I guess I am finally getting old. I remember when I graduated high school and then college, there was nothing more that I wanted to do than to get out of my home state … which was a good thing since I married a soldier and we moved 7 times in the next 15 years!! We were never really any closer than 600 miles to any family – and mostly it was more than 1,000 miles from either set of parents.
Until we settled in Missouri and now here in Arkansas, my in-laws are 100 miles away. I am thankful my kids get to grow up near-ish (but not TOO near) grandparents! But sometimes, selfishly, I want my kids to know MY parents. We’ve had our “ups and downs” with them, but the older I get the more I realize HOW MUCH my parents did and continue to do for me and now my family. Most of all, I realize more than ever that everything they did (whether I understood or appreciated it), they meant for GOOD.
This is what I am doing with MY kids. Trying my best – with God’s help – to be a good mom, to make decisions that are good for them. I hope they do – or will – understand that as well.
ANYWAY, all that to say, the girls and I got to spend a week with my family in Tennessee recently! We decided that instead of spending 12+ hours driving there, we’d just fly. Which really was a great idea … despite the fact that I booked a 5 a.m. flight, not realizing that it meant getting up at 3 a.m.!! The girls were pretty cheerful about it though – it was Mimsy’s first flight ever, and the first flight Annie-Belle actually remembers (we flew with her when she was a year old).
In my recently self-imposed isolation here, I cherish the friends and family who have known me “for forever” – those with whom I have had so many wonderful shared experiences with. MY childhood friends, MY old church, MY mom and dad, MY brother, cousins, aunt, and uncle … After 2 years of living among long-established families here, I just long to be WITH MY OWN.
We were able to celebrate my mother’s birthday early. She’s turning a BIG # later this month … you can guess – but I will tell you she looks amazing for her age!
This is me, my parents and my “little” brother:
and this is some of MY extended family who gathered at my brother’s house … Again, I cherish those moments we shared – catching up, watching the little ones play, eating, laughing – SO MUCH MORE now than ever.
I try to accept where God placed us right now … I really do like it here in NW Arkansas … but I miss that we can’t always just stop by my parents’ house and do something as simple as have a knitting lesson from Oma. I guess that means we need to cherish the memory of the time we were able to do that even more!
I miss “cousin time” … These 2 girls (below) are just 7 weeks apart – and were immediate “best friends”.
I really don’t always know how to answer the question, “Where are you from?” because I was born in Germany, actually lived in Northern Virginia for 6 years, and then moved to East Tennessee where I graduated high school and attended college … but East Tennessee is where my parents settled (my dad grew up there) and where many of the friends that I grew up with still live. It holds some of my most poignant memories. Some of the dearest-to-me people live there.
I am glad that at least my children get glimpses of this wonderful place and those wonderful people.
East Tennessee will always be “home” as such.
So, our week there flew by … and we were ready to “fly” home on Tuesday of last week. It was supposed to be a quick flight to Charlotte, NC – then after a 45 minute layover, catch another flight back to NW Arkansas. BUT as with most things in my life (ha!), there were delays and detours! We left Knoxville late due to “weather” in Charlotte and were delayed on the tarmac at Charlotte after landing due to the influx of other delayed flights coming in as well. As we landed at 10:30 p.m. EST, our flight to NW Arkansas was just lifting off! And of course, we MISSED IT!
It is a long story – and I’ll spare everyone the details —- but suffice it to say, with a hundred + other stranded passengers at that time of night, the airline had their hands full … and quite frankly, they weren’t the most helpful. 😦 I had to re-book my own flight for the next morning and find my own hotel and taxi for the night. THANKFULLY, there were some friendly people in line with us to help pass the time spent waiting for a hotel voucher (not really voucher, but instructions how to get our hotel costs refunded later) … there were handy rocking chairs all in the waiting area where the girls could kind of cat-nap
… and a friendly night janitor helped us find our taxi at 12:30 at night. He got us a wheelchair to use for Mimsy who had long since fallen into an exhausted sleep …
So, I got to experience a city I’ve never been to before – GOOD MORNING, Charlotte.
We got a flight at 9:50 a.m. EST and were back in NW Arkansas by 11:30 a.m. CST. I guess the best thing that came out of it all was that I got to have one more day off work! 🙂
Since this time, school has started here for us!! More about this later, perhaps … but the Bummer Summer is officially over – and it wasn’t such a bummer after all. 🙂