Saturday, July 24, 2010


One thing I didn't take into account when my family came to visit was the fact that all of them live in an urban setting. Crickets, Wolves and Birds woke one or all of them during the time they spent here.

I'm accustomed to the sound of Animals in the night. For the majority of my life, I have lived in the country. But this morning, even I was catapulted out of sleep by a Wolf's howl...and I began to understand how different living in the Bush is compared to city life.

On the whole, however, the visit went very well...singing Crickets notwithstanding.

My family arrived on a sultry afternoon, a harbinger of the following days, which would continue to become even warmer, until the inevitable Thundershowers finally occurred.

I was enveloped in a hug by a granddaughter who has grown another few inches since I saw her a few months ago, as soon as the family vehicle stopped outside my door. And not long after that loving, smothering hug, my grandson pelted through the door, with his arms held wide...and I was the recipient of another huge hug from a very excited little boy.

I was over-the-Moon excited myself! So much love was spread that afternoon on their arrival I wonder to myself how I could ever have thought my absence from my grandchildren's lives would make them forget me.

And that love continued throughout the visit.

Graydon, my grandson, and I walked the property with our Dogs at least a couple of times...the kinds of walks which last occurred with my granddaughter when she was three years old, where every Stone was overturned and each Stick became a sword. With his water pistol in hand, we went searching for the Mugglewump who lives in the draw in front of the house. The story of the Mugglewump came about because Graydon is not accustomed to Dogs. And I have two rather large ones.

The Mugglewump, you see, is also frightened of Dogs. He won't come over the Boulders which line the driveway, because the creature knows I have the Dogs with me, which, I told Graydon, is why I the Dogs live with Granda and I. They protect us from the Mugglewump who does nothing but mischief...he misplaces keys, books and dishes, he picks Flowers out of my garden and he would make life generally upsetting, if the Dogs did not keep him in his place. 
Well. Graydon didn't actually want to see the Mugglewump. But he definitely wanted to see where the silly creature lived and he wanted to squirt Water amongst the Stones lining the driveway, just as added protection. And when I told him the pee from the Dogs on the Stones were what the Mugglewump didn't like, he wanted to pee, too...

The Mugglewump kept us very entertained on our long walks with the Dogs...and Graydon, as much as Nate and Lucky bothered him with their kisses, accepted them from then on. He was even convinced he had a Mugglewump at his home...and that his cat Elvis, who is rather old and confused, was protecting him there as well.

My granddaughter and her friend, Sabrina, are too old for Mugglewumps and they are accustomed to our Dogs. Graham and I found something else to entertain them...we took them into town for a shopping trip!

This was where Brianna discovered a grandfather's pride and joy in seeing her in various outfits in the store would open his wallet. She went home with a new skirt and a couple of tops...and because she did not expect this, our love for this beautiful young woman only deepened. She also remembered to buy a gift for her mother, my daughter Heidi, just because...

Because Graham has been ill for a very long time with cellulitis on his ankle, making it difficult for him to walk, the trampoline was still down when our family arrived. But, as Brianna said, teamwork made short work of this, and the trampoline was up in no time.

There were a few times I went into the house when all the acrobatics on the tramp were going on. Brianna, Sabrina and Heidi, my daughter, are all pros on it...yet my heart was in my mouth quite a few times.  I thought it better to go in and have a cup of Tea, rather than sit and yell...Be careful...each time a somersault or another dangerous stunt (to me!) was executed.

This was the first time Graydon had used the trampoline. He was very vocal when jumps became too high when he was on it, and I blessed him for it. Soft, gentle jumps are more up my alley, as well!

Granda took Graydon for a ride on the tractor...another first for Graydon. He left the tractor convinced it was an Aston-Martin...who among us would not be thrilled to displace a lowly tractor with a luxury vehicle? In our minds, if nowhere else!

And so the days went by, much too quickly, of course, for my liking. We had cold roast Chicken and salads, barbecued Steaks and roast Potatoes, a couple of pies I had made beforehand, and a wonderful Goat Cheese Ravioli with fresh Tomato sauce Heidi made. For breakfast, we had farm-fresh Eggs and home-smoked Bacon. Of course, I had too much food...even the cashier at the store where I bought the groceries was astounded at the amount.

I discovered I no longer had any idea of how much to buy when the family visits, just as when I became an empty nester and was confused by how much food was required for only two people. But the extra food didn't go to waste...I gave it to my family when they left.

It was so difficult to see them go. It was all I could do not to take the car and follow them down the highway. Homesickness descended; in order to squelch the sad feeling, I cleaned the house, which looked as if a whole herd of Mugglewumps had descended upon us.

I wanted to hold Time, during their visit, until I decided Time was up. But I was not in control of Father Time; I knew before the visit occurred it would go much too quickly.

But I have things to do, for the next time I see them. I know Bree's taste much better now. Buying gifts for her will be ever so much easier after our shopping trip. And I will flesh out the Mugglewump's story a bit more for my grandson. Perhaps the Mugglewump will try to drive the tractor/Aston Martin, perhaps he will get stuck when he drives down into the draw...who knows what will happen?

This morning, as East Wind blows and Wolf howled, I am convinced I am right where I am supposed to be, just as my family is right where they are supposed to be...with visits here and there to cement the awesome love we all carry within us for each other.

It is the way of things in life...

And for our family, at least, there will always be that next visit!


  1. Oh Marion, this post is just what I needed. It is so hard to be away from family and there is always a tug to be where they are, I wish I was more certain of where to be, duty and guilt get mixed in with my knowledge that I am where I need to be, for me. Your grandchildren are beautiful! So glad you had a good visit.
    Missed you. xoxo

  2. What a delightful family. I feel so fortunate that I get to see mine so much more often, but never often enough.

    I am going to adopt your Mugglewumps. What a great excuse for some of my human frailties.

  3. oh jeez marion....

    my heart is in my throat. i identify with this so much (you know) that i could cry right now from all the love. i have thought about you this week. i can't believe it's over, really. even i, your friend, am surprised that time moved so fast.

    you are the best gram (my grandbaby name, i'll bet your's is grandma if graham is granda). these memories, marion, they will be imbedded in brianna and graydon for all of their lives. the sounds outside the city: never forgotten, they will always trigger scents and voices and your gentle touch.

    it is a special treat for me to see your family.

    what else can i say? thanks to you, i miss them too. love is like that, eh?


  4. I should think it would be those very things that the kids aren't used to that would make their visits memorable for them. Imagine going home to the city and telling your friends about being awakened by wolves!

  5. This is one of those lovely bittersweet posts that we can all relate to I think. Your family is lovely, and seem unspoiled and grateful for you all - and that is a treat to see. You had such a good time that its tough to see it all end.

    I had my brother and family here last summer, the house was full - all the beds were being used, I had too much food in the house...and I cried like a fool when they left...and went inside and cleaned like a nut.

  6. What a wonderful, soul-filled time you had!
    The best kind of nourishment, don't you think?

    I loved the Mugglewump story. I'll bet Graydon was wide-eyed at the telling of this tale! And he wanted to "mark" the stones too...hilarious!!

    I wouldn't mind falling asleep (or being wakened) by the sound of wolf howling. We do have crickets and coyotes, but mostly we hear the howling of youngsters drinking and blaring their awful rap music as they drive by!

    Treasure your memories Marion. Hold them tight ;)


  7. Annie,

    I've found that, at times, the very absence of family makes me grow. There are no distractions when family is not close by, which make me focus on myself and my baggage far more easily.

    That being said, the first wee while after we've seen each other is VERY difficult. And I worry, as I age, how many times a year I can make the trip to the coast, which is really hard on my body/fibro.


    Yes, that Mugglewump can be blamed on all sorts of things. He has broad shoulders...he can take it.

    The Mugglewump came about because I was going to tell Graydon there was a troll that lived in the draw. But when Graham said the story I was going to tell about a troll would frighten Graydon too much; that it actually could frighten Graham...I changed it to a more child friendly story. Heh...I can get carried away sometimes...

  8. kj,

    Actually, my name is Nammy, which began when Bree was a wee tot and couldn't pronounce the 'gr' sound in Grammy. And forever after, I've been known as would be too confusing for everyone if I changed it to its original form.

    Granda was Graham's name for his own grandfather in Scotland. Brianna, who met him as a very young child, calls Graham Gray. It can get quite confusing with all the Grahams, Graydons, Grays and Grandas around...but it all eventually gets untangled!

    You would know, kj, what it's like when the grandbabies and their parents leaves a tiny tear in the heart each time. But even though I would love it if they lived next door to me, I wonder if some of the specialness would disappear...

    Love you, kj, thanks for the lovely comment! xoxo


    I think so, too, Snow. Brianna was the first to hear the Wolf in the middle of the night and then Heidi thought she's heard it too. I heard Wolf howl the day after they seemed fitting, somehow, to hear the eerie call when I was feeling homesick!

    I believe both Sabrina and Brianna were more irritated than anything by the singing crickets...not being accustomed to the sound, it quite kept them both awake, especially since it was so warm!

  9. Mim,

    Isn't it great to have that house cleaning thing to do when family leaves. I think my house was cleaner when they left than when they arrived!

    The food was certainly plentiful here!I wonder where my head was at when I bought five loaves of bread, a dozen bagels, more buns than could ever be used during the space of time they were here. Or the steaks...Heidi made me put two back in the freezer, after she took a look at them!

    Who knew the kids didn't eat like farm workers coming in from the fields for dinner?

    Studio lolo,

    Yes, you can say that again...the visit WAS the best kind of nourishment, indeed. writing about the 'marking' situation is the first time their parents will KNOW about it, at least from me. If little Graydon goes about peeing on Boulders from now on, I guess I'll have to fess up!

    Lolo, come up North and visit me!! will hear all kinds of sounds in the night, and you may hear Wolf, as well. My dogs go completely silent when his howl occurs, as do other dogs in the vicinity. It's not until he's completely gone that there is a cacophony of barking, letting us all know they were on the case, even if it had grown cold, lol!

    I've told stories to my kids when they were little and continued to do so when Bree was born. Hers were tales of the Secret Forest in the backyard where I lived at the time. And now Graydon will hear about the Mugglewump...since we're so far away from the kids, I'll be able to tell really far out stories to Graydon about him. Graydon, you see, is very intelligent and he will find holes in my stories, if I can't back them up. And so, since I can't take him to see the evidence, he will have to take my word for it. I hope.

  10. Dearest Marion. I feel as though I have peered into the deepest recesses of your heart and found nothing but light and joy there. What a beautiful way to start my day.


  11. marion, i think nammy is a wonderful name. :)

    what's wrong with me that i wouldn't even think of cleaning my house to occupy myself? i'm more likely to take a bubble bath and then blog or write to my heart's content.

    and marion, if ms. studio lolo travels anywhere near your house, you can be damn sure i will not be far behind!! (i'm not eveh going to ask if you mind. how lovely to be confident in friendship). :)


  12. This was a wonderful glimpse of your life. We have a four-year-old godson who delights us in the same way and granddaughters who are thankful and charming. I felt like I reliving the wonder with you.

  13. Marion,

    If I were still in CA you could be darn sure I'd visit you in a heart♥beat!
    I'm not much of a traveler if it involves getting on an airplane these days. An emergency landing really changed that for me!
    If I become brave, I'll certainly keep BC and my dear friend in mind ;)


  14. Annie,

    Thank you! I hope the rest of your day was wonderful!


    Of course you can come! I would love it if you and lolo just showed up at my door...and since Graham and I want to go across Canada and then the Eastern Seaboard...I just may show up at your door, someday!!

    A bubble bath sounds great, but I need to burn off energy after saying goodbye to my kids and house work is a great way to do that.

    Enchanted Oak,

    Chris, isn't it great to have youngsters like our grandchildren around. Especially since they are so amazingly intelligent, beautiful and all around wonderful little people!

    Studio lolo,

    I may be visiting YOU one of these years, lolo! I'm not sure I want to get on a plane, either, though, so driving sounds like a good way, if a little long, to get there...

  15. It sounds like you had such a wonderful time with your family. Reading your post helped me to see how my mother-in-law must feel when we come, stay, and then go. It sure puts things into perspective when families can reunite, if only for a few days ... We are headed to my hometown for a visit this weekend, and I am so looking forward to it. The kids too!

    Thanks for sharing the story of the mugglewump too ;o) Gives me some good ideas for my own children!

  16. It sounds like you had a very special time with your family around you - and I love the story of your Mugglewump - sounds like he's probably related to an Irish leprechaun! :-)
    And how very, very special to be blessed by a wolf's howl. You're right, you're in the right place and so are your children.

  17. What a grand time you had with your family. The extension of you that has gone to other parts but always comes back to Mom, Grandma. You are the roots to the spiritual and emotional growth of all these fine people and they are the nourishment you seek from family love. Thank you for sharing your family with this family in cyberspace.

  18. Goodness how Graydon has grown! Seems like it was just a little while ago he was born.

    Love the photos and thanks for sharing the Mugglewump story with us. What a great time you all, plus dogs, must have had.

  19. Nicole,

    Your mother-in-law will know exactly what it's like, Nicole, when you leave, but she will grasp the weekend with everything she has while you're there. I'm so glad you are going home for a'll rejuvenate and refresh you! And it'll be great for the kids...'cause there's nothing like grandparents who haven't seen you in awhile!!!

    Drive safely and enjoy your trip, Mugglewump and all!

    Nicky S (Absolute Vanilla),

    The Mugglewump tells me his forebears were leprechauns who emigrated to the Cariboo...but the long, cold winters changed their appearance and their outlook. Heh!

    He's a relatively benign creature, necessary because Graydon is so young and quite sensitive. Poor Brianna heard uncensored versions of my did my kids...but I'm not quite as inventive anymore. Camping and campfires were always accompanied by scary stories told by me!!

    Bree and Heidi both heard the wolf. I heard it the morning after they left and haven't heard him since...just a super visitor for the kids!


    Thank you for your wonderful comment. I love this line...You are the roots to the spiritual and emotional growth of all these fine people and they are the nourishment you seek from family love." That is it in a nutshell for all of us with children and grandchildren.

    I hope you are feeling well, Dave, after your operation and are getting back to your writing and hospice work! You are needed...!


    Thanks for remembering what a skinny, small baby Graydon was! It's amazing what time does with small babies and how very quickly they grow! Graydon is even toilet trained; no more dirty diapers for him!

    Or for my daughter and her husband, either! But he knows his own mind...he's an Aries, so there should be lots of good times ahead for his parents, lol!!!

  20. Such a beautiful post, Marion! The love you share with your family was palpable through your words. So glad you were able to spend this time with them.