Many Happy Returns

I am quite sure my father-in-law will kill me for blogging this but it is really too funny not to share…

They had just returned from visiting their daughter in Australia for three months, and would be stopping off in Gauteng for a couple of days before heading back to the farm in the Eastern Cape. Their plane arrived at 04h30 on Monday morning – Chris and I misjudged the length of time that it takes for elderly people to clear customs (very quick) and the poor parentals had to wait for us. They are not exactly spring chickens any longer – having 155 years between them.

The rest of Monday was slow. Naps were had. Not much happened. They realized, now that they were back in South Africa, they were simply busting to get home to the farm. Elise was badly missing her lovely dog Bella too. They decided to leave a day earlier than planned.

The original plan was to sleep two nights with us and one with relatives in Germiston. The new plan involved only one night with us to speed up the process of going home. We understood completely.

Tuesday arrived. The rellies were only going to be home after 16h00. Anybody who has driven between Pretoria and Johannesburg in rush hour knows that our traffic is beyond ghastly on occasions. Lucien and Elise’s plan was to leave our house at 14h45. They would deal with the traffic but hopefully would miss much of it.

Around 13h30 Lucien was sorting out his cell phone to get his navigator up when he realized that the cell battery was on its last legs. Panic stations ensued for a few moments because he knew there was no ways he’d be able to find his way without it.

I said he was welcome to borrow my Garmin – seeing as we all now have navigators on our cell phones it is no longer worth its weight in gold like it used to be. Lucien was not keen because he knew it would be months before we could reclaim it.

Luckily new cell phones have super quick chargers and these days they all fit. Their old cell phone charged quickly on my charger and all was well.

Heavy suitcases were lugged downstairs and Luan helped his grandfather pack the car. On the way out Lucien scooped up assorted bits and pieces. Luckily Luan was helping to stash them in the car and discovered (to his outrage) that his backpack full of new books for varsity was about to illegally venture off to regions unknown.

Amid much giggling and laughter he reclaimed his backpack. Eventually Lucien and Elise managed to leave the complex around 15h00.

My sister from the USA was arriving the following day so I scooped up all the linen to wash. Looked around for the towels… nowhere to be found… Luan confessed to packing them into the car. No worries – I’d get those later.

Emma had run out of her dastardly cigarettes so we jumped into the car and were on the way to the shop when my cell phone rang. It was Lucien. The floozie on the navigator was completely crazy, was taking him the wrong way and kept cutting out. Could he please borrow the Garmin after all? (Did I mention that Lucien can get a bit irate at times?)

Whilst we were speaking I noticed that we had both arrived at the same circle – they were coming from a totally wrong direction. The Garmin was indeed needed. They followed me to the shop but again disappeared in the wrong direction. We finally met up at home a bit later. (And yes – Luan hauled the towels out of the car.)

The Garmin was flat – needed to be plugged into the car lighter before I could programme in the address. This I did – reshuffling cell phones in the process. Meanwhile… our home phone rang and rang – my sister’s number showed up but I missed the call.

By now it was 15h20 and the traffic is hotting up.

Eventually everything was sorted. It was decided that Elise would rather drive and Lucien would navigate. The Garmin was stuck to the window so it would be able to see all the satellites and not cut out. The Garmin floozie knows where she is going – hopefully.

All was well. Once again we waved them good bye and Luan went off to open the complex gate for them.

I decided to send my sister an sms, confirming that I would collect her from the airport the next day. Opened my phone and was confused to find it looked completely different. Turned out the cell phone in my hand belonged to Elise.

I flew out of the house yelling No No No and bumped into Luan returning from the gate – he took off at lightning speed to try and stop them. Luckily they had two cell phones and we could still call one of them.

Many happy returns… they came back to fetch the phone.

The poor parentals then had a horrible drive to Germiston in full-on rush hour traffic. They did reach their destination safely.


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