Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The visit

Jason, Emily, Oliver and Isabel arrived last Tuesday afternoon and stayed until this past Monday before driving back to Indianapolis to catch a flight back to Spokane. We had been looking forward to their visit since we had not seen them in person since January. At that time Isabel was barely two months old. We had been able to chat with them on video over the internet but to actually see them again was terrific.

The entire family looks healthy and it was fun to have the grand kids around for the week. Oliver is very active and now starting to say a lot of words, or at least try to. Of course that meant we men had to be on our best behavior when he was in earshot. Isabel looks just like a doll, with the curly hair and big blue eyes she could be a model for some toy maker.

The first night they were here we enjoyed egg rolls that Sandy had prepared and lounged around just watching the kids. On Wednesday Jason and I went for a bike ride and later in the evening Robin and Shari came over to visit. They are great friends of the family and hold a special place in our hearts.

We were fortunate to have my parents able to make the drive up from outside of Cleveland to spend some time. They got to see Oliver last year about this time and were looking forward to seeing him again as well as their first ever great grand daughter. They arrived on Thursday and took us out to dinner. Afterward we had a birthday celebration for my dad who just turned 85.

Jason and Emily made breakfast for all of us on Friday; Jason likes to cook crepes and they were delicious. Later in the day we went over to Trader Joe's to sample the wine, shop, and just relax. Back at home Sandy was watching Oliver who was helping her make truffles for my mom. For dinner I barbecued salmon on cedar planks that always seems to be a hit.

Saturday was the mountain bike race at the school and it just poured down rain, greatly reducing the turnout. Jason was doing the timing for the race using the equipment of the company he does timing jobs for back home. My parents came up to watch the start of the race before heading back to Ohio. Unfortunately they didn't get to see too much as they stayed in the car due to the rain.

Sandy and I babysat on Saturday evening so Jason and Emily could have a night out. Even though it was a long time ago that our kids were little, I can still remember how special it was to have a night out by ourselves. But this time we got to play the grandparent role and spoil the kids.

Somewhere around 2:00 in the morning on Sunday the power went out; there had been some big storms come up on Saturday evening. Sunday was supposed to be one of the hottest days of the year but I hauled out the generator and got it going so I could plug in the fridge and some fans. Sandy made us french toast with homemade bread outside using the camp stove. Later we decide to go to the mall and cool off when the power did not seem likely to come on soon. Unfortunately we had to cancel a planned get together of some of Jason and Emily's friends.

I wasn't feeling well and because we had driven in two cars, I came home and went to bed. Jason and family shopped some more and then went to visit one of their friends before coming back later that evening. I pretty much stayed in bed the whole evening, night, and most of the next morning. That was not exactly the way I wanted to spend my last day with the family.

All too soon it was time for them to leave but first they wanted to go to a restaurant for a couple of drinks. I think part of it was to use the alcohol to help make the goodbyes easier. I still wasn't up to it so said my goodbyes at the house and watched them drive away. I could have used a few drinks myself by this point.

So, here it is a few days later and it is still hard to adjust to them being gone. We were so torn last fall about whether or not to take a job out west and be closer to them or stay here. Seeing them again initially makes us think I made a mistake. But I have to sit back and realize that there were, and still are, valid reasons for staying here. But is is still so tempting to move closer if possible.

I can appreciate what my parents, and parents the world over, have gone through as their kids grow up and move out or away. I know when our family was young it was an adventure to move and while hard, we were still together. This is a whole different ballgame. I like the idea of those communities or cultures where the kids live in the house next door or just down the road. Of course ask me that again when the grand kids are in their teens.

Jason and Emily are doing a great job raising their growing family and make us proud. Whatever their plans are in the coming years they can count on our support. I just hope that someday we can all be closer to them.

And now some pictures from the week.

Oliver liked the truck.

Uncle Greg

Blowing bubbles

Helping? Grandpa

The lifeguard

Isabel liked her truck also

Helping daddy make crepes

Great Grandpa

Great Grandma

Outdoor cafe, courtesy of the power outage

No comments: