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Surprise Grandma...

I was up early to help Dan and Keira get ready to head to the airport. When I returned home, I was exhausted so I plopped back into bed and drifted off. I set my alarm for 2 hours, which would supplement my previously thin sleep cycle, as well as give me enough time to wake up and get ready for work. But as I lay, dancing in vivid dream scenarios, my phone was blowing up. Texts from the airport, family, clients, even a few phone calls. I would sleep for 20 minutes at a time, before I was awakened by the incessant buzzing of the phone. One call in particular was quite unexpected and really caught me off guard - especially in my groggy, "Is this a dream?" state of mind.
The phone rang and I looked at the caller ID, to see a number I didn't recognize. Curiosity got the better of me and I picked it up, not even trying to disguise my grumbly, just-let-me-sleep morning voice. There was a silent pause and in my curiosity, I woke up a little more. Then, a far off little voice peeped up. "Lauren? Is that you? This is your Grandmother." I almost laughed, I was so confused.
In all my time, living outside of mom's house, my grandma has never called me on the phone. We have a frail relationship at best. I see her maybe once a year, usually if mom's in town. I'm not keen on making the 3 hour drive out to the boonies of Washington state, to hang out with a couple of old people who have lost their hearing and sight. Wow, that sounds cold. I just don't have a connection to them.
It was strange hearing her voice on the phone - so foreign. She was calling me on my cell. What a weird thing. It could only be trumped by my grandparents sending me an e-mail or text message. There was a strange feeling of violation in it as well - I never really think of her outside the context of her miserable little mobile home in the woods. Here she was, her voice extending into the space of my comfy bedroom and daily routine.
Anyway, she'd called to invite me down for Christmas. I pulled out every excuse I could muster. We tried to have a conversation, but she couldn't hear me. So we ended the call cordially and I was left to ponder the oddity of the occurrence.
When I fell back asleep, I dreamed of being on their property. (Which I often do, anyway). I was alone in their house, watching after it while they were away. I felt as if there was something important that I was supposed to be handling, though I couldn't remember what that could be. It was nighttime and I stepped out onto the lawn to take a look at the house from the outside. As soon as I stepped out, people began appearing. It was almost as if they'd been there the whole time, hiding in every conceivable space that was out of sight. I was suddenly not alone any more, but these people had a very specific agenda and it was this, that I was unprepared for.
Little did I know, my grandparents' house was actually a store. It was part grocery, part mercantile, part flea market. Part of my responsibility while looking after their home, was to run the store. But I hadn't known this. As soon as I stepped outside, people began flooding in. They were saying things like, "Finally! you were supposed to be open hours ago." I felt terrible because they were clearly all holiday shoppers and I didn't know how long they had been waiting... it was already so late in the evening.
I ran inside to try and take my position as clerk. There was a lot that needed to happen before I could handle the throngs of people. The living room was a strange cross between their real living room and Ballard Market grocery store.

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