Last week, I had the good fortune of having friends visit with a purpose – Dave & Nancy offered to return to Brigadoon to tackle the enormous job of cleaning the carpets at the inn. I was overwhelmed at their offer – and very thankful for their generosity – and was happy to host them and two other couples for the weekend of "work & play". Little did I know that it would turn into a Seinfeld episode!
You see, this is the second marriage for Dave & Nancy – who are the most compatible and romantic couple I know after 14+ years of marriage together. As part of the weekend project, Dave & Nancy brought two other couples with them: Jamie & Jim, one of Nancy’s sons, and Kim & Dave Jr. (one of Dave’s sons), along with their 18 month old Kalub and 2 month old GraceAnn. Now one might think that step kids may keep their distance from one another, but I can assure you that the relationships between these "kids" were more like those of life-long natural siblings. In fact, I learned from Nancy that Jamie & Jim are Kalub’s godparents – which is again a tribute to the values of relationships that I’m sure they learned from Dave & Nancy.
Early on Friday morning after our other guests left, Dave Sr., Dave Jr., and Jim went to work on the veranda and living room carpets. As the guys took to the carpets and the ladies tended to the babies, I could have sworn I was hearing the comical banter between Jerry, George, and Kramer. "Let me run that bad boy buffer", Dave Jr. would say as Dad looked on with concern and Seinfeld-like commentary about "who hasn’t run this machine in 10 years" – all the while, Jim was misting the liquid detergent on the carpet and stained areas. I stood around long enough to witness spraying and buffing … and a few hours later, I wasn’t positive if the carpet was the only victim of the process. The veranda windows were clean and dry, the hallways were clear of any buffer marks … but the guys were coated with the cleaning solution and smelled like the faint citrus flavor of the chemicals (maybe they should consider adding Vitamin C to the mixture, since you can’t help inhaling it). Their faces were shiny and their eyes a bit glassy -- but I didn’t ask any questions. Just as on Seinfeld, I assumed that the "boys will be boys" …
About 2 hours into the process (they were upstairs by now), I was chatting with Nancy while she was holding her precious granddaughter Gracie. We were startled by the front door opening, and the gliding-in presence of a tall, gangly guy who momentarily reminded us of Kramer. Lo and behold, it was Jim Jr., the son of Jim and his first wife Missie – who was on his way with his mom to visit her parents in Escanaba (UP) when they made their spur of the moment decision to stop by to say hello at Brigadoon. After a short visit, they were on their way – or at least they thought they were – until they learned that the Bridge was temporarily closed due to ice falling off the cables (this was true – I couldn’t have made this one up!). Jim Jr., Missie and her 9 month old son Connor came back to Brigadoon again to wait out the closing – and you guessed it, this time Jim Sr. proceeded to put Jim Jr. to work helping with the carpet cleaning. Now, here was another great example of a successfully blended extended family, as we all stopped for a lunch break of sandwiches and chips – which was also a great time to watch the children interact. It almost turned into a test of stain removal on the newly cleaned carpet, however, as Kalub chowed down on one-too-many Oreos for his little mouth. Fortunately, Grandpa was there with a napkin in the nick of time!
Oh yes, and another one of those "small world" scenarios again – Missie and her husband John were our guests here at Brigadoon in the summer of 2001. It’s such a small world, isn’t it?
Oh yes, and yet another one – Dave’s administrative assistant Angela and her husband Jerry had also made a reservation at Brigadoon for that evening. It’s a smaller and smaller world … and sounding more and more like a Seinfeld episode, eh?
Well, when the job was done, the carpets looked fantastic! The crew deserved the credit – so we decided to have dinner at Audie’s Chippewa Room that night in celebration of a job well done. We were looking forward to a nice meal of whitefish or their prime rib specialty, and a quiet drink to mellow out the evening. Of course, the Seinfeld scenario continued …
We had just ordered our dinners (there were 9 of us around the long table), when Gracie decided to take her "evening opportunity". Her mom, Kim, became a bit frantic because they hadn’t brought the diaper bag with Gracie’s supplies (they travel with multiple bags for multiple kids, and mistakenly left this one behind). Jamie and Kim hurriedly took off to go back to Brigadoon for the necessities, while Tracie our waitress delivered salads to the table. About 2 minutes later, Nancy remembered that I had locked the front door to Brigadoon (since everyone had checked in and were at dinner with us), so I grabbed my purse and headed to the parking lot. I came back to the table, however, where Dave asked me how I planned to get to Brigadoon (since I hadn’t driven to Audie’s). At that point, Dave & I ran off to go let them in … but of course, when we arrived, Kim & Jamie were nowhere in sight. They had already made it back to Audie’s by now, where Nancy told them to go back again since we just left. It was quite amusing entertainment for the other Chippewa Room guests, watching pairs of us running in and out while Tracie was wondering if it was something she said or if the order was wrong as she started delivering dinners to a half empty table … albeit, dinner was wonderful, as always at Audie’s.
Did you think that Elaine wasn’t part of our Seinfeld episode? Lest I forget to mention that 18 month-old Kalub had found his first girlfriend in Crystal (my assistant) – as he was making goo-goo eyes at her all weekend, she returned the favor with the sexy expressions that Elaine was known for. Dave & Kim, you better beware – Kalub’s a little cutie – and Crystal was thinking of keeping him!
All in all, it was a great time for everyone, as we shared a lot of laughter just as all of us have done watching the famous foursome on NBC. But one thing I have up on them – my carpets are much cleaner than theirs will ever be. My heartfelt thanks to Dave & Nancy, Dave & Kim, and Jim & Jamie!!!
"The most wasted day of all is that during which we have not laughed." -Sebastian R. N. Chamfort
Peace, fun, and much laughter until next week --
Brigadoon Bed & Breakfast