All Together Now

If the past couple of years have taught me anything, it’s the importance of being flexible.  So even though I’d been very much looking forward to a Florida getaway with my family, I kept telling myself that there was always a possibility that the trip wouldn’t actually happen.  I told myself this even as I arranged for our house/dog sitter, packed my bags, arrived at at the airport and all the way up to the moment when our plane actually took off.  It was only once we were safely in the air that I finally drew a sigh of relief and allowed myself to believe that this much-anticipated vacation was truly beginning.

It’s not that there was anything particularly special about our trip.  We weren’t heading to an exotic destination, or checking something big off our “bucket list” or even treating ourselves to something new and different.  We were just renting a vacation home for a week and our only plan was to relax and spend time with our family.  I know it may sound boring to some people, but at this point in my life, it struck me as the perfect vacation plan and I was more than ready for it.

3859E432-F548-4257-89B5-54F1E547F1AB_1_201_aAnd things went mostly according to plan.  As we settled into our house, I soon realized that relaxation is a rare commodity when you’re vacationing with a three-year old and a one-year old.  (I’d count myself lucky if I could muster up just one-tenth of their energy and stamina.)  But that was just fine, because I also realized that although sharing a house with active little people may not be relaxing, it sure is fun and entertaining, especially if they happen to be your grandchildren.  There’s something pretty special about stumbling out of bed in the morning and being greeted with big smiles, hugs, and an enthusiastic, “Yea!  Grandma’s up!” I mean, my husband and I love each other dearly, but mostly we just grunt at each other first thing in the morning.

Sharing a house with our kids and their families for the week also gave us a chance to reconnect in ways that just don’t happen in our normal, day-to-day life.  Late night conversations around the hot tub when the little ones were safely tucked in bed, working on a jigsaw puzzle together, or even just sharing a meal as a family were gifts to be savored.  Even sitting back and watching others interact was special, because I knew those interactions were strengthening family bonds that should last long after my husband and I are gone. 

Now it’s over, and I’m slowly adjusting back to a life that is both more solitary and hectic than the one I enjoyed while on vacation.  I’m actually a bit more tired than before I went, but that’s normal because travel is wearing and so is catching up on all the chores that waited patiently for my return.  The weariness will pass but the memories of our time together aren’t going anywhere, and wouldn’t trade those for anything in the world…..

84 thoughts on “All Together Now

  1. It sounds like a perfect week to me Ann. Family time, togetherness, fun and laughter, that’s what the best breaks are made of. So glad you got away. Now you can “recover” as is often the case when we return from a much anticipated trip. Plus you have loads of happy memories to tide you over till the next one! 😊

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  2. Sounds like a perfect vacation! We’re still in partial ‘Covid suspension’ in our Province, but have been bending the rules so that we can spend a day now and then with our family! The USA has just announced the border with Canada will be open for land travel in November, so we are looking forward to our road trip to Arizona in January.

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    • Oh, I’m so glad you’ll finally get to go on your Arizona trip! And I don’t blame you for bending the rules now and then…these lock downs get very, very old after awhile. Covid is here to stay, in my opinion, so we just need to figure out how to live with it, rather than allow it to take over our lives. And thank goodness for vaccines!

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  3. So happy you got this family time Ann. We did a similar thing, which I am now detailing in my posts. Family time is precious and short. Any time we get it, as parents, it is worth the effort. Glad to have you back Ann. Allan

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    • That was absolutely the best part. We were near enough to the beach to drive to it and the house we rented was nice, but it was just in a normal residential neighborhood. What made it so nice was having everyone together for a whole week!

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  4. That sounds like a perfect vacation. I’m envious. I love the phot of the kids on the beach. They are so cute. I’m so glad you and Dave got this opportunity in light of the hellish year you hadin 2020 and early 2021.

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  5. After having done about the same thing as you and having spent some time with our sons and families on the West Coast of BC, we feel like having had a great holiday despite the long ride and the uncertainty of weather around this time of the year. Greetings from British Columbia, Ann!

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    • They absolutely can! I love them both, but I also realize there’s a reason we have our children while we’re young. Still, it was fabulous being able to spend a whole week with them, and more than worth being a bit tired out!

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  6. Reading your post brought back lovely family memories from my past, Ann. Thank you so much for inspiring me with your words. Simple things can certainly be the best. So happy to hear your trip worked out!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Nothing can beat the focus and intensity of young ones at play, and that picture says it all. We, the middlers, find it hard to believe in good times till they actually begin happening. Is there a lesson for us in there? I guess we are all doing what we are supposed to do, making merry as the toddlers or minding things that we must.

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    • It is very hard, especially after the year we’ve all had, to believe good times are coming our way. And yet sometimes, they still do. We probably can learn a thing or two from young ones, and their ability to live in the moment and trust that often things do work out. As for this “middler,” I struggle not to be too pessimistic!

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  8. A cloudy day at the beach is better than a sunny day anywhere else – according to my sister who lives in Florida. I can attest that the time spent with family is precious and fleeting… I’m hoping that you can have a repeat in the coming year as well!

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  9. It sounds like a perfect vacation! I am so glad you got to spend such a special week with your family. My husband and I rented a house with our children at the beach this summer. I agree…those grandbabies are busy, but so much fun. Children grow up so quickly…these are such wonderful times to spend relaxing and enjoying one another’s company.

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    • I remember reading about that on your blog, Linda, and thinking how wonderful it sounded. And then we got to have a vacation with our kids and grandkids, too, and I enjoyed it so much. I know the time is soon coming when it will be hard to spend a whole week together, but until then, I hope to do it as often as possible.

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  10. I’m glad you got to go on your vacation– and that you had some cute kids to entertain you. I love your line: “we just grunt at each other first thing in the morning.” Same here. I can’t remember the last time we exchanged a formal *good morning* to you.

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    • Yeah, I’m not at all used to that sort of enthusiastic greeting when I get up, and the sad thing is that I’m even less chipper in the morning than my husband….which makes me think that the morning greeting he gets is even worse than mine, poor guy!

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  11. So delighted you had such a wonderful time, Ann! Don’t fret over those back-home-chores awaiting your attention — they’ll surely keep while you settle back in. Sometimes getting away — even if it’s not very far or terribly fancy — can be just what we need!

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    • Thanks, Debbie! It really was such a blessing just to get away. The past year and a half have been so hard, not just from Covid but also from my husband’s cancer and his treatments. He’s not finally out of them and we have reason to believe he’s beaten the cancer, but we’re still processing the whole mess, you know? And so getting away was so nice, and sharing our vacation with family just made it that much better! I’m so grateful it all worked out!

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  12. There is nothing, absolutely nothing, better than a family vacation with happy grandkids, time with our adult children, and conversations with puzzles and the beach. Nothing. Add hot fudge sundaes to that and life is paradise. 🙂 So glad you had such a successful joyful trip.

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    • LOL! I’m glad you get it! My husband used to be chipper in the morning, but I never was. And now we’re both sort of, “don’t talk to me until after I’ve had caffeine and food….” and it works for us. Still, it was sort of nice to walk out of the bedroom and be greeted by cheers and hugs. Heck, at home, even the dog isn’t that excited to see me!

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    • Thank you so much, Kathy! It has been a tough year for everyone, I think, but even tougher for those who have had to deal with issues on top of the Covid mess. So we really appreciated the chance to just get away from it all and spend time with our family. I didn’t tune into the news once the entire week!

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  13. Holidays are to be savoured and when kids (and adults) can be free and do fun things, that’s all the more precious. It makes me happy to know that you can once again travel to Florida (which you love) but sweeter still is how the little things we so often take for granted have become so precious to you. I have tucked those lessons into my heart. May I live my day better because of this. Thank you, Ann.

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    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment! We were so happy to be able to go on our trip with the whole family, and it really was that much better knowing that it wasn’t something I take for granted anymore. I hope things are well with you, and please know that you remain in my prayers.

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  14. Family is good but children are the best gifts a family could ask for. They can be stressful and demanding but they’re surely fun to be with, and those smiles…. They’re all for your happiness.

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  15. I thought you lived in Florida! Must be the beach picture in your header. Where do you live anyway?

    I live in So Cal but I am in southwestern Michigan right now. My adult and so far childless except for 3 grandcats to which I may or may not be allergic both live in Kalamazoo and want me to move here. Even though it’s not fully winter yet I’m not sure I could take the cold full time so, if I have an option when I’m ready to move away from “home” which will not be till after my mom leaves hospice I hope to be able to become a snowbird.

    In conclusion, though there is a holiday this week, I still subscribe to the notion that any day I get to spend
    with my kids is always a holiday! I imagine you’d agree.

    Liked by 1 person

    • No, the photo is from Sanibel Island, where we love to vacation. I actually live in Missouri. And I agree, any day we spend with our children qualifies as a holiday! I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

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