July 6, 2009

A Family-Filled Holiday Weekend

I love this shot taken at my cousin's farm on the 4th of July! It's a tradition at their house to hang this lighted flag every year, and a tradition to invite family and friends for an all-day BBQ with home-style fireworks after dark. The now famous "quote of the event" was courtesy of my uncle and cousins as they lit fireworks out in the dark bean field. All the way up the hill we heard - "Get out of there, run, run!!!" Fortunately there were no injuries - this year anyway! And the play-by-play that was relayed to my aunt from my uncle's cell phone kept us laughing hysterically. What a great time we had. And the bonus this year was that it was also a surprise 65th birthday party for my aunt and uncle. And they were VERY surprised! There were many unexpected guests arriving all day long, and I know my aunt and uncle will have wonderful memories for many years. Good job to my cousin who proved herself a wonderful event planner and a gracious hostess once again.

On the way home the next morning, we stopped to see my 99-year-old grandmother and found her in wonderful spirits, not to mention bright as a new penny. Our DD made some delicious blueberry tarts for my grandmother and her sweet roommate, and both ladies were so tickled to get them. We've learned that it doesn't take much to make a nursing home resident happy - just a little gift and someone new to talk with. The weather was perfect and we sat outdoors to talk, making for a very enjoyable visit. It's hard to say goodbye every time, and Grandma is never ready for you to go!

The final stop of weekend was right here in town at my other aunt and uncle's home. They were having a birthday BBQ lunch for my cousin, who was truly "Born on the 4th of July"! We were treated to garden green beans, as well as potatoes and peas, and cucumbers from their garden, as accompaniments to the BBQ - it was wonderful! Our own girl had yet another group of friends to see last evening before she headed back up to school, so we couldn't stay too long at my aunt and uncle's house, but it was a very pleasant Sunday afternoon. DH and I discussed the fact that even though it had been a long weekend of traveling and visiting, it was more than anything a very emotionally nourishing weekend. We really felt "filled up" when we got home.

Then comes the hard part of the weekend - saying goodbye to DH as she heads back up to the college and back to work. This is her care package, which looks a little different in the summer! It's full of just picked lettuce (washed and wrapped in paper towel to get crisp), just picked broccoli, a few extra ingredients just in case she wants to make that yummy broccoli salad with nuts and raisins, and a little bouquet of flowers from the yard. It was as always, wonderful to have her around. It's harder every time to say goodbye. Even over the summer she's experienced some new passages, and each one reminds us that it won't be long before things are never the same again - actually, if I was honest with myself, I'd admit that we're already there - but don't push me, o.k.? I'm a slow processor! And truthfully, the future looks very bright.

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