Although Carmen turned 21 a month ago this weekend past was the only time that she could get leave on a weekend and it was a long weekend making it possible for more people to come.
Raewyn and Dylan arrived first, their flight landed Thursday morning.
Jess and I both very excited went to pick them up. We had not seen them since December.
The red plane is Raewyn and Dylan’s. They flew to the small airport Lanseria you can still see flights landing.
Their flight was empty so they were out of it and looking for us in minutes.
We had breakfast while waiting for the traffic to die down.
Raewyn then told me that they give talks on the flight saying that words such as gun, bomb, hi-jacking etc may not be used.
I am very relieved. My daughter was not escorted off the plane. Let me explain, things like that are a challenge to Raewyn.
I looked at her and said:
“You are never flying again.”
I was being completely serious I have horror visions of Rae being detained for terrorism.
The weather totally behaved Johannesburg was being it’s usual freeze the crap out of you self, so I told my family all to bring lots of warm clothes. From Thursday when Raewyn arrived the sun came out and it was hot for the first time in weeks.
Thursday night Raewyn asked if “a couple of her closest friends” could come round for a small get together. Typical Raewyn style they kept arriving and arriving. When I asked her about it, her answer was:
“But these are my closest friends.”
“And their closest friends, siblings, cousins....”
My Mom arrived I saw her last in January so it was also a very happy reunion.
That evening Michael, my Mom and I left to fetch Carmen and Jason from the airport.
The electric gate would not open so we first had to sort it out to get out. Then we were stopped in a roadblock around the corner from home. Our licence disk paper has gone missing so we got a fine.
Then we were half way when the head lights stopped working so again we had to pull over so that Michael could fix them.
Fortunately Carmen and Jason’s flight was full and they came out very late so all the delays did not matter.
Carmen said that I was going to hug all her breath out but it is kind of how a Mom reacts after not seeing her child for half a year.
My Mom gave Carmen a photo album full of old family photos. Rae gave Carmen a beautiful dress that she bought specially for Carmen to wear to the party. I was totally gansta, a week before, I called Carmen told her not to buy a dress because a friend gave me a lovely dress. Carmen did not suspect a thing. We all stayed up chatting and chatting.
The next day was a rush of shopping and preparations.
Saturday morning I rushed to the shops to do the last shopping. We all went to the moth hall to prepare it for the party. Fortunately I had lots of helpers. Michael started the chicken curry potjie and went back home to cook the macaroni. Half of the Birthday cake flopped but fortunately half was fine. He was upset as he hardly ever flops any baking.
Frankie (Jess’ friend) got very creative with bathroom decorations.
When we finally had the hall beautiful and ready we drove home quickly to get dressed.
We arrived home to chaos my sister Penny was making the soups and asked me how much time she had left. I told her an hour. She said there was no way she was going to make it.
I had to finish putting Carmen’s printed book together. Raewyn realised she had nothing to wear. She is a size 8 I am a size 20. I remembered that I had a blouse that I knew would fit her and it is lovely. She quickly tried it on, it worked.
Miraculously my sister finished the soup we all got dressed and ready and were at the venue at time 6pm. Then we realised that we had left the sparkling wine and pudding chocolates behind, so I had to drive back again.
We put on a slide show of Carmen’s book. I was going to keep quiet and let it roll. Michael came over and whispered:
This is very odd I know but I am very good at impromptu public speeches. I completely suck if I prepare it so it all went well.
Raewyn was MC, she called me to first say something about Carmen.
When I finished before the next person came Rae put a chair down and told Carmen to come and sit on the little stage with the people speaking about her.
Again this was Michael’s idea. I really am married to the most considerate man.
When Carmen finally spoke after being fed way too many tequilas, she was wobbling on her skinny little legs. She was talking about standing at the edge of a cliff with Jason and it was soo funny because she was standing at the edge of the stage and we all were scared she was going to fall off. Fortunately Raewyn plopped her down on the chair to safely continue speaking.
I went back to fetch the last stragglers, fortunately because none of them were sober enough to drive. It took me forever to convince Jason to get in the car because he was looking for his beers and I kept explaining to him that Carsten took them home for him.
The next day we all had “bubble eyes” my sister’s word for babalaas which I think is an SA only term for hangover.
Carmen also picked up Jess' flu and they spent the entire day in bed.
We spent the evening in the lounge eating heaps of popcorn and watching movies.
The following morning I took Raewyn, my Mom and Dylan to the bus stop.
I was thinking about buying a tazer and keeping Carmen, Raewyn, Jason, Dylan and my Mom in our cottage locked up. Somebody did point out that Carmen and Raewyn might kill each other which would make the capture pointless.
Jason was at his parent’s house and Carmen spent a quiet day with us watching comedies.
Now that song “Every time you go away, you take a piece of me with you,” is stuck in my head.