To get to Grandma Nancy's house there is a fair amount of river crossing and going through forests. We also drove passed cows, barns, fireworks stores, cheese shops, a giant orange elk, and water towers; all exotic and novel sights for us.
On some road trips it feels like the closer you get to your destination, the slower it goes... it may be the anticipation making the minutes longer, the miles stretch out. Who wrote about the concept that traveling by halves makes it impossible to ever arrive at your destination? And yet we did arrive, and we were greeted and embraced and welcomed into Grandma's home and it felt like we had never left.
Sure there are new quilts on the wall and children have grown, certainly the Creek had grown, but the quiet serenity, the warm-home feeling that Nancy keeps alive is the same as ever... it's so wonderful! The first day we got to visit with Tom and two of his girls. Grandpa Phil was there and Lily came with us. Sophie came by after work. Everyone was anxious to know our plans and we were happy to just go down and look at the creek, swollen and wide from the long rains. We wanted to sit on the porch and talk and let the kids play ping pong in the basement, look for butterflies, walk to the basketball courts. Shoot hoops.
Our week had been far too full and we were far too rattled to care about rushing around searching for fun. I really believe it was a blessing that we happened to have tickets to the Midwest when we did, and that we could arrive at this spot and be with our family and enjoy simple pleasures, like conversations and visiting on the glider, cookouts, watching the children run around and swing in the backyard. So it was great to spend time with Nancy, Phil, Laura and Gary, Sophie, Carol, Betsy and Gabe, Tom, Kayla and Rosa. Maria and Jordan were fast friends and Griffy and Max were, too.
Noting how many places we've been, someone asked "do you and your family ever stay home??" I guess we do get to travel a lot, but in my mind, in my heart, going to Wisconsin, or Oregon, Hawaii, El Valle, it's not like leaving home; it's like going home. We are fortunate that we can stay in touch with our parents and grandparents and that they happen to live in such wonderful places, so that when I go visiting it is a wonderful adventure, a beautiful destination, a blessed opportunity.
I really delight in seeing our children connect with their great-grandmother and cousins, and with the past. Even a simple game of drive-thru restaurant becomes a vision of the past, when other generations laughed and played, and we can share and recall happy memories together and then we make new connections with each other.
Coffee and french fries anyone? Tea?
Hey we got out and explored, too, saw sights, and played, but for a few days the vacation was the perfect blend of mellow family togetherness and laughter.