There are a few advantages to having six houseguests for several weeks over the Holidays. For one thing, my husband and I have been able to go out on a couple of date-nights without needing to worry about finding a babysitter. Abuelita (Grandma) has been available on an as-needed basis.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
Of course, as I have documented, it has been great to have my sister-in-law Temy here to teach me how to use my sewing machine. One day, I hope I will be able to actually save us some money by making a few of our own clothes, curtains, and pillowcases. Rowan, my teenage daughter, has aspirations to be a theatre costume designer, and Temy has set her on the path. Rowan has actually begun to design clothing and make some pretty impressive pieces.
And now that my brother-in-law Fransisco has arrived, I am really beginning to derive some serious material benefit. Last fall, I gathered materials to make a greenhouse on the foundation that used to support our falling down shed we called The Parthenon. (Nasty Weather and Unfinished Business) Given my experience with my husband's efforts as carpenter (A Handy Man is Good to Find...?) I think I can be excused for not wanting Homero to build the greenhouse alone. The foundation languished for some eight months, until the other day when Fransisco said he'd be happy to build me a greenhouse.
To be honest, Fransisco doesn't have very good estimating skills, or else he wasn't honest when he said it would take one eight hour day to knock it together. We are now on day three and less than half done, but even so I am thrilled to the marrow. I can see I am going to have - eventually - a terrific, good looking greenhouse. I will be able to grow food for ten months out of the year instead of the six months that our natural short season allows.
Every year, I start to get excited about the garden in mid-February. In the past, I had to contain that excitement for another month and a half. Now, I can actually start planting when I want to, as soon as the days get long enough. Come on, spinach! Yay, radishes, arugula, onions, and chives! Woo-hoo, snow peas and broccoli! Thank you, family!
A few weeks of high grocery bills, water and electricity bills, and a few extra trips to the dump is really nothing compared to the lasting value of a solidly built greenhouse... not to mention the incalculable worth of my children's closer relationship with my husband's side of the family - their Grandma, Auntie, and cousins. And of course, their understanding of their Mexican heritage. Really, the benefits of this situation FAR outweigh the deficits. It is just occasionally hard to appreciate that fact when you want to, oh, say, make love to your husband and there are fourteen relatives less than six feet away.
But there will be plenty of time for marital relations when the family leaves in a week or two (or three... or four... I have no way of knowing). IOn the meantime, I must simply keep reminding myself of the myriad benefits of having the extended family around. And keep ignoring the drawbacks.