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Family Vacation Heart Tugs

Oh, the heart tugs when Husband and I were with all eight Grands and their parents.

            I walked in back on a short walk from Son and Daughter 2’s home to their neighborhood playground.  Husband. Daughter. Son. Daughter 2. Son 2. Eight Grands – ages 4-14.  They paired up.  Husband and Sons talked. Daughters walked together.  The youngest Grands ran ahead.  Other Grands followed. I wished for a longer walk. 

            At Son and Daughter 2’s home, I tucked in and kissed the Grands good-night.  They lay on blow-up mattresses and over them were Granny’s quilts.  My granny’s quilts.  Their great-great grandmother.  The moment that hit me, my eight-year-old Grand said, “Gran, are you crying?”  I wiped sentimental tears remembering how I sat beside Granny and watched her pin a worn 3” square paper to fabric scraps or cloth flour sacks to cut the quilt pieces.  I threaded tiny quilting needles because the needle eyes were so tiny that Granny could hardly see them.  Some 60 years later, Granny’s great-great grandchildren snuggled under their favorite granny quilts. 

            Sons and Daughters took charge of an all-day ride, with many sightseeing stops, through the Rocky Mountains.  Three vehicles were loaded with stuff for a few nights in a house on the other side of the Rockies.  Son said, “Mom, you’re riding with me.” Husband was assigned to Son 2’s van.  Daughters rode together and the Grands were assigned seats to give the cousins time together.  All I did was ride, take notes, and enjoy the scenery and time with Son and two Grands who later declared themselves “Best Cousins Forever.”

            How to feed 14 people lunch in 30 minutes.  Park at the Rocky Mountain Welcome Center.  Open the back of one van.  Hand out sandwiches packed in zip lock plastic bags with each person’s name on a bag and bottled drinks. Everyone find a seat, on the rock wall, on grass, anywhere not near the road. Pass around big bags: chips, cut up apples, grapes.  Gather trash.  Pass around a bag of cookies.  

            “Tonight we’re making s’mores!” Daughter announced after lunch.  “There’s a fire pit at our big house.  It’ll be fun!”  The outside fire pit was on a steep hill and surrounded by dry pine needles, not safe in windy conditions.  Plan B: use the gas fire pit on the house deck.  Wind and rain and hail canceled that plan. Son and Daughter conferred while the Grands waited, seated at the kitchen bar.

            “Okay, we got this!” Daughter said and passed out graham crackers on napkins to the Grands.  Son and Daughter 2 roasted marshmallows over medium flame on the gas stovetop. Disappointed groans from kids faded quickly when roasted marshmallows and chocolate were passed around.

            Son 2 adjusted helmets.  Checked bike tires.  Made sure everyone had a water bottle and had been coated with sunscreen and away he rode with four kids behind him on a Colorado bike trail.            

  Tired and emotional meltdowns hit the Grands during the week.  Thankfully not at the same time.  I’m erasing those memories and keeping the happy ones.

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