Real Time

Sometimes it’s hard to really stay in touch with the people we love, even if we see them on a regular basis.  I know my husband and I are very fortunate to have our adult son and daughter (along with their spouses and our grandson) living in the same town as we do, close enough that we can easily visit each other’s homes.  But we all lead very busy lives, and so it can still be difficult to find the time to gather everyone together for a family meal, or even to have the kind of real conversations that allow us to keep up with each other’s true thoughts and feelings.

Like so many people, we often rely on the the convenience of text messaging to communicate with each other.  And while texts certainly have the advantage of being quick and easy, they aren’t at all the same thing as a face-to-face conversation.  Texts don’t allow us to hear someone’s tone of voice, or to read their expression and body language.  The truth is that we all need the chance to spend “quality time” now and then with the people who are most important to us.

Which is why I was so very grateful for the chance to spend a week in Florida recently, sharing a house with all seven members of my immediate family.  Living together for a week without the usual distractions and demands on our time gave us the opportunity to relax and enjoy each other’s company in exactly the way I had hoped.

u4gYQgJ8TEei69SASvgWe shared meals together, played games, swam in the pool, worked a puzzle, watched some beautiful sunsets, laughed, and just talked about whatever happened to be on our minds.  Living with my grandson for a week reminded me of just how much work, and just how much fun, caring for a toddler can be.  It was great to witness my daughter and son-in-law’s impressive parenting skills, and to watch my grandson grow even closer to my son and daughter-in-law.

There’s no such thing as a perfect vacation, and this one was no exception.  The temperatures and humidity were both too high to really enjoy being outside early in the week, and the house wasn’t as close to the beach as we had hoped.  I’ll also spare you the details of where we found the giant dead roach. (You’re welcome.)

fullsizeoutput_5564But those were just minor glitches that didn’t matter at all.  We still had a wonderful week together.  Our recent vacation gave us the perfect chance to grow just a little bit closer as a family, and to truly strengthen the bonds that hold us all together.  And in that sense, it was all I possibly could have asked for, and more.

72 thoughts on “Real Time

  1. I’m sure that the week created great memories for all… so glad you guys made the time and effort to vacation together! Thanks for sharing and reminding us of what is truly important in life!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yeah, that’s what I told my kids. When you live in a warm climate, you have bugs and that’s all there is to it. As the guy who sprays our house once told me, “if you keep a clean house, all that means is you have clean bugs!”

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks! I like to think it says a lot too. I know not every family is like that, and feel really blessed that everyone is willing to spend a week’s vacation together, and make the effort to be sure it is a fun and positive experience for everyone.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sounds like stronger bonds and precious memories were made!
    I recently had time in a happy healing rental a few blocks from our family home … the location and decor were impressive. So it’s given me ideas for what I’d like to create now 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t if great how time in a new home stirs our creative juices? We see new ways of doing things and learn to “think outside of the box” just a bit. Years ago, we redid the kitchen in our house and I realized after we were done that I had basically recreated the kitchen in the condo our family shared in Sanibel years ago. That was a wonderful vacation too, and I guess if made an impression on me!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice! We had something similar while you were gone. We went to Cancun with Brendan and his family from Sunday through Thursday. You know I’m not a beach person, but I loved being with them.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. How wonderful Ann. It’s so important to have quality family time together. You’re right about the texts, there’s nothing better then one on one conversations and good old fashioned hugs and real time together to strengthen family ties. Special memories indeed, even with that roach! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Miriam! Yes, texts are fine for quick questions and information, but they aren’t the same as real conversations and hugs and all the rest…. We need those things, just like we need close family and friends in our lives. (Could have lived without the roach, but hey, nothing’s perfect! LOL!)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. It sounds like a wonderful vacation. Relaxing with family at the beach is a sure-fire recipe for catching up with loved ones, recharging the batteries, and adding to your treasure trove of great memories.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Your attitude and renewed commitment to family relationships is inspiring. I’m glad your vacay was all that you hoped for and that you could overlook that which was not what you hoped for. There’s a lesson in that, for sure.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I so enjoyed your post! I felt refreshed just reading it! I am glad you had a good vacation, and spent time with your beloveds. There is nothing in the world like being together with the people we love…it is a tonic for the soul. We all need to make time for these moments both at home and when we are away. As the saying goes, time stands still for no one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks so much for your sweet comment, Linda! Yes, it really was a tonic for my soul, and I hope for all of us in the family as well. Taking some time out to reconnect with our loved ones is so important, and it has done wonders for my attitude!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Alan! And yes, he really did enjoy the beach. We set up an umbrella so he could sit in the shade, and brought along some buckets and shovels. He had a great time playing in the wet sand, mostly by dumping the bucket of water out all over his feet and then handing us back the empty bucket and asking for “More wah-wah!” Good thing we were willing to wait on him!!!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Sounds like a wonderful vacation! I read this earlier and responded on my cell phone. I am pretty sure my smart phone is stupid since all the comments I post from the phone never show up on the blogs! Anyway, this was a joy to read and left me with a smile!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I’m so glad you had that time together, Ann. You’re absolutely right, of course–there’s just no substitute for one-on-one interaction. Way to triumph over the stuff that will just become fodder for family stories (remember the giant cockroach?), and to focus in on the things that really matter. : )

    Liked by 1 person

    • Exactly!!! We focused on the important stuff, which was quality time together. (Plus, it wasn’t MY bed where we found the dead cockroach, which really helped….LOL!) Still, years from now, I’ll remember the bonding time, not the bug situation….

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I think that texting is the work of the devil, Ann. Most of my friends and colleagues use it but I much prefer a longer email, a handwritten note or just lunch. I am glad you got the time to really connect with your family. All the nuances of life are lost in a text. Just the other day I wondered if a friend was annoyed at me because even her text was truncated! Call me a Luddite!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, I understand! I believe that texts have their purpose, but are in no way meant to replace real conversations, letters, e-mails or phone calls. They are just about sending a quick message when a simple yes or no answer is all that is needed. It is SO easy to misunderstand someone via a text message! And don’t even get me started on the silly abbreviations and emojis…….

      Liked by 1 person

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