September 14, 2015

When Family Comes to Town

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We just finished a visit from quite a few family members – my parents, my dad’s brother and his wife, and my mom’s sister and her husband (l-r). My parents I was with for 3 weeks, between the wedding back home and their visit here. My aunts and uncles were here for the last week of their visit. And we had a blast.

Obviously one of the benefits of out-of-town guests is the excuse to do touristy things we don’t usually make time for because, well, we actually live here and have work and laundry and stuff. We went to Pearl Harbor and the Old Sugar Mill and did scenic drives, went back and had dinner on the beach at Waikiki at sunset, went snorkeling and got lots of sun time. It was awesome.

One of the other neat things was that three sets of us had anniversaries during this visit. Us, and both my aunts and uncles. So we had fun celebrating everyone. And this is where I get nostalgic.

There’s nothing like spending time with family to make you miss living near family. See, all these people, I grew up around. When I was little, pretty much all my family, extended family too, lived in or near the Oklahoma City. We saw each other frequently. Sometimes daily. That was normal to me. And you benefit from that a lot.

Getting to spend time with all these “established couples” – couples going on 40 and 50 years of marriage – it was a nice refresher for me. Pretty much all of our friends, anyone we spend significant amounts of time with, have been married about the same time we have (give or take), or less. And it was so nice to just be around people who are in grandparent/retirement/fun time mode and see the long-term vision of it all.

I keep using that word “nice,” but that really sums it up. It was really nice. It was nice to be around people who had decades of marriage under their belts and laughed together and helped each other and had fun together and were still doing new things together. It was nice to be around people who had God as the foundation for their marriage and loved and served each other even after all this time. It was nice to be around couples who were, well, nice to each other. Even the good-natured ribbing was genuinely good-natured. It was nice to be reminded that, they went through a lot of the same things we are going through – parenthood, married drama, work stress, broken dishwashers – and that’s where they ended up. Happy.

It makes me miss being home. It makes me sad we don’t live with them anymore and that Abby, at least for the next long while, won’t grow up around that the way I did. I want that to be her “normal.” I know we can work on making that our normal here, a half a world away from family. But today, it sure seems like it would be a lot easier if we were there.

I don’t mean to end this on a down note. We had an awesome time and loved every minute they were here and can’t wait for them to come back. Hopefully they all do (and others!) at some point. And I’ll be doing more posts about things we did, you know, if the “old people” ever get around to uploading their pictures to facebook ;)

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