It's dark as night outside. Maria and I are the only ones up. She's awake. I am just on auto pilot. Some people don't click-on until coffee has saturated their guts and senses. Since I can't handle the caffiene scene, I turn to the news, either on TV or the internet, and I look for email and comments, then I slowly start to become coherent, sort of. No one in our family ever truly sleeps late, unless he or she is sick. Being sick of school sometimes causes Alex or Max to linger in bed a bit later. I wish I could sleep late, the way I could as a teen. William is our resident teen and even he gets up reasonably early. Geoff is the most cat-like in his sleep habits. Sometimes he falls asleep early in the evening, then wakes in the middle of the night. He gets naps, more than a goodnight's sleep. Then he is up and on his way back to work. His long hours are horrible for maintaining regular sleep patterns.
We are expecting company in April. Ruth and Jim are coming for an explore of the Mainland. We've heard a most distressing rumor that they are thinking of relocating. They've been Big Island regulars for close to twenty years. It's difficult to imagine them any where else. They have so completely adapted to Island living; sometimes I forget they were midwesterners and even dabbled in So Cal-ese. I wouldn't say they have island fever, a commonly cited complaint of some island dwellers. I think they have grand-baby fever, that is a burning desire to hang out with the next generation. The ocean between us is an awfully wide, and deep barrier to impromptu visits.
The rumor of their relocating is distressing because we have seen them spend happy, fulfilling time in Hawaii. Our family has been on a long quest to move to Hawaii and join them in the Island Style, warm days, tropical breezes, fresh fruit, exquisite views, and aloha. There is a perceptible change of attitude, mood and thinking that takes hold when one is in Hawaii, and we hate to think that Ruth and Jim could lose the pleasure of that, by selling their beautiful home and farm.
On the other hand... who are we to question the wisdom of charting new courses and making new plans, of following your instincts? We would mourn the loss of our tropical getaway, true, but we stand to gain more time with Ruth and Jim. We stand to gain opportunities for spontaneous visits and more holidays together. Holly and I make the most of our proximity for family togetherness, but other than that, regular time spent with extended family is hard to come by around here.
When they arrive, Ruth and Jim will spend a few days in the area, visiting all of us and getting familiar with some of the more rural neighborhoods of So Cal. Then they will motor east to Arizona and New Mexico, leaving a little time for more grand-baby bonding before they fly home. I am starting to really wake-up now and three ideas are coming to mind, rising like the sun: #1. Mom and Corm, if you want an easy driving range for frequent visits, keep the distance well under 20 hours. My mom can attest to this. A 20 hour drive is long, long, long and intimidates most visitors. #2. Anyone thinking of seeing Ruth and Jim should think about coming to town in April. #3 Family that ever thought "We'll have plenty of time to go to Hawaii and be treated to Island Style splendor," had better get busy. I know we are feeling anxious to ensure we have at least one last stay with Ruth and Jim, in their amazing home.
It's light out now. Time to find socks, eat whole grains, pack lunches, find books, comb hair and get out the door.