Family style

By Rose

Scott and I were so happy that Bev and Steve (aka Scott’s parents) made the 8-plus-hour drive down from the Upper Peninsula to visit us this weekend, with cairn terriers Abby and Whoopie (aka the “Swanson sisters”) in tow. We felt guilty that they basically worked from the time they arrived until the time they left, but we would not fee this settled if they hadn’t come to help us. They bought us a lawnmower, rake, week whacker, indoor ladder, outdoor ladder, and a host of other things we never even thought about when we made mental lists of stuff we’d need to pick up for the house after the move. They brought their total enthusiasm for the house, and, as parents do, their total enthusiasm and love for both of us as well.

Before they even had a chance to sit down, I basically (and meekly) asked if they would drive their truck to the local Pier 1 Imports before the store closed at 9 p.m. so I could pick up a jewelry armoire (my indulgence for the bedroom!) I had purchased the day before. I had hoped the box it came in would fit in my little car, but it didn’t. No problem, they said. We picked it up and, since none of us had eaten and it pretty late, we headed over to a nearby restaurant.

Here is how ordering goes when I eat out with the Swanson household:

Waitress: What would you like?

Bev: A burger please.

Steve:  A burger please.

Scott: A burger please.

Rose: Can I have the southwestern chicken salad (or whatever is close to that on the menu) and instead of chicken, can I get some seafood on it, and can you ask the cook to toss the salad in half the amount of dressing on it than they usually do, because that would be too heavy. Also, I am allergic to sesame seeds and derivatives, just so you know, in case there are ingredients I’m not seeing on the menu.

The second night, we ordered in and ate picnic style on the floor in our dining area. I forgot to take a picture of the Swansons’ steaks, but after what seemed to me like 11 minutes, tops, all three Swanson were done eating and I had barely started in on my mahi dish. I did snap a shot of that, and you can see my still full plate of mahi on top there:

I probably finished about 20 minutes later.

I’m not sure what Steve and Bev didn’t do in the 58 hours or so that they were here. They helped us paint our bedroom, they carted back our new mattress for us, they took us to Home Depot, they started a project to apply rice paper to the French doors of my yoga room, they pulled weeds out of backyard, and, as noted above, they told us over and over how much they enjoyed being here helping us.

It’s so great that through this marriage, I’ve added two more amazing parents to the two amazing parents I am already blessed enough to have.

P.S. — I know you are dying to see the cairn terriers, so here they are:

Abby is *always* happy. And she’s an eater — never met a dish of food she didn’t like. Whoop, below, is the explorer. Food is fuel, worth stopping for only when every bush, corner and cobweb has been thoroughly investigated.

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