Monday, September 18, 2006

How can I tell thee ?

How is it possible to share our great week’s “working vacation” out west within this blog, without first making mention of the excitement churning deep in our bellies in the weeks prior to our arrival. Once “the eagle landed” though, other emotions began to surface, sometimes an absolute sinking feeling, as we fell into a deep emotional abyss within the core of our souls, while spending our limited time with family and friends. The range of emotions were seemingly endless, the memories though, always grand!

Our week began with a full day of travel, reaching our destination in time for the curtain of darkness falling gently over us three hours after we were used to our usual sunset timing. The sun shone the whole way while soaring high above the clouds, so what could be more terrific, than having three extra hours to be thankful for it?

Having planned the trip around some particulars booked on our calendars to get back west for, details, gatherings, activities, must do lists, all mounted up to the point of having to type it out as a ready-refernce each and every day while there.

Our first day of travel began at 5am Eastern time, with a release of speed for a major flight delay in the air, while circling south around a major thunder storm. We almost missed our connecting flight boarding immediately, then realized our time departing was ridiculous with 32 aircrafts ahead of us in line, and 22 behind us waiting like we were. Amazing traffic jam really!

After arriving to our final destination, our driving began, then the lousy luck of finding out someone’s luggage next to ours had something explode in it, filling its scent into one of our suitcases with such a toxic smell, everything was almost ruined and needed immediate attention after arriving at our resting point for the evening. Unanticipated timing for a much longer evening occurred to air everything out, place the nasty smelling suitcase on the outside porch overnight, then hoping all would dissipate by early the next morning. Crashing the night at one of the older daughter’s home, once settled our sleep came easy. What was it, 2:00am our time? Not bad huh? Up for 21 hours? Yikes!

Admittedly, the first two mornings after our arrival, our eyeball sockets were beginning to feel the discomfort never experienced before. Amazingly, we somehow made it through a Sunday sermon the day after arriving and though our eastern time however had us all awake at a rather early hour on Pacific time; it felt as though our noon hour had crept in surely somewhere around 7am, therefore we sneaked away for a glorious cup of coffee (or hot chocolate), with a relaxing newspaper reading perusal, at the local Starbucks, thoroughly enjoyed by all. The sun was shining; the air crisp, and already we’d circled past the old neighborhood. It was already proving to be the beginning of a great week! Contentment filled our hearts as we anticipated many reunions ahead.

The week’s scheduling roared by, fast and furious, visits were sometimes all too short and sweet with our limited timing, however they remain very memorable, and so very precious to us. Our family and special friends were able to remain at the top of our super insane long list, and we’re all so very pleased to have had our time with all of you. To those we missed seeing, we send our heartfelt apologies, but please let me assure you; there was just no way to add anything else in the schedule this time around. But we have plans for you; just you wait until Canada post comes around very soon. *wink*

Highlights of our trip were many!

How can I ever list them all here?

I’ll just go ahead and try…

  • Seeing the old neighborhood and all the construction progress surrounding it
  • Overdue family times together with the older three and their families
  • Hugging with our adorable grandbabes when they finally warmed back up to us all again
  • Dinners with both sets of our parents, two separate occasions, in two different cities.
    • Meeting our daughter’s boyfriend and having a lovely breakfast with his family. Our daughter is the first girlfriend brought home, this was a new experience for his family, great people, such a fun time. Hubby even fit in having his “man to man” traditional talk with him too one evening, so surely this guy has had his initiation into our family now, from both father, and brothers...*wink*
  • Birthday cake and singing for my father’s 75th birthday, a milestone celebration we were happy to be there for.
  • Shopping at Costco and filling cupboards up. Kids thrilled to have simple breakfast on the run, things like Cherrios before flying in ziplock bags, and occasionally before moving out quickly for our day's events and activities. Poor kids, mom hardly buys Cheerios at home, so this was a real treat. Not sure who loved them more, kids or dad?
  • Snacking with my two best buddies, the two with whom I've shared many, many years of birthday celebrations with, our traditional "sister chicks" times together. We yearn for these occasions, simple but sometimes complex, whatever time we can steel away from our homes. It was a pleasure to be together, however short and sweet, the hugs were warm and always special. Thanks you two, love to you both!

  • Dinner with the older ones alone, the younger ones babysitting to make this all possible. Sushi never looked so very wonderful!

  • The grand “new tire” adventure, totally unexpected, but it had to fit in our scheduling

  • The difficult task of finding tire information and the man rescuing the damsel in distress by saving the day...
  • Shopping for shoes and getting the family discount from “M”
  • Dinner with fun and fabulous out of town guests at one of our big kid’s place.
  • Hanging around with “the boys”, the two dogs! Seeing another daughter finally able to remain near the silly pups.
  • Watching the kids play soccer with buddies in the front yard at a friend’s house, rose bushes a bit harried with ball smashings though.
  • Seeing two rolled up towels with our kid’s names noted on name tags sitting nicely on top
  • Seeing familiar faces at church on Sunday
  • Breakfast after mass where we were useless help and our eyeballs began to fall closed for a wee minute or five
  • Attending a late night baseball game and whistling at the home runs
  • Meeting “R’s” mommy and freezing on the stands with her (laugh)
  • Watching the younger ones cuddle with the grandbabes
  • Watching little baby begin to walk and spin in her walker
  • Taking pictures of kids at their work
  • Tasting those sweet “Cinnabons” again! Yummy yum!
  • Seeing our own “Winona Ryder’s” new haircut (snicker)
  • Taking pictures and videos for future sharing
  • Lunching with dear former neighbors, noting the old neighborhood, and missing the great people living there. Sorry we missed some of you on our visit!
  • Meeting however briefly with dearest friends for a meal or a snack on the run
  • Driving all over racking up miles and miles running kids around to babysit, visit or overnight with a relative or dear friend
  • Squeezing in hugs whenever possible
  • Sharing future plans together with family
  • Waiting four patient hours for dental appointments to be completed
  • Racing to many other assorted preplanned and important appointments, accomplishing much while doing so
  • Watching young and old kids run around playing ball, football, dog pile and definite wrestling movements
  • Watching the serious "Survivor Boathouse" DVD from last summer and watching our now famous son, host the episode to the grand finale winner - Larry!
  • Experiencing life in an apartment and the noisy neighbors having a party, disciplining children in odd ways below us while trying to have a quick shut eye, listening to sirens blaring all night long, hearing bus after bus zoom by, remembering this is the sound of the city we left behind, then the older kids remarked on yearning for quiet at times. *laugh*
  • Staying in various hotels in three different cities, one of them we'd never stay at again! *snicker*
  • Sightseeing fast and furious in downtown Vancouver and on the harbor. Admiring Stanley Park, noting the construction on the future site of the large convention center, watching the busyness surrounding the cruise ships docked on the pier at the Pan Pacific Hotel/World Trade Center, and sucking back the fresh sea air. Hubby likes to feel the salt on his lips, and that he did.
  • Experiencing that horrible traffic again, both to and from Vancouver and into the valley!
  • Smiling while passing various locations during our travels where fond memories stood out
  • Observing things people make at work when business is slow. How many elastics make up this ball?
  • Having our ice cream cone ritual taken care of at our favorite dairy on a rainy day, the ONLY rainy day!


All too soon, the time out west was complete – and over

It was time to depart just six days after arrival, with another full day of travel ahead of us.

Whoosh! Our time flew by!

There are no goodbyes, simply “Until we meet again” lines only.

Love to all, thanks to all, until we meet again!