It is crazy that I live less than a half an hour’s drive from the beautiful property where I grew up, and where my dad, step-mother and two sisters still live, and yet I’m there at best once a month. Would you leave it a month between visits to this place?
This week my wonderful step-mom Debbie called and asked if she could “have the girls” for the day on Friday. Umm… yeah! Only when I thought about it, I didn’t have that much I needed to do without the girls, and I hadn’t seen her for a while myself, so I asked if I could hang out there, too. So, we spent a lovely few hours in the morning and over lunch chatting and catching up before I took her up on her offer. I disappeared for a couple hours while the little ones were napping to have a frappuccino at Barnes & Noble without having to share run some errands. Lovely!
A little while after I got back, everyone started arriving home, including the usual three or four extra kids that always seem to be there. My dad got out his riding mower and trailer to give the girls a ride.
(Note: Yeah, it isn’t the *safest* place in the world. I try to run each activity my dad or sisters suggest through a little test I call the Emergency Room Test. It goes like this: I imagine myself in the ER describing to the triage nurse what my child was doing when the accident occurred, and if I sound like an idiot in my head for letting them participate in said activity, I regretfully decline. Examples: “Well, my dad was giving her a ride in the trailer attached to his lawnmower when she climbed out/reached out and tried to grab the wheel etc.” passes the test. Barely. On the other hand, “You see, my 12-year-old sister was driving the mower down the steep slope to the valley when the baby asked if she could try steering, so, well, it seemed like an okay idea at the time…” Not so much. So, I try to relax when I’m there and trust that if I survived growing up there, it’s probably okay, but there’s a lot of covering my eyes involved, and I’m pretty sure my dad still thinks I’m overprotective. Oh well. As you can see a wonderful time was had by all.)
As I said, this place and I go *way* back. It is the home I was brought home to when I was born, and though some things have changed, plenty of things haven’t.
The motor cycle may have been traded in for a riding mower, but at six weeks shy of 60 (I know!), my dad still *rocks* his cut-offs. The great dane has been replaced by a yorkie, but stray cats (and their little ones) are still welcome and fed. And a certain little blonde girl now is all grown up, but there are still plenty of little blonde girls around to enjoy the riches of this beautiful corner of the world.