We spent yesterday at my Mom's sister's house and, upon leaving, I felt like Pig Pen. My other aunt and grandmother went over Friday to help clean. I hate to think of what it was like before that. The counters were gross, the bathrooms were gross, and I wouldn't have sat on the floor in the living room for money. They smoke in their bedroom (at least), so I had to avoid half the house because of my asthma. Asthma hasn't been a problem for years, but last weekend I came down with a bacterial upper respiratory that made it flare up.

My aunt has her grandkids right now (ages 5 and 18 months), so she wants to host at Christmas, too, but I don't think I can do it. She didn't host very well. Her husband hid in his bedroom and he didn't say one word to me. My Dad hides in his room sometimes (his family is considerably smaller), but it's only to take breaks. He comes out and talks to people. The only reason my aunt's husband said hello to my Mom was because she was standing in his way. Once his daughter and new grandbaby showed up, we weren't really paid any attention to.

Last year, my aunt accused my mom of being bossy several times. It was right after my Grandpa died and everyone was upset and reacting the way they were going to react, but it really hurt her feelings for my aunt to repeatedly say it in almost every situation. My Mom is the oldest of six, so she's always been the one to jump in and delegate. She refused to tell anyone to do anything yesterday. She went in with the approach that she was letting it all go. None of the others delegate anything, so it takes forever to get things done. We didn't eat (lunch) until after 3.

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At 2, I baked a potato for my autistic kid and gave him some of the green beans I brought. He gets a little freaked out when he gets too hungry and he can't run around snatching crackers off the table like the toddlers. My dad was cutting the turkey, and offered him some, but he didn't take it. That was good, because later my other aunt was saying that she rubbed the outside with mayo. Dairy is out for Kenny because he is allergic to whey. So my Dad started getting upset when she told him. I told him it was no big deal because Kenny didn't want or eat any turkey. He did grab a regular cookie while I was getting his food ready. Everyone looked horrified as I made him spit what was in his mouth into my palm.

When we did eat, all of the food was just kind of left stacked up on the stove. None of it was laid out. She didn't get out any serving spoons or utensils. My daughter and I had to hunt through drawers to find them.

I don't think anyone ate my green beans, which was their loss because my green beans rock. I boiled them in chicken stock and a splash of lemon juice until they were tender and then drained them and tossed them with lemon pepper. I took all the left overs home.

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I watched my aunt's husband, daughter and her husband grab huge pieces of the chocolate pie I made, eat the filling, and then throw away the crust. It was gluten free, which, if they had been talking to me at all, I would have told them.

Both my kids and I had started coughing after lunch, so my Dad packed us up and got us out the door. I felt a little bad that we didn't stay to do dishes. My mom is usually the one who starts cleaning and she refused to tell anyone to do anything yesterday, so who knows if anything actually got clean afterward. I swept through really quick after dinner to make plates for my husband and brother, who couldn't come because of work.

It is a 2 hour drive back home and my Dad kept offering to stop and feed us and I had to tell him that all I could smell was smoke clinging to my hair and clothes. It was unappetizing. All I wanted to do was go home and shower.