matters,  party party,  the sticks

Breakfast at Camp Chaos

I’m not sure where to start. I’m at my mom’s house and I’m supposed to be “helping” her clean out her screen porch so my brother can move back home. Yep, you read that right. My brother’s moving his family back in with my mom again. I like to call my mom’s property “Camp Chaos: if you’re crazy, you’re welcome.”

My mom says I can type up a quick blog post instead of helping her but I know that’s a bad idea because by the time I get done typing this, the baby will wake up, it will be lunch time, my nieces will be hungry and the whole process of feeding, changing, playing, rocking and yelling at the older kids will start all over again AND still the screen porch will not be cleaned out. This is why nothing ever gets done around here. Sometimes I just want to go to the nearest Home Depot and hire a bunch of immigrant workers just to do silly things like clean cat boxes and haul trash out of my mom’s property. It’s that bad. We are all losing our minds.

Of all times to have no time to blog, now is the time I have the most I need to blog about. I miss those old days when I was bored at work and I’d type out every little feeling that floated across my brain. Now I have to be a grown up and hold it together. I don’t have any time for venting or even just recording events for posterity. It makes me sad.

So here’s a quick run down so I can get back to helping my mom:

My brother’s birthday was last Thursday. This last Saturday we had a big family breakfast in my mom’s yard. I thought it was such a fun but bad idea. My mom’s place is messier than it has EVER been (which says a lot if you know anything about how messy my mom’s place is). The thought of extended family coming over to eat breakfast on the lawn next to the fifty some cars parked in the over-grown lawn, the giant inflatable pool that deflates daily and floods the over-grown lawn, the five-hundred-and-one chewed up kiddie toys that the dogs think are treats, the trash, the cans and bottles that are supposed to be getting recycled but only ever manage to get recycled all over my mom’s yard and whatever other crazy mess resides in plain view and brings the value of my mom’s whole neighborhood down… You name it, it’s probably on my mom’s lawn.

But nothing stops a good party when you’re related to me. The relatives came, they gathered in plastic chairs under the shade of the trees and umbrellas. They sipped coffee and chatted while my mom, CC and Auntie Kedge worked inside beside unpacked boxes and piles of garden tomatoes that are ripening faster than they can be eaten. My dad operated the grill as usual and the fare was better than anything you’d ever get at any fancy buffet. There were homemade cinnamon rolls, fluffy scrambled eggs with cheese, pancakes and bacon, kielbasa (of which I got none), orange juice and fruit salad… We may not always keep a nice house around here but we never miss a meal. Which might explain the family tendency for rotundness.

So that was that. I have other things I want to blog about like my Grandpa having cancer and how out of control I feel when I visit my mom and I can’t do anything to help my brother and his family and their desperate situation…. I want to say it’s just tough times but I think it’s always tough times around here. I think this is just how it is and we have to make the best of it because in the meantime, my nieces are growing up and this is their childhood. Maybe I’ll spend a little less time blogging and a little more time yelling at them. Just kidding. I’m going to try and yell less.


  • aunt kathy

    Wish I could have been there. It looks like you had a good time in spite of the yard “decorations.” Has Chuggy lost weight?

  • BeachMama

    What a fabulous breakfast. We have taken to cooking breakfast outside this summer as the smell of bacon lasting all day was really getting to me. Your Dad looks like he is lovin’ the bbq.

    Sometimes the best help you can give your family is the love that you seem to pass along. Things will turn around for your brother and his family and you will all look back on this time like it was just a little blurp. At the same time I hope when looking back you can say “times were bad, but we were always happy and having lots of fun”. When we were younger, my sister and I had no idea that things were really bad for all of us. My parents always made sure we were happy and having lots of fun. By the time my other two sisters happened along, things had worked out and we were none the wiser. Just keep being the greatest Aunt you can ever be and that is what they will remember.

    Best wishes with cleaning off the porch!

  • Daisy Mae

    Good luck on that porch thing. Breakfast outside sounds like such a great idea! I may have to try that when my mother in law is here at gthe beginning of Sept. I never seem to eat breakfast unless we have house guests.

    Looks like Baby Bug was having a wonderful time!

  • Jennifer

    I’m sure being in the thick of it all makes everything overwhelming. Sorry that you’re having to deal with so much at once. Like previous comments, I’m sure this transition period will pass and life will be good for all again. I’m sorry that your Grandpa is battling cancer.

    The breakfast gathering looks like a wonderful time.

  • Clownfish

    Breakfast outside is a great idea! It’s kind of like camping. There’s nothing I like more than the smell of bacon being brought to me by a light outdoor breeze.

    I wish only the best for your brother and his family. I too wish comfort and healing for your Grandfather with cancer.

  • Kedge

    Thank you for that blog. I forgot to take a single picture and was mentally kicking myself the whole way home. I found the whole morning so peaceful and embracing. You mom has such a park-like yard.

  • Scarlett

    I can really relate to your situation…My son and I both get really stressed out when we go to my moms house….(she lives about 6 miles away now that I moved back to the city…..) She is a collector of everything. She sells collectibles, and antiquey things and does these antique/collectible shows and flea markets. And garage sales. Her back porch, which WOULD be really a nice place to eat in the mornings and hang out is full of junk, stuff and crap she has to SELL to someone, somewhere to make some money. It really depresses me. No available counter space to sit at the counter on the stools to just, hang out. The stools, the table, everything is poled with something! So, anyway, I can relate, and I too just try to accept, hey this is the way it is. I do try to help her organize and sell things on craigs list when I can…..anyway. you’re a good daughter, and i’m sure things will get picked up and sorted out eventually! There AND here!!! I just love how you look at things, you’re all right!!!! ;) and so is that darling bug!

  • hotrodhanna

    family = organized chaos. Some are more organized than others, but I don’t know of any off hand. Looks like you all had a grand ol’ time!

  • ioi

    I’m glad that I’m not the only one who struggles to find even a few seconds to work on a blog post! Hey, a chaotic family has to be better than a disintegrating one.

  • jenny

    I hope at some point people will pull it together and clean up a bit. That much chaos doesn’t sound so fun…