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When Gill and I were on Skype this past weekend, certain things came up in conversation — things that ended with her exasperated comment: “And you wonder why I live in England! You people are crazy…I’m afraid to come anywhere near you.”

I took umbrage at her attitude…but then, recapping the past days’ events, I have to admit, she has a point.When L’il Sis came with Groucho for a short (overnight) visit, she had to fit in a lot of errands — some revolving around her upcoming wedding. I could tell she was getting anxious about time and wanted to leave here to return to Toronto before the worst of the traffic started. (Sidenote: such a time no longer exists. It’s always terrible…sometimes it’s just MORE terrible.)

She had a doctor’s appointment, after which she called me:”Mom, I have to go to the Dollar Store and then get my wheelbarrow of meds from the pharmacy. In the interest of speed and actually doing something fun together, why don’t you meet me at the store and we can shop for little wedding things?”

“Uh, okay. I’m just back from the pool and am in a wet bathing suit but I can hurry. I don’t suppose the Dollar Store clerks care about my wet hair dripping on their merchandise…a quick change and I’ll be there.”

We shopped for a few minutes, filled a basket with stuff, amidst my excited cries of:”Wow! This place is amazing! Who knew? Where have they been keeping this? Why did I not know about the cheap prices and amazing stuff here?”

L’il Sis smiled smugly. “I told you, right?”

The line at the checkout was long so, L’il Sis, her anxiety growing by the minute, said:”Mom, I hate to do this, but could you pay for this stuff and I’ll pop home to start loading the car? I want to leave here before 2.” Leave me to pay? Of course…I came armed with my Visa.

I arrived home to find L’il Sis loading Groucho in her car. Taking the cue from her, I raised the garage door, drove my car in and jumped out.

She asked me: “I hate to ask you this, but could you take Wilma (the large, sometimes unruly hound who came with her) to her Italian grandparents to save me time?Other Brother will pick her up there later.”

As I raised the hatch in the back of my SUV to load the hound,  a swarm of wasps surrounded the car. I slammed the hatch shut and saw, for the first time, a large wasp nest built on the frame of the house, right at the top of the garage door. I ushered Wilma, rather quickly, into the back seat instead, jumped in myself and gunned it down the driveway in reverse, closing the garage door as I went.

I tied Wilma to a tree (using Poochie’s old leash) in her ‘grandparents’ ‘ yard and, in the time it took me to get Wilma’s food and accoutrements out of the car , say hi to the grandparents and walk through the house, Wilma had eaten through the leash and untied herself! The leash was toast and the screen door was about to be.

“I’m sorry, “I said to them. “I’d love to stay and visit but I have to see a man about a wasp…or several!”

Returning home, it took me several tries before I could find a pest control guy to come that day.It seems there’s been a run on wasps and ants this year…not to mention skunks (mostly in my yard but that’s a tale for another time).

“Excuse me,” I ranted to each and every pest expert I called, “But do you think I’m waiting 2 weeks to get rid of these wasps? I can’t get my car out without them swarming around it!”

While I was dealing with the wasps, L’il Sis was having her own meltdown. She tied Groucho outside the grocery store while she went to get her ‘wheelbarrow of meds’…only to return to find someone had taken off his halter and leash, leaving him to potentially run into the parking lot traffic and be hit by a car! Lil Sis was livid–as she should be. But a kind gentleman had seen the incident and nabbed Groucho before harm could come to him. As she left the store, she witnessed this savior lambasting the culprit for his bad, even cruel behavior. Need I say that L’il Sis lit into the culprit with language that would make a sailor proud? None of which she learned from me, of course!

She proceeded to have a meltdown in the parking lot but was comforted by other store patrons. I, knowing none of this, was blithely dealing with my wasps…oh, and the stone chip on my front windshield that I noticed on my way home from delivering Wilma. I tracked down a ‘mobile’ glass repair service that promised to have ‘a guy’ here by 6 p.m. I waited…and waited . At 6:30, I called again and was informed that he’d be here in the morning. He wasn’t.

I called again the next day, only to be told there was no record of my call. They ‘re-scheduled’ and the guy finally arrived. And this is the most embarrassing part of the whole thing…the ‘stone chip’ turned out to be nothing more than bird shit! It sure looked like a chip from inside the car. I didn’t actually go out and touch it since it had the fine line that would seem to indicate a crack forming. I hung my head in shame when the guy rubbed it off with his finger. I slunk into the house. This day couldn’t possibly get worse.

And then I had a Skype with Gill. I told her about my plan to get Crazy D to play something on the guitar for the wedding and his comment that he couldn’t sing the ‘complicated’ song I’d suggested. “What is he thinking?” I asked Gill. “He can’t sing! Nobody in this family can sing! All I want is a few chords of something pretty on the guitar…”

“Whoa, Ma!” Gill ordered. “You’re getting way too wrapped up in this wedding. Remember, L’il Sis likes to be in control. Just sit down, shut up, and do what she says. And don’t make any funny jokes…I’ll have to lock you in your room until the ceremony if you do. Honestly, what is it with this family? You’re a bunch of Calamity Janes, drama queens, and cussing loonies!”

“But I’m just trying to help…and I had nothing to do with the wasps, the bird shit, and the diatribe in front of the pharmacy. I plead innocent!”

“So you say, Ma…”

“Right back at you…”