Many not-at-all-serious moments occurred when John and I were with my family and our friends in Queensland recently. Several took place when we were visiting my youngest sister and ailing husband in Northern Queensland. He was having a down day and the subject of death came up, producing a tough moment for all of us. “Today?” I interjected hoping to lighten the mood. John was seconds behind me with “Please hang around for a couple more days until we leave.” Laughter erupted and we continue to be optimistic for his being around for many years to come.
While we were there, this conscientious farmer kept us well fed with mangos, passion fruit and bananas from their property. Each night he would set out the ripest onto flat surfaces in their attached laundry room. Someone forgot to close window and or door that night. A visiting possum or bird greatly appreciated his thoughtfulness in supplying their midnight snack. Across the road at their son’s place, one of my great-nephews was given the “task” of teaching Auntie Kay how to use the controls on the cherry picker which is used to pick the avocados. This 9 year old was more than up to that. “Higher!” shouted my nephew. “Go up as high as it will go.” Whee…
My sister purposefully invited a published author and his wife to visit. Chats, suggestions, and explanations were round the table in orderly fashion – until he put on his “one-legged” spectacles. “You’d better sell another book and buy yourself some new glasses,” I suggested. Amidst the laughter that followed my somewhat embarrassed sibling said, “This is my cheekiest sister!”
On the plane returning from that lovely visit, the steward stressed the importance of turning off our cell phones. My brother had sent one up for me, but un-tecky as I am, I hadn’t a clue how to do that. I signalled a stewardess for assistance. She looked at it blankly, took it from me, and soon three attendants were fiddling with it. Eventually returning it to me and showing me what to do, she announced for all near us to hear: “That’s an antique!”
I couldn’t help answering back: “I’m the antique.” We heard a few sympathetic chuckles.
Meantime, another sister was organizing Family Day at our apartment, sending out emails to let everyone know details. Staying in our apartment while we were gone, she had time to check out the facilities. “Come up to the apartment if you come early,” she suggested. “There is room here for 23 bottoms!” In actual fact, 28 individuals found space before we joined 4 more at the pub below for lunch. To my delight, several cousins made the trip to join us. Because a key was needed to use the elevator, visitors had to phone from the lobby to ask one of us could come down. When my cousin phoned, I said, “I’ll be right there, but I’m wearing bare feet!” And off I went. Payback came a day later when we visited them in their hotel across the road. There was my cousin’s husband waiting for us in the lobby – bare-footed!
It was a good thing, perhaps, that that sister was not in the parking garage a day later as John, my “old” High School buddy who was navigating, and I approached the back end of her snazzy car so kindly loaned to us for the duration. She might have had second thoughts if she’d heard me ask my friend, “Which side of the car is the steering wheel on?”