Saturday, September 13, 2008

Nocturnal tent-pitching

It takes Erin 55 minutes (downhill) to walk to school. There's no school bus service or public transit, so she's on foot in the mornings. Her grandmother lives 2 minutes' walk from the school, so the plan was that Erin would finish up at school each day and then head to her grandmother's where she could use the spare room to do her violin practicing. Then she'd call for a ride home.

Everything's working well and going as planned. Grandma is actually out of the country for the first two weeks of school, though, so Erin has been going to an empty house. And quite enjoying the combination of the new adventure of school and basically having a house to herself for the afternoon. In amongst other e-mail correspondence between my mom and myself has been the following exchange:

Me: Erin is very much enjoying your house. Nothing personal, but she's wondering if you could find somewhere else to live when you return.

My mom: Tell Erin that she can have the house if she looks after cleaning and my laundry, provides all meals, tends the garden (including lawn cutting) and pays an exorbitant rent. I'll live in a tent on the lower lawn. (But I will need to come in and out to use the bathroom.)

Me: Erin is trying to figure out how to get a job so that she can pay you rent on your place while you live on the lower lawn in a tent. She will leave your meals and laundry at the top of the steps.

My mom: I really think the meals and laundry should be delivered to the bottom of the steps.

My mom is due back tomorrow. So this evening we went and put this on her lower lawn:

Yes, that's a tent. It looks rather diminutive amongst the trees in the dark, but in full daylight it will be quite obvious as she arrives home by driving right past the lower part of her property on her way to the parking area. We also placed a Bathroom Sign-up Schedule on her door, with 90% of it X'd off as "not available" and most of the remaining time marked as "Erin." There are four one-hour time slots still available. Alas, there is no time available on Sundays or Fridays. I guess she'll just have to manage.

Here's hoping she doesn't kill some airport time at an internet café and happen to check my blog on the way home. That would ruin all the fun of the surprise.


  1. That's hilarious!! What great senses of humor!!! Wish I could be there when she pulls up. LOL!

  2. LOL! Oh'll have to post about her reaction when she returns home. Can't wait to hear lol

  3. LOL! That's hilarious!

  4. That is hilarious! LOVE IT.
    Your mom has the same sense of humour that my mom does.
    The tent looks a little small though, maybe she will need a dining tent inbetween those two trees to the right ;o)

  5. That is so funny! Make sure you let us know how she reacts. What a cute joke to pull on ole mom.

  6. Oh what fun, Miranda! Looking forward to the reaction. :)

  7. I'm going to comment on something else; 55 min by foot???? that's some motivaiton to go where she's going :) I don't think I know of any other kids who would gladly put that kind of effort into going somewhere...least of all school *lol* - but I guess that goes to show how great it is when our children (alright, young adult in your case :)) choose consciously for themselves something.
    my dh asked though: doesn't she have a bike?? (we're in the biking-country here; Denmask!)
    Mette - from Copenhagen, Denmark

  8. Yes, she has a bike, but she prefers to walk mostly because of the mountains. She's often carrying both a book bag and a large awkward violin. Bikes here are mountain bikes, and don't have large racks and baskets that would handle something like a violin. Biking is awful on the way home due to the very steep uphill grade. Very steep! So practically speaking I'd have pick her and her bike up and drive them home... which necessitates taking the front wheel off and folding seats down in the van to fit it in. She also enjoys the quiet and solitude of the walk. Biking is hair-rising, cold and windy, due to reaching speeds of 60+ km/h on the downhill. She walks the last ten minutes with a friend which is nice. And walking will also work once the snow flies ... which will be in another couple of months.

    If it were me I still think I'd prefer to ride, but Erin enjoys the walk.


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