Family: Sometimes the unexpected turns out than the expected

I’m not sure how it happened, but my home, normally a quiet, adult only, no pet, smoking allowed facility, got a little crazy this weekend.

Originally, I had these plans for a quiet Sunday in which to plan and prepare a picture perfect dinner party.

But, as usual, life got in the way of my idealistic self.

It started with the dog, Marble. Well, actually, it started with a phone call.

“Mom, can you come and get Marble? We’re all going skiing.”

We brought Marble, accompanied by two dog dishes, one bag of dog food and one red leash, home.

Marble wasn’t the least perturbed about his sudden change of residence and settled in immediately. He followed me everywhere, close enough so that I couldn’t turn around without tripping over him. He seemed to enjoy being annoying like that.

He also enjoyed sleeping with me on the couch, sprawling out so he had possession of most of it, ignoring the fact I was crunched up uncomfortably in the tiny bit that was left.

The second phone call came early the next morning.

“Mom, I think I’ll bring the two younger boys and Molly out for a visit. Is that okay? Are you busy?”

I had planned an adult dinner party that evening. The guests were to arrive around 6 p.m. and, in my mind, I visualized sparkling silverware, wine glasses and muted conversation flowing effortlessly among the guests. Soft dinner music would be playing in the background. There would be no dogs underfoot, no kid’s toys to trip over.

“Nope,” I said, “not busy at all. I would love to see you.”

And so they arrived, two little bright faces that never fail to bring joy to grandma’s heart and Molly, the dog, who brings considerably less joy to my heart.

Molly and I have had our differences, mostly because Molly, who is all fur and claws, doesn’t understand about boundaries. But, today, she seems happy to lie on the floor, almost slipping into some kind of blissful trance, while I petted her and scratched her belly.

“My goodness,” I think to myself. “Am I bonding with this dog?”

The doorbell rang again. The dogs barked. The kids were playing a game called run and yell really loud.

I opened the door and there standing on the doorstep was an old friend who had just stopped by to say hello. He had stopped by before, but that was about three years ago.

“Welcome to crazy,” I say, quite like I’m quite used to people stopping by every three years or so. “Come on in.”

And so it came to be that the kids played, the dogs haughtily ignored each other and the adults visited and it was good.

And, in the end, the dinner party went as planned. The table, all set with a beautiful red tablecloth, and red and white napkins, was lovely and the guests were charming and delightful.

And, slowly the snow globe in which I lived, turned upside for a few hours, righted itself and normalcy returned to my world.

But, in my mind I still see those two dogs haughtily ignoring each other in my kitchen and the boys unknowingly spreading rays of sunshine into my world with their very presence.

And I can hear the doorbell ring and see an unexpected guest at my doorstep.

And, weirdly enough, I feel grateful that the expected moments of my day were filled with the unexpected.

Expect the unexpected. Sometimes, it’s more fun. Definitely!

Treena Mielke lives in Sylvan Lake and is editor of the Rimbey Review.

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