HOLIDAY SEASON ON MAUI - HERE COME THE VISITORS
My 85 year old father, we call him Pa, is coming for the holidays, and he's staying for 4 months this time. Yikes - we're picking him up tonight! This is how we balance all of our lives during the holiday season:
I need to keep balanced - As the chief cook and bottle washer, I'm going to need some extra time preparing meals, so I will be sure to assign some responsibilities to Pa. Last year he was in charge of recyclables, and he can do that again. With the extra mouths around, the bottles tend to pile up faster, and someone needs to take out the bottles and cans and cardboard on a daily basis. I know he likes to do this, since he does it at his home, in a very organized matter. Out the door and into their respective garbage cans, or storage shed. One less thing for me to do, and one more way for him to feel helpful. I like that balance.
My husband needs to keep balanced - He is burdened with all the maintenance of a couple of properties, with multiple buildings, as well as livestock, and working for neighbors. He's the repair man, the lawn man, the painter (wait a minute, I thought that was my job), the plumber, the electrician, the builder, the hauler, the guy with the tractor, the "honey-do" guy. If he could clone himself we'd all be way ahead. He will have some projects for my dad to help with, to ease his own load. Pa really likes to be "hands-on" and he's pretty meticulous (for an old guy). He used to work with his hands, as a surgeon, and enjoys doing some carpentry or painting. This year we'll again get him to assemble and paint some sections of deck railings and pickets, and maybe we'll get this house completed before next Christmas rolls around.
Pa needs to keep balanced - Literally. Like he says, he notices that he's getting a little more wobbly. I can't imagine why! Last year he decided it was about time to start using the golf cart when he plays with his younger golf buddies that's he's made over here. Not because he's getting lazy, but because it won't slow them down so much. He's being considerate of their time, and finding the right balance.
In fact, by learning to live in 2 places, Maui and Vancouver, he has to make some adjustments. This is the longest stretch of time for him to be on Maui, and that will require some balance. My sister in law is house sitting for him "back home". That's a nice balance.
My sister needs to keep balanced - She lives not too far away in Haiku, but in a small house without a lot of spare room. Pa will take turns staying with us and staying with her, so nobody is "hogging" him, you know. That way he gets the best of both worlds, the quiet country life and the busier town life. She and I usually work out a switch off day that coincides with his golfing dates. One of us will take him to golf and the other will pick him up, twice a week! So far that's a good balance for her and me.
As part of our Holiday Balance, we'll all get together for holiday meals and the occasional day at the beach. Pa's birthday is in January and we like to make a party for him. Hey, how many more can there be? One year we all got together at the Maui Country Club for a nice lunch. Last year it was a barbecue party at our house. Not sure what it will be this year, but whatever happens, we will have all his friends and ours come together to celebrate this special person, my father, who has managed to balance his time and his life with those around him.
I hope you can all find some balance in your lives during this busy time. ALOHA