HELEN LANG: Feeling great with family

For the first time in my life I’m kind of relieved summer is winding down

For the first time in my life I’m kind of relieved summer is winding down. Probably because I’m getting older by the day and most of my many Grandchildren have come to see me.

I think they figured they better come and see me,and bring their off-spring, before I shed this mortal coil. Too much, man! I must have aged 10 years dealing with all this company.

Much as I love each one (and I do) it has been a hectic time and I totter off to bed by eight o’clock each night and crawl in without even getting undressed. (This saves a lot of time in the morning, too.)

Actually all these family visits sort of worry me. Have they heard something I haven’t yet been told?

“I feel great,” said she (flexing the muscles on her left knee-cap to prove it).

I did consider sneaking off to a motel when these family visits started and hiding out there until school starts. But I decided that would be a chicken-hearted way to deal with things, so here I am … still alive … sorta.

My balcony garden has suffered too. If it weren’t for my middle daughter, Leslie, who is a keen gardener, everything out there would be either dead or dying. She appears and the tap never stops running until every plant is sighing with relief! Saved, just in the nick of time!

I am still in the kitchen, cooking madly for the next group of hungry relatives. I am only partly teasing.

It has been a wild couple of very busy weeks! There are a couple of canvas chairs out on the balcony, but I haven’t had time to sit in either of them. Yet now that summer is almost over, and most of the family have been here, I may just go out there and put my feet up on the railing and relax. That probably will never happen.

I sit down and notice the hibiscus (which has spent the summer outside) has a couple of yellowing leaves and the zinnias in that long planter are fading fast. There is some mildew on one of the clematis leaves. Not very restful, somehow. I think I’ll get changed and go out grocery shopping instead.

One of the Grandsons arrived with a whole armful of flowers, bless him! Grandchildren are very satisfactory people … you don’t have to cook for them, do their dirty laundry, change their bed sheets and they still treat you like royalty! Very nice! I recommend it!

I cringe at the thought of how much the glorious bouquet cost and then remember that both husband and wife have wonderful jobs and spending a fortune on flowers is not a problem! I long to tell them that I’d be happier if they gave the money to a charity instead and sent me the receipt as a Christmas gift. I’d love to suggest that but don’t want to hurt their feelings. They don’t deserve suggestions from me, just lots and lots of loving.

P.S. I still think that would be a great idea!

Helen Lang has been the Peninsula News Review’s garden columnist for more than 30 years.