Comings and goings

It has been a long and wonderful three weeks. That’s how long we’ve had members of E.’s family visiting us. The occasion was the celebration of our tenth wedding anniversary (actually this December, but it’s so much more fun to get people together to celebrate in the summertime). Our guests included E.’s father, both of her sisters, her youngest brother, and her youngest sister’s spouse. We were sorry that E.’s mother wasn’t able to come and join us, nor were her other brother and his family, but this is by far the most of E.’s extended family whose ever come to visit us at once and we were so very glad to have them.

Some highlights from these few weeks:

We had a big get-together on Saturday a couple of weeks ago. I cooked on the new grill (photos below) with lots of help, especially from sister-in-law. My parents came down from Maine and my sister and her boyfriend up from Virginia to join in the festivities, as did our best man. I can’t speak for anyone else, but I had a wonderful time. It certainly looked like other people were, too. There was lots of food, but not many leftovers, which I take to be a good sign. For some of the people there it was a first opportunity to meet some of the transatlantic family; for others, it was a chance to see some old friends. Late in the day there was some swimming and some croquet, thoroughly dominated by E.’s father the engineer.

A couple of days later, we had a lobster/barbeque ribs dinner for everyone who was still around (or felt like coming back). It was a no-untensil, all-napkin meal: lobster, ribs, corn, and cut vegetables. I gave lobster-eating instructions to those who needed it. Unfortunately, sister-in-law, who is allergic to shellfish, was bothered just by being around the cooked lobsters and didn’t get to enjoy the night with the rest of us, but we did our best to get the offending articles out of the house and she was okay the next day.

I volunteered to be designated driver for some of the gang who wanted to go to Hooters (apparently there is nothing like it in Finland). I didn’t know what to expect, though I wasn’t really looking forward to it, but it turned out to be okay. The restaurant delivered on its promise: perky, busty waitresses in skimpy clothes serving crappy food and enormous amounts of alcohol, but managed to be so wrapped up in it’s own knowing cheesiness that it didn’t feel dirty. It’s what a strip club designed by Disney would look like. I have no intention of going back, but I don’t feel dirty for having gone.

Although I knew it already, I was reminded of the fact that: damn, Finns can hold their liquor.

Various subsets of us went to see Avengers, The Dark Knight Rises, and Spider-man. It’s interesting to see that superhero movies have evolved to the point of having several quite distinct sub-genres from dark, moody thriller to quirky coming-of-age story.

There was lots of swimming (I did a lot of that), lots of early-morning running (I did none of that), some shopping (I did a little of that) and lots of cooking and eating (I did a fair share of both, but by no means all).

Our last guest left this morning and the house is quiet again. I’ll admit that I was running out of steam towards the end (sorry to those of you who stayed longer, I wasn’t much fun for the last week or so). But I’m still incredibly glad that so many people came and I’m glad we were able to offer a place to stay. We may not be doing this again any time soon, but we are both very very happy to have done it once.

Selected pictures below

Preparation: building the stand for the new grill

It’s all drystone, so the pieces on top can be rearranged for different purposes

Some of the family

Some more of the family

And even more family.

Swimming in the pond.

Making s’mores

Croquet game in progress

And more croquet. The croquet set was a big success.

Exploring Salem



2 Responses to “Comings and goings”

  1. Lii Says:

    A most wonderful time was had! Thank you *so much*!

  2. Timo Says:

    A memorable reunion with warm and relaxed atmosphere. Many thanks.


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