Sunday, October 24, 2010


The sign on the door of our vacation condo says check-out time is 10:00 a.m., but vacation really ended last evening when the last of our visiting family members pulled out. Like two first-time parents of college-bound coeds, we watched the tail lights turn the corner as our son's large hands waved bye, and tiny voices cried out the last of their many "I-love-yous."

Five-minutes later, we realized that our youngest son, and only California resident, forgot the residue of our vacation feasties, so we called him back to clear out the leftovers from the freezer. Our eldest son called to ask if we could see if his glasses were left in his adjacent condo. I'm a bad mommy. I smiled inwardly that they would both return for one last hug, despite how frustrated they were over these delays.

Tom and I got those last hugs, and then they were really gone. Middle son, Adam, and his wife had safely landed back at home in Utah and there was a loving text message waiting on our phones. Our daughter and her family couldn't make this trip, but there was also a message from her telling us they were anxious to see us when we returned. I'll admit it. We wiped moist eyes. Man, oh man, how we love all these faces, and the voices and the hands and their heads lying infrequently on pillows in our home once again.

It rained most of the week--a washout in vacation terms on a vacation purposely set by the sea. We groused about the weather and watched movies, played board games, visited a few of the kiddie activities the resort hosts. There were a few rounds of golf for the men, some shopping for the girls, a Disney day and a few tolerable hours by the hot tub and pool, but mostly we just "hung-out" together. And though we did grumble initially, by week's end, we knew it had been a perfect week of being together... not as tourists... but as a family.

So we'll head home today and see our Maryland babies, then in two days, Amanda and I will pack up her babies and fly them west to visit their Utah cousins for a little more family Halloween fun. She'll introduce her newest baby--Avery--to her uncles, aunts and cousins, showing that sweet little girl right from the start, about what really matters.

We're all building something splendid every day. We are creators--of families. Each day we get 24 hours to mold and make some beautiful memories together. We made some good ones this week. I was so nervous they'd all feel they had wasted their vacation on a rained-out California trip. Instead, the Lord blessed us by keeping us close. Sometimes the blessings are subtle, but they're there, and in the end, it was sublime.

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