It is always bittersweet to return from a vacation, especially a long one. Two weeks in the hot Texas sun, playing games with my family and reading books poolside â€“ what a glorious way to end the summer! But I am glad to be home, to feel the crisp morning Northwest air, to sleep in my own bed, to jump back into the river of time that sweeps us along in this life that God has given us.
Film maker Joshua and his crew.
Our plane was delayed in Dallas, and it seemed quite late when we finally got home. Our dear friend Jen-Bob, not content with picking us up at the airport, also cleaned our house and stocked our fridge with surprises, regaling us with stories and laughter until we could no longer keep our eyes open. A â€œWelcome Homeâ€ sign from Michelle and Jen-Bob’s â€œ10 Reasons Iâ€™m Glad They Are Homeâ€ on our whiteboard, helped us to know that we had been missed.
Sarah and her cousin, Aydia, have a LITTLE too much fun together.
I had big plans for our 14 days in Texas, some of which failed to materialize; even so, it was a very successful vacation by any measure. Along with Kathyâ€™s parents, all three of her brothers were there, with two of their wives, four cousins (including the celebrity, Baby Logan), a friend from Michigan, and a Great Uncle and his friend, rounding us out to 21 in all.
Hot and sunny and one big family.
We swapped stories, played cards and board games, drove around in golf carts, ate many delicious meals, hunted geocaches, and devoured bowl after generous bowl of ice cream at the local PICOâ€™s store. The pool (the length of a football field) was mostly ours alone, and many happy hours were spent splashing, floating, swimming and just sitting with our feet dangling in the cool spring water.
Tahlia and Rachel are buddies!
We worked on several crafts and projects as a family, and gathered each evening to hear the kids read aloud â€œthe Chapterâ€ from the gospel of Matthew, and to discuss it together. I was permitted to teach Sunday School the first week at a local church, and Kathyâ€™s Dad was invited to preach there the second Sunday.
Time to read the Bible chapter!
Several went fishing, some visited the local museum, and there were many shopping excursions to replenish food stocks. I worked from the library two days, and we checked email sporadically. Kathyâ€™s Dad quashed a termite infestation and worked around the yard. Nerf wars raged and pictures were snapped by the hundreds. Everyone seemed to work hard to get along and to be kind, which was no small accomplishment with so many people underfoot.
Grandad (and the golf cart) are the true favorites of our time in Texas.
Normal life is sometimes hard. We are busy people, and it is no easy task to serve in our church, raise and school our children, do our work and maintain our home. But it seems easier, somehow, to put our shoulder to the wheel, with such warm and golden memories treasured up from this summer vacation.