Autumn Beare is 20; Jay Johnson is 21; David Beare is 9; Jordan Johnson is 65; Alicia Dreamer is 34
Previous updates: Beare Family; Alicia; Autumn's mother appears here and here.
If she were to be completely honest, Autumn found the weekends boring.
They had been this way since Jay started working at the gardening shop. That wasn't a bad thing in itself - Jay enjoyed it a lot more than he had working at the used car lot.
The problem was,it involved weekend work. As Autumn was now working weekdays only as a Desk Sergeant, for much of the weekend she was home on her own.
It did give her uninterrupted time to paint,
or to play with the cats,
but she still preferred to have the company of other people.
She always enjoyed it when her little brother David dropped around.
He came most weekends, as he found all the siblings and half-siblings at his own house a little too much company. He dropped by after school some days, too, when Autumn was home after her early shifts.
Apart from the company, Autumn had another reason to love his visits. Her favourite childhood memories were of dropping in to see her great-grandparents whenever, like David, she wanted to get away from the chaos of a very full house.
She couldn't help but hope that David might someday remember visiting her just as fondly.
One thing that was good about their new work schedule, was that Autumn no longer worked in the evenings. Usually, she and Jay enjoyed that time together.
Usually. Except when she got a call like this from her sister...
"What's wrong?" Jay asked.
"My mother," Autumn said. "She's back again, visiting my grandparents for Christmas."
"... and you're upset about it."
"No," Autumn said. "Not upset at all. I mean, why should I be? It's not like she'll want to see me or anything. She never has before. Not in all the times she's visited in the last six years!!"
"Ok," said Jay, taking a step back. "Clearly not upset at all."
All the next day, Autumn tried to tell herself that she really wasn't upset. Why should she be? Her mother really hadn't had any contact at all in the years since she left, and Autumn was used to it now. Or, she should be.
She shouldn't wake up thinking about her...
She shouldn't be comparing the two woman, instead of listening to what Jordan had to say. She was excited about how she and Jay's father Matthew were decorating their new home in the retirement village across town...
... but all Autumn could think about was how Jordan was married to Matthew, and still a good friend to her first husband... and by all accounts, a good mother to her children from both marriages.
She certainly shouldn't be looking at her phone the minute Jordan left...
...just like she'd been looking at it every few minutes, all morning...checking, just in case.
It was like this every time she heard her mother was in town, and she hated it.
She really shouldn't be upset at all.
As Jordan left the apartment, she made a mental note to ask Jay what was bothering Autumn. Clearly something was wrong, although she didn't seem willing to talk about it.
She put it all out of her mind when she got to Alicia's house.
It really was hard to think about anything else, when you have two active grandchildren demanding your attention.
The grandchildren were one of the main reasons she and Matthew had come back to Richmond to retire. Most of her children had their families here, and there was on reason to keep a four bedroom house in Bluewater Village any more.
The strangest part was visiting Alicia at this house - the house where she'd lived during her marriage to Alicia's father Ashley. It felt odd, and she told Alicia so.
"It's pretty strange living in it again, too," Alicia said "Especially now that it's our house rather than my parents' place. Which reminds me - are you sure you don't mind that we won't be spending Christmas with you?"
"It's fine," Jordan reassured her. She and Ashley had tried not to fall into the trap of divorced parents fighting over who had the kids for the holidays, and for the most part it had worked out well.
Now there were grandchildren involved, and she'd realised that the negotiating would have to continue for some years yet. This year, she was happy to let Ashley have the big celebration, given the significance of it.
"I can understand why your father wants to get you all together for one last Christmas here, now that its not the family home any more."
"Well, yes... but I wish he'd done it last year, when he still lived here. I mean, he and Allyn are doing most of the work, but it still feels like we're the ones landed with hosting twenty-something people for Christmas Day."
"You'll be fine," Jordan said. "Your father and Allyn will have everything planned to the last detail. They're too organised not to. All you'll have to do is sit back and pretend you're a visitor again."
Autumn hated to admit it, but she was still thinking about her mother when she got home from work the next day.
She couldn't really blame him, computer access was near the top of the list - along with privacy and personal space - of things that were way too hard to come by at home.
She was making dinner for the three of them when Jay arrived home.
"I talked to Mum," he said, beckoning her to sit down. "She said you seemed bothered by something yesterday".
"I'm fine," she said. "I don't know what you're talking about."
"You're not fine, you never are when your mother's in town. Even Mum could see it. You need to do something about it." He paused, then added. "You know, you could just go talk to her."
"Your mother. You know she's at your grandparents' place for Christmas. Why don't you just go and talk to her? Ask her why she left, ask her why she never calls, whatever you want. But just do it and get it over with, instead of stewing on it every time she's here."
"I'm not stewing," Autumn said, getting up to go back to preparing dinner. "And, believe me, my mother is the last person I want to talk to."
"Sure," said Jay. "Well, just remember next time you're not stewing, you know what to do. You're never going to get any peace of mind out of this, until you go see her."
In the past week, when I was sorting out my game and planning the next few updates, I realised two things. First, I needed more set-up for the Christmas update, and second, even if I included the set-up at the beginning of the update, I wouldn't get all the pictures done this weekend. So adding in this update solves both problems, and keeps the momentum going here, now that I've started again.
Autumn is one of my most frustrating sims, because I want her to want to have a baby. She's the eldest by far of her generation (thanks to a chain of first-borns, all starting families young) so her child should be the first of a new generation in my hood... if she ever decides to have one! She's a family sim, so I've been expecting her to roll the want ever since she finished high school, but nope, not once. Meanwhile I've got teens and YA's and people with shaky marriages dealing with the consequences of ACR risky WooHoo, but does it strike where I want it... !!
I realise that I could just make them try for baby, but that'd be breaking my own rules about following their wants. So I'll just wait and see what happens. The next-eldest of her generation are the other two Beare teens, neither of whom are in a relationship, followed by Daniel Green, who is only 12.
Clearly I'm going to be waiting a while...
(Autumn's generations (all playables): James Green--> Chris Green--> Gretchen (Green) Centowski--> James Centowski--> Cherry (Centowski) Beare--> Autumn Beare)