Meltdowns and compromises all part of the fun for visiting relatives
Family members from down south who visit us in the Far North are a barrel of laughs...most of the time.
When living in Far North Queensland it is quite common to host many family members from down South who make the trip up to visit.
Generally, we look forward to catching up with family but there is often a catch.
The recent ANZAC day long weekend was another chapter in the family saga.
The weekend unfolded as expected with family members arriving three hours apart meaning at least three trips to the airport including the usual 12am pickup.
The very first hours of the family catch-up are filled with lots pleasantries however this is just the calm before the storm.
It only takes until 9am the next morning for the inevitable to happen with significant female members of the family having different views of what activities the family should be doing with their quality time together.
The situation is always predictable. The younger siblings want to plan the most adventurous activity possible in North Queensland arguing that our 90-year-old grandmother could tackle any combination of a dive on the reef, 3km Behana Gorge bushwalk and a sea kayak out to Double Island.
Often these activities are planned, booked and paid for without any input or knowledge by other family members. The ensuing debate is just as predictable. Tears are shed, voices are raised, spouses are asked to take side and the house is divided into camps.
By this stage, the unmarried partners in the family realise the impending nuclear meltdown and suddenly became mountain bike enthusiasts and dash to the world championships.
A truce is usually called when the father (and father-in-law) of the family realises that both sides are out of ammunition and steps in to no-man’s land offering a compromise.
His diplomatic skills are result of his experience seeing this unfold many times before and having a unique ability in a house full of women to defuse any conflict and not take sides. However, it should be noted that the compromise is usually heavily influenced by the mother (and mother in law) and before too long we have regrouped, a peace deal is brokered, goods time are recounted and the weekend pans out well.
The weekend ends with lots of teary goodbyes, three more trips to the airport but most importantly good memories of fun times spent together.
With two family weddings in South East Queensland later in 2016 it is likely there will be family saga chapters 2 and 3 written this year.
We must go, we need to book some flights to Brisbane with the aim of inconveniencing our family as much as possible.