We Are Family

new bookcase 0919
My new bookcase just outside the luxurious guest room with pillow-top floor-level mattress and Marrakesh-approved loveseat cushions. It’s all in the marketing.

You wouldn’t really think of City Market as such a large place. Many people I know complain about having to go there. No one has any love at all for the parking lot, but the chief complaint I hear from shoppers is that they run into everyone they know, so shopping takes a lot longer than they intend. But it turns out, if you’re trying to find someone, well, then the place is huge.

Lynn and I went in together yesterday, but separated right at the door, me headed to the pharmacy (no one has much love for this pharmacy, either: it’s perpetually understaffed, and way too many of their counter employees give off an air of just not caring) and Lynn off armed with the scanner only she seems to love and her electronic shopping list and coupons made of pixels.

[Here’s my latest dilemma: at my check-up I was given orders for a few blood tests, one to measure the effectiveness of a prescription they wouldn’t renew, so I haven’t been on the medication for two weeks, another because they don’t believe that donating blood right before the health fair might impact my iron levels. So I need to figure out how to make only one trip to the hospital before I donate blood later this month but after I’ve been back on medication.]

After I finished at the pharmacy, where a customer in front of me held an endless discussion with the technician before leaving empty-handed, I went looking for Lynn. And looking and looking. Instead, I found RE.

My sister Tia has in-laws that I like to think of as my in-laws as well. Her husband’s mom lives here in Gunnison, and his sister and her family are not so far away in Lake City. Rebecca is married to Robert Earle Hall (the III, I think), who is generally known as RE (run the letters together and say “Ree”), and yesterday he was easier to find than Lynn.

He said he’d tried to get hold of me in June, for the sort of emergency that could really only happen to a Lake City resident. When you think tiny and remote, you’re thinking Lake City, whether you know it or not. While we in Gunnison think we have to travel to obtain certain services, people in Lake City come to the big city of Gunnison for basics, like groceries and driver’s licenses. Of course, they have a movie theatre and we don’t, so there.

Somehow RE’s son Ian is old enough to get his license. RE thought they were all prepared: they’d made the appointment and he asked Ian which family vehicle he wanted to test in (Mom’s Explorer was chosen), and they came to Gunnison. Ian was nervous, of course, and I gather he would have preferred to have his mom escort him rather than his dad — and then it nearly completely unraveled. They went into the office without current paperwork for the car. RE managed to find current proof of insurance, but the registration was about six months out of date, and Ian wasn’t going to be able to take his test. Replacement vehicles were two hours away, to Lake City and back.

So RE tried to call me, since my shop is right across the street from the driver’s license office. I never got word that he tried to reach me (this happens more than it should when I’m at work), but they defaulted to Grandma, whom they caught as she was on her way out of town. She turned around at Blue Mesa Dam, and Ian was able to use her truck and pass his test. Which may have been just as well; the electric car takes a bit of getting used to (is this thing on?) and might have been distracting. Of course, he took the test in an unfamiliar pick-up and passed (surely they still require parallel parking), so maybe it wouldn’t have fazed Ian at all.

While talking to RE yesterday, we both had a Lynn sighting, so all was well in City Market. Then Lynn and I saw my co-worker Ben, back from a week in Canada. He was trying to find his wife, but couldn’t remember where the soup aisle was. (I was no help.) A short time later I saw both of them together, so again, all was well in City Market.

Then Lynn and I went home to prepare for our first overnight guest. Tia arrives in town today to spend most of the week on-site at her new school-district job, and she is the lucky one who breaks in our guest room.

And we are pulling out all the stops: she is bringing her own microwaveable food (she’s on a diet), and we could be microwaveless: the one Lynn purloined is going back to the Almont PO before she gets caught; she is going to try to exchange the one that died and I am going to inquire as to the status of the very expensive one we paid for but apparently will never get to use. In the meantime, Tia, welcome to our house.

She’s getting a mattress on the floor (but a brand-new quilt on top of it, a gift from our friend Rita) and she will be surrounded by every piece of art we own. And a closet with a bunch of crap crammed in it.

In my worldview (wherein we moved and everything was automatically unpacked and in place), this room would already be completely set up for Tia to use as her home-away from-home for the school year. She could have some space in the dresser, and there would be room in the closet for her to leave clothes if she wanted.

I’m still holding out hope for a murphy bed. Months ago Lynn found a really cool one that featured an entire wall of bookshelves. When you want to lower the bed, the middle section of books rolls over the outside sections. But this requires more than 10 feet of wall space, which we don’t have.

So now I’ve set my sights on one that converts to a desk when the bed is up, with faux cabinets above it and functional bookshelves, possibly file drawers, on either side. The faux cabinet seems like a waste, but I thought perhaps some piece of artwork could be well-anchored to the wall and then just rest under the bed when it’s down. The other caveat with this arrangement is that I wouldn’t be able to clutter the desk like I have with every other desk I’ve ever owned or occupied. Well, I could, but the clutter would need to move every time a guest arrived.

Which could be more than we think. Next week we have unexpected guests: Lynn’s brother and sister-in-law plan to come. And while we thought we might be lucky to talk them into staying long enough for a meal, they are planning to spend two nights with us. We are very excited to host them as they head back to Wisconsin from a vacation in California.

Concerned about our less-than-ideal accommodations (but maybe by then they won’t have to navigate around the boxes waiting for library shelves), we offered the Riverwalk guest cabin, but they actually opted for the mattress on the floor. At least it’s a pillowtop. Maybe by then, by probably not, we’ll have a microwave. Welcome to our humble home.

But we’ll be here, with family, and that’s really all that matters, yes?

One thought on “We Are Family

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