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There was a strange and sticky mark on the table today — it was two rings, apparently from the bottom of a glass jar. It took lots of elbow grease (mine) to remove. Since it was near Crazy D’s spot at the table, I questioned him. “Oh, that was from Gill’s plum sauce. I put it on my dinner last night. I could barely get it off the fridge shelf it was so well stuck. Why ARE we keeping her sauces anyway? She comes twice a year, buys 8 new bottles of exotic sauces, then leaves.We never use them, don’t know what they are, and they’re taking up valuable real estate in the fridge. Which means I can’t find a place for my mung beans and marinated tofu… Maybe it’s time we have a purge of All Things Gill from the fridge. She’ll never know they’re missing.”

“Oh, you think not? Ha! You obviously don’t know your sister. She’ll be lining us up against the wall, holding a huge light in our faces, aiming dozens of questions at us, trying to figure out who gets the blame. You’ll think the Spanish Inquisition was a cake walk compared to her outburst!”

And with that conversation, I realized that Gill’s status as ‘the kid living at home’ has been finally and completely usurped. Crazy D and L’il Sis are officially The Ones in Charge. Gill will come home this summer to a room change, a food change, a storage change.(Not to mention the fact that the building at our local community pool has been re-sided and is now a different colour. She, as regular readers will know, is a creature of habit and hates change. The brown siding was not pre-approved by her and so will, I guarantee, be met with scorn. I thankfully managed to ascertain, in my pre-emptive foray into this year’s pool schedule, that an error had been made and early morning swims WILL happen. It is now corrected, so Gill won’t need to unleash her wrath over THAT issue.)

I have had to fend off the other two siblings from pitching out the stuff she had stored in the basement and her sofa in the garage. But (PLEASE TAKE NOTE,GILL) I was taking my life in my hands to do so. Good thing the local garage sale this year was a bust because of bad weather or that sofa would have been toast. And I admit to some serious negotiations with respect to her sauces. It was not unlike the stalled Middle East ‘peace talks’. I’d throw out a few bottles of HP and fish sauce for the right to keep a box of Gill’s kitchen pots. Or the Tamarind sauce for her Nancy Drew books (complete set). I swear, I missed my calling as an international diplomat. John Kerry may think HE has a tough job. Ha! He should try being a mother of grown children, each with a personal stake in your fridge, television access, and closet space.

The whole issue does interject a note of caution into my world, however. If these three argue so much and so vehemently about whose sauces stay and go, what on earth will they do when I croak and my estate is up for grabs?! Only one solution, as I see it. I’ll simply spend everything before I die. That way, family harmony is restored, I get to have fun, and they will all unite over what a selfish person their mother was. Done and done.

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