Missing My Pool and Garden Workers

The week of thanksgiving, Tom’s mom and my parents drove together from Chicago for a visit.  It was a terrific week full of action.  They came Monday afternoon, and on Tuesday I had to work for half a day.  I noticed they were watching some TV (Dancing with the Stars tivo’d the night before) and then things got quiet.  When I went to check on them, I was surprised and pleased to see them out in the garden trimming back my roses.

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We’d done a backyard tour the day before and there were comments on some work needed to be done.  Little did I know they were keeping track and had plans to do it themselves!  Great, come back more often!  After a day of struggling with my old tools, my dad announced we needed to hit Home Depot for my birthday gifts…new garden tools including a “lopper” and hand held shears.  Alrightee then, and my mother-in-law popped for Rose food, then proceeded to feed the rose bushes.  Perfect!  My mom kept an eye on the pool and talked with her girlfriends on her cellphone, hey, someone’s gotta do it!?

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I innocently showed my dad how I skim the pool for leaves “when I have time.”  Of course within hours he had that pool crystal clear, and found a broom to tidy up around the perimeter as well.  Fantastic!

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We did sit down and have adult beverages after awhile, as I know there are federal limits on allowable work hours per day.

It was a great week with Brian home from college on Wednesday evening, including a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with the 7 of us (with food for 20).  We missed all our family we’ve gathered with for many, many years (and hosted the past 6 or 7 years.)  Though we did notice the day certainly had a slower pace.

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We hit the Smoky Mountains on Friday morning, a place that never disappoints.

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We drove the pretty Roaring Forks 7 mile loop, then walked the scenic but short and flat path Sugarlands Valley Self-Guiding Nature Trail.

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Dec 8 2012 044In addition to wonderful informative plaques, you could walk down to the river and rocks to get even closer to the beauty.

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We packed a picnic and lunched at Chimneys Picnic area, a nice spot along the river with picnic benches.

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The beauty of the Smoky Mountains is that it goes on and on forever.  The architects of this park along with the national park employees have made it easy to explore again and again.  I’ve visited 5 or 6 times since July and somehow it doesn’t grow old (like me!)

I woke Saturday to a decorated home complete with disco ball and “Aged to Perfection” birthday festoons.

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The boys had slept in while we hit the mountains on Friday, and on their way back from lunch they hit the party store and outdid themselves.  After I went to bed Friday night they got busy decorating.  Sweet surprise!

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Dinner was at a Japanese steak house complete with the “birthday package” (drummer, birthday song, cake/candle, happy birthday song and a polaroid photo) really made my day, the cornier the better.

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I reminded Tom several times that day to order the birthday package at the dinner so we could have some fun with that, then as soon as he ordered it, I mocked surprise and teased “I’m going to kill you!”

Thanks for following along on a nice Thanksgiving and special birthday week.  Pretty and sentimental cross-stich picture below compliments of my mother-in-law Jan sums it all up to me.

Dec 8 2012

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3 Responses to Missing My Pool and Garden Workers

  1. Sandi Kemerling says:

    All around looks like a fantastic visit for all! I must say you made out pretty well on the cheap labor! I know Mom so loved her visit to your new home. We look forward to visiting in the spring. By then you’ll be burned out from guests! Love to you all!

  2. stewcarol says:

    Sandy, looking forward to your visit in the spring, my gardening tools will be sharp and ready. Can’t imagine being burned out at this point, it is fun to look forward to visitors. We owe you, having stayed with you in California and MN so many times, so we are ready to pull out the stops when you hit town. Love you too and have a good week!

  3. Aunt "B" says:

    As you always do Carol, your blog is so fun to read and keep up with all your company and outings. Your Mom and Dad look just terrific. How is it that I’m looking so much older than I think I am, but your Mom and Dad don’t age a day? Do you think there is a little of Grandma Noakes in your Dad’s gardening talents?

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