Opinion: A week with my family


I just had the most wonderful week, and, strangely, I don’t know what to say about it. It was wonderful because I spent it with two of my daughters and four of my granddaughters.

One daughter and one granddaughter live in Missouri, and the other one lives in Seattle. A fourth granddaughter flew in from Denver, where she lives with her husband, two Bernese Mountain dogs and a horse.

The one from Seattle came with her husband – a loving, gentle giant of a man – and their two girls.

We see my Missouri family more or less regularly, but it was five years ago we last saw the Pacific Coast clan. We flew to their part of the world in the month of June and spent a week huddled in our coats in what Seattleites call summer.

They took us to the beach one day, and even though I’m sure the temperature was just above freezing, the girls wore swim suites and splashed away in the Pacific waters.

They planned a swim day during their time in Missouri as well, but the temperature rose to 105 degrees, and I watched culture shock spread across everyone in the family as we talked about frying eggs on the sidewalk.

The highlight of the trip was a birthday party for a granddaughter. She just turned 16 and spent a lot of time talking to her dad about getting her driver’s license and launching an ambitious teenage career that involved driving a car.

We had ice cream and cake and sang “Happy Birthday.” Then we set the cake aside for future appetites. Sadly, an army of ants snuck in under the cover of darkness that night and took over the cake. The cake with its decorated icing and the ants were consigned to the garden compost pit in the back yard.

My Missouri daughter is a Master Gardner and is ready to record the effects of birthday cake on her garden. Eggs, sugar and chocolate. What could go wrong?

Since it was too hot to do much outside, everybody gathered in front of the television and binge-watched movies. In between movies, we read books. I am blessed to have a family that loves to read. And we talked – about anything and everything.

On the trip back home, I realized I wasn’t sure what to tell others about the visit because I didn’t have to do anything other than enjoy my family.