How I spent my summer vacation


There have been numerous requests, nay demands, that I provide a follow-up post to my last AGMA “I’m going to the beach” post.

The postmortem, as I call it.

To those of you who really couldn’t give a rat’s ass, stop now and tune into another fun, isn’t-a-world-with-Donald-Trump-in-it-strange post next week.  To those of you who asked, be careful what you wish for.  Here goes…

Overall, I will say that it was no worse than I expected.  This is actually kind of a sort of a lie because I believe in miracles.  I always hold out this Pollyanna hope somewhere in my cold, frozen heart that everybody in my family will realize how precious everybody else in our family is and change their cranky ways.  But it didn’t happen.


Did I mention that I had a 20 mile training run the morning I left?  Yup.  After the run, I had to hurry home, shower, finish packing and get all the baby crap together, get the house semi-together and get everything down to the garage to wait for my son to pick me up.  I live in a four story townhouse.  It’s two flights of stairs from our garage up to the master BR.  You can guess how I felt when finally I crawled into my son’s car after two hours of running up and down the stairs.


It’s a five hour drive to the beach.  For probably two hours, we listened to DeadMau5. Okay, maybe it was only for thirty minutes but it seemed like two hours.  It actually seemed like a lifetime.  If you aren’t familiar with DM5’s incredibly rich musical sounds (I’m literally choking as I write this…) check it out here.  It felt like somebody was driving hot rivets into my head.

My apologies to you DeadMau5 fans out there of which I’m sure AGMA has many…

My husband had left Atlanta early to pick up my son, DIL and the cutest grandson in the world from the airport near the beach.  I received the message that all went well with the pick-up.  1st hurdle successfully navigated.

1 down, 340 left.

My younger son and I arrived at the beach around 6 PM.  I was hungry, exhaused from my 2:30 AM wake-up and 20 mile run, with my head split open from the Mau5Man music.  And everybody was waiting for me to go shopping and cook dinner.  I went to the grocery store and bought a frozen pizza.

The 2nd hurdle didn’t go so well.  I got the stink eye.

Only 339 hurdles left.

Now that I think back on it, without going into detail, it’s amazing how there can be so much drama over nothing in only a three days.  And, sadly, as expected, the drama all originated from my son and DIL.  In all fairness, my DIL was sick.  But then it seems as if my DIL is always sick when we’re around.  Cause and effect perhaps?


My grandson didn’t sleep well at all the first night.  And he was up bright and early the next morning.  Both my son and DIL were dog tired for a good part of the trip.  But it didn’t help that they drank so much at night and stayed up late.  Duh.

I know nothing; I see nothing.

On the positive side, the rest of my family was great!  My younger son was fun and good company.  My nieces and their husbands were wonderful, and it was great to see and hang out with their kids.  My brother and I only had very superficial conversations so it was pleasant.  He was on his good behavior.  My SIL was as expected.  I asked her all of the “how have you been, what have you been doing, how’s your sister?” questions and she asked zero about my husband or myself.  But it worked for me.  She didn’t give me the stink eye once.  That I saw.

My sister was also on her good behavior too.  She drank, but evidently not so much that she got fall down drunk.  We usually left the “party” fairly early in the evening when she was still drinking, but it appears as if she maintained control.  Relief doesn’t even begin to describe the feeling.

And my family loved, loved, loved my grandson.  But seriously, what’s not to love? He’s cute and smiley and chubby and, gosh darn it, just all around adorable.  But I’m not biased…

All he had to do was smile at me when I walked into whatever room he was in and blinding sunshine instantly cut through the clouds generated by my son and DIL.  My heart melted and I was a babbling pool of mush for the next 15 minutes.

And for those of you wondering, I did drink.  The first night.  I had to because of the frozen pizza dinner fiasco and the stink eye.  I had a pomegranate vodka martini and two beers.  Guess I must have still been dehydrated from my 20 mile run – I had sweated like Jackie Gleason trying to keep up with the June Taylor Dancers. (That’s a reference only those of a certain age will “get”.)  I had a pounding headache in the morning and was not on top of the the AGMA game.  That was a tough day.

I didn’t drink again for the next two days.  My Australian nephew-in-law thought I was crazy that I opted out of adult beverages.  Gotta love the Aussies!

My husband and I spent two nights in Charleston, SC after my kids left and we checked out of the condo.  I’m sad to say that I only started to relax and felt like I could be myself when we checked into our hotel.  I didn’t realize how tense I was until I wasn’t tense anymore.  Does that make sense?

So would I do it again?  Probably.  If I weigh the pro’s and con’s, it was worth all of the hard work and money spent and headaches (literally!) and heartaches to spend time with my wonderful grandson, my younger son and my nieces and their families. Plus, as much as they are ambivalent about my family and myself, it was good to see my brother and SIL after 2 years.

I know – there is something seriously wrong with me.

But, for the love of God, please, please don’t make me listen to DeadMau5 again!  I’m pretty sure I couldn’t survive a second encounter.

Thump, thump, thump…

37 thoughts on “How I spent my summer vacation

  1. I can’t help you with the music since I created the rule when my kids were just wee that she who is driving picks the music. Saved a lot of arguments over the years. The one who now drives were most certainly hold that over my head, and has for years since he got his first music player :D. The ONLY concession he would give was to use headphones.
    SIL’s, I can relate. Can’t stand mine either. My brother is a much better, nicer person without her but since I rarely have to deal with her, and thank God every day that I don’t have to live with her, I deal with it. I can fake sincerity when I have to.
    Should have told the Aussie that water and cola are adult drinks, after all, you are an adult, yes?
    I REALLY need a family reunion though.
    Dad was 3 of 4 and mom was the youngest of 9. Two left on Dad’s side and 3 left on Mom’s :(. Lots and lots and lots of cousins though 🙂 and I never see them except for my parents funerals :(.
    Any way, I’m glad it wasn’t as bad as it could have been and that you had fun when all was said and done.


    • You need to organize that family reunion! And work with the cousins to plan to have them on a fairly regular basis. Once the older generation all passes away (as has happened in my family), there’s nothing really to draw the cousins together anymore. Once my last uncle passed, there were no more funerals to serve as “reunions” so I haven’t seen them in years. 😦

      And I think my SIL is a bit off because of my brother! That kind of tells you what he’s like to be around… Again, the superficial conversations are the only resort in these cases!

      Yeah – we had that rule about the driver picking out the music too. But everybody has their limits… I just couldn’t take the hot rivets anymore! When I asked what other Pandora stations he had, he definitely got that I was maxed out! He kindly put John Mayer on!

      And just to be clear, only parts of it was fun. Other parts were like having your gums cleaned with a railroad spike and a sledgehammer while being forced to listen to DeadMau5… 🙂


      • Still making me laugh :).
        The sin in not attending reunions, for they do still happen on both sides of the family, is in the lack of funds to get there.
        It’s just me and my brother here in Canada. The rest of the family is in GA, TN, WA and a few other places and some of them are far too old to travel even the 800 or so miles to get here to see us.
        I am working on it though, hopefully next summer.
        Thanks for the pep talk though :).

        Liked by 1 person

  2. So I have a question, why was everyone waiting for you to make dinner? Why didn’t everyone order in? Or cook?

    I hear you, everything you say hits way to close to home. At the moment, I’m very close to my brother. The SIL I’ll be getting soon enough has vowed to change that. I can’t imagine a world in which I see my brother after two years – but that was the world my father and his sister lived in. My dad doted over his sister, and I never understood why until recently when I caught myself doting over my brother and trying really hard to juice ever bit of joy we had in every little minute together. Maybe I try to hard – but I don’t want to regret anything later.

    I agree and understand you when you say you’d do it all again.


    • I agree about the cooking part. Reminds me of the “baby” birds I saw at the park the other day. They were as big or bigger than the mama bird and yet they all stood around her flapping their wings and squawking at her to stuff some food down their gullets. You are a saint, my dear.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Nope – no saint… Just a granny who wants to be able to have a relationship with her grandson! It’s amazing how one can deftly and gracefully cope with demanding, narcissistic people when she’s worried that the precious little time she gets to spend with her grandson might get “adjusted downward” if she gets the stink eye too often.

        But all I have to say is that I’m glad they’re not mind-readers… 😉


    • The dinner thing is a mystery to me… Evidently the expectation was the result of 3 adults feeling as if they had to devote 100% of their time to the care of an 8 month old. My younger son (the one I drove up with) was really kind of ticked with the others that they didn’t plan something since they got there nearly 4 hours before we did and were expecting me to do the dinner thing. I felt a bit less like I was being the witch for NOT making dinner. Sometimes it’s nice to have somebody in your corner… 🙂

      I had to read your post again because I thought I had misread it at first. So your future SIL basically has told you that she plans to destroy the relationship you have with your brother? Did I get that right? She sounds dreadful… I am so very sorry! Why the heck is he marrying her? Ick.

      My brother and I have never really been all that close – he’s 12 years older than me – but once upon a time we were certainly way closer than we are now. Sadly, things got so bad with him (he really was getting emotionally abusive over the phone and in person the one time a year we were seeing him, and also some verbal abuse in written form on Facebook thrown in) that it was actually a relief not to see him or even talk to him. Gotta have healthy boundaries, you know?

      So what ever happened with the job? (if I’m not being too AGMA nosey…)


      • You read that right, the SIL to be has basically stated that family = her husband (my brother) and her — and any future kids. He loves her, so be it. He’s happy, I’m happy. Like you said healthy boundaries.

        Sorry, you have to refresh my memory about the job?


    • You’re so funny!! Let me put it in a way that doesn’t sound quite so athletic… “I did the run-walk-run method for 20 miles at an interval of 20 seconds running and 20 seconds walking and it took over 5 hours.” Sounds much let impressive doesn’t it?

      Thanks for the Brava though… I’ll hang on to that!


  3. I understand how much you love the grandbaby. But are you a glutton for punishment? lol. Just go on a vacation with your husband or a friend and relax!! Drinking is not good for you especially if you are dehydrated. Be careful. Maybe next time, if there is one, things will be better.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joyful! You’re a bit like me – always thinking that the next time will be different. Better. It’s a good way to be honestly!

      And I am NOT a glutton for punishment. Not very much at least… 🙂 It’s just that – and I think I have been very up front about this – I’m just a little crazy. It really does explain a lot…

      You will be happy to know that I have a number of lovely trips coming up that do NOT include my dysfunctional family! I’m not THAT crazy!

      Thanks for your concern about the drinking! The older I get, the less my body is able to tolerate “adult beverages”. I’ve cut back over the past few years and really cut back since I’ve been running. It’s just empty calories that give me a headache in the morning. Ouch!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for your lovely compliment! I’m pretty sure that ancient man (or woman) came up with the idea of wine while AT a family reunion! And your analogy is spot on! It’s interesting that you and I both are using dental themed analogies. Coincidence? Probably not. I’m sure we have both done our share of suffering in the dental chair of shame… Open wide….

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know – right? And it was decent frozen pizza! We also got some other salady things at the deli so there was sort of a selection. At that point, I was so hungry, I was willing to buy the entire deli section of Harris Teeter!

      Thanks – it was nice to have that joy from my happy innocent little grandson to somewhat counterbalance his parents crankiness! Oops – I said that out loud didn’t I? 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I’m glad I survived too, but honestly, a few times it was touch and go… I am still experiencing some repercussions from some of the drama on the weekend. I hate drama. Unless it makes a good AGMA post and then is has some (a very few) redeeming qualities.


    • Thanks Louise! And if you don’t know what a DeadMau5 is, then you are living a good, decent life! The picture at the top of my post is a picture of DeadMau5 (actually pronounced “deadmouse”) I put a link in my post to one of his techno-electro-euro DJ house music YouTube things. Hot rivets.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Perhaps we should start a pool on how many more years your son and DIL plan to act like narcissistic spoiled brats. Keep smiling and look yourself in the mirror every day and repeat after me … “IT’S NOT ME!!!”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh – I think they are in it for the long haul so don’t put your money on a change anytime soon…. I don’t see anything changing them from NSB to grateful, gracious, kind adults in the foreseeable future. So sad for them really. And yes – I get it (thanks in part to your wisdom!) – IT’S NOT ME!!!! Boy, knowing and embracing that really does make a huge difference! Thanks!


  5. Pingback: As time goes by | Aging Gracefully My Ass

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