My glasses steamed up this morning as I strolled out of Planet Fitness. All day the sun shone while the heavy, humid air drenched my skin. Later, I hunched in front of my PC seeking inspiration. I wonder about a lot of things, but today I was wondering what to write. So many ideas were swirling in my head, so I moseyed out to my porch.
Then the sky darkened, the thunder rumbled, and the scent of rain filled the air. Frankly, I’m weary of rain like the rest of you, but the breeze from the north dropped the temperature providing a brief reprieve from the heat.
I soaked it in, returned to my computer, and thought about our weekend family retreat. It was perfect. Last spring I put out feelers about a family get-away but stated that I wouldn’t plan it. Time for the next generation to step up to that plate.
They did. My son Joseph and his wife Tanya found a vacation home on the Colorado River near Kingsland, Texas, that slept an army. They booked it, planned meals, and we all contributed to the expense. Although not everyone could make it, we enjoyed those who did.
The younger cousins, ages nine to fifteen, relished the freedom of staying up late, lots of water activities, and consuming mountains of food – including my banana bread, a family favorite. Then those in their 20s either romped with the littles or lounged with the adults, who were definitely lounging – especially me.
This was the first family retreat that I did not plan, cook, or clean up. And nobody expected that of me. When I started to help the younger ones with their meals, my grandson Tristan stepped in, “I got this, Mimi.” He did. I continued my lounging.
Our first stay on the Colorado River was amazing. Our house, spacious with a river view, offered loads of water fun. A pad for relaxing in the water accommodated adults and kids – even the dog, who enjoyed a plethora of new sensory experiences. Several paddled down the river in kayaks. And the high dock. Oh boy! High as the highest diving board, it provided the most fun. When the little boys discovered the gate, they opened it and leaped into the water – repeatedly. Even the adults joined in. Not me. I remained in low gear.
Twenty-one-year-old Tristan, a former Boy Scout, delighted the children by building a fire, gathering the s’more ingredients, and passing out the marshmallows with the forks for the sticky treat. Later, the adults relaxed around the fire for good conversation while the kids leaped off the dock and rode the waves of passing boats in the twilight of the day.
For a reprieve from the outdoor activities, the kids bounded inside to challenge each other in games of pool and foosball. Of course, that included snacks - heaps of them. Once sated and challenged, they headed outside for more water adventures. A kids’ paradise. Adults, too.
Our family retreats allow us to unplug, slow down, and just be. The time is precious. Reconnecting, building memories, and sharing on many levels. Worth every penny. Because relationships are priceless.