#5 It Happened in New Zealand…or Was It Australia…

Meet My Kiwi Family


Belinda, as you may recall, manages the Clansman Motel.  She needs a lot of help to keep the business going.  It’s an unusual situation  for her and for us.  The owner up and deserted the business, and now it is slated for receivership on  December 17th.  At this time, it will be owned by a law firm, directed by a board member and, according to the attorney, managed by Belinda.  Yes-sir-ree, Belinda needs  lots of help, and Len and I are the perfect workawayers to do the job!

Len, a man of many talents, is able to make needed repairs.  He stops the freezer from overheating, repairs the sanitizer and deep fryers, cleans out the fridges, and figures out what switch goes to what convenience, not always an easy matter.  He even finds a switch which turns on security lights along the front of the motel.  It ‘s in the laundry room of all places!

As for me, I assist Gwen with servicing and cleaning motel rooms in the morning and don my “pink ribbon breakfast” apron  and report for “short-order cook” duty in the afternoon.

But, Belinda’s most important role is being mom to Sophie and Kayden.



The kids (Kayden and Sophie) and I start hanging out together.  Six and soon-to-be-seven year old Kayden loves to play games and so do I…a perfect match for having fun!  We usually play Snakes and Ladders, the original moralistic Indian/British version, which morphed into amoral Chutes and Ladders when it was marketed in America.   But we play it with Kayden-amended rules.  For instance, sometimes we reverse the process with the snakes going up and the ladders going down (the British version has more snakes then ladders…you get the drift), and sometimes, if a piece of the ladder spills over into a space you land on, even if it’s a teeny splinter of the ladder, aha!  Up you go!  This rule, however, does not apply to snakes.  And sometimes, if the dinner bell is gonna ring soon, the rules change in mid-steam!

Kayden  loves checkers sooo much he wants to keep a game going forever and doggone if he hasn’t  created a clever way to do it!  Here’s how it goes:  Once his opponent, me, kings his man, Kayden is off to obliterate my army.  But…oops!…sometimes Kayden gets his king between a rock and a hard place and I jump  his king.  “Uh uh,” cautions Kayden as I reach to remove his man.  “Now he’s a half-king.  Just take the top checker off and keep the game going.”

“OK, but can the half-king still do the 360 stuff?” I ask.

“Nope, he’s gotta get kinged again.”

“But the game will never end,” says I.  Kayden just gives me a sly knowing grin!


Sometimes Sophie, age 8, joins in playing Crazy Eights, Go Fish or Snakes and Ladders, but mostly she likse to watch TV.  One time we walked to town together (10 minutes tops!) to run errands and buy ice cream at a local dairy.  “May I have a $2 dollar coin?” she asks.  I hand it to her.  “I’d like a chocolate ice cream cone, please,” she says to the teen girl in charge.

Boy, do my eyes pop open!  Here I think  I’m sooo smart, buying frozen confections like a strawberry swirl or Magnum bar for $3.50…or more …when for two bucks, Sophie gets a mammoth chunk of chocolate perched on a cute pointy cone just like the ones I got as a kid at Islays in Ashtabula, Ohio!  Here is a very savvy kid! I think as I walk up to the counter and order a $2 raspberry cone.

We stroll along toward Waihoihoi River Park licking our cones and finally sit down on a bench near the river.  Here we compare notes on how to eat an ice cream cone.  We both like to keep pushing the ice cream down with our tongues and then, when there’s only two or so inches of the cone left, we mound up the frozen stuff and make a perfect miniature ice cream cone!  For a finale, I, for one, pop it into my mouth and savor the last surge of raspberry!  Yummm!



And now meet Brandon, the fourth grown-up member of my Kiwi family.  Oh, that’s right!  You’ve already met him in my #4 post: Sit down/Stand-Up Comics.  Well, in addition to being a comedian, he’s also a woofer/workawayer who puts his talents to use as an awesome groundskeeper.  But, of course, like Len and me, he pinch hits wherever and whenever needed!

Next post…My Kiwi Christmas!


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