Well, I’ve written on this blog about the importance of family in the “on the road” life in the past, but not much except in passing. This page will describe a couple of recent events I mentioned on the last entry that would be happening and have now occurred. These situations will show there really is nothing like family, even when you don’t have an address, a house or a definite future plan and I will give you examples to prove it. I’m going to put them on this page, but really, I have them in my heart. Read on.
First example, visits with the family in Comox. Last week, these visits were about to happen. Now they are happening. Evidence of that was in our physical presence in the right location, but also in the form of feelings. As soon as Jim and I arrived here and set up our camp, we both felt different. How? Well, as we were putting up our new screen tent (the rec room), and laying out the large outdoor mat in front of the door (entrance hall) and lowering the trailer- balancing things ( stabilizers, of course that’s what they’re called, duh ), Jim said what we were both thinking, “Wow, is it good to be here. It’s so nice to think we know somebody here and that it’s actually family.”
Yes, we know somebody here and in a couple of days they will actually be “coming over”. Jim has a daughter and three grandchildren that live close by and now the daughter has a lovely boyfriend who is also becoming part of the family. We were both delighted to finish our setup and mosy over to their house which looked familiar and comforting. Familiar, huh, interesting concept when you live on the road. It’s like those brain synapes go into a different mode where they can relax and slip down a path they actually know instead of puzzling out a new one with regard to new scenery. Lack of knowledge about your surroundings can become onerous, even though most of the time it’s fun. In addition, Leslie, Jim’s youngest daughter, is a warm, happy person who makes us feel right at home. And the kids have become, for me, a real treat and I look forward to seeing them. Even the teenagers, lol.
And so, a few days later, it’s time for our early Thanksgiving-in-a-trailer dinner with Leslie and her family. And another treat, Ashley, Jim’s other daughter, is driving five hours with her two-year-old son to come to the dinner too. This makes Jim and I even happier, more family, a complete gathering and it’s all on us to enjoy and bask in the warmth of relatives. What a change this is for us. What a joyous event. It is made even better given the rareness of having family around and actually being able to entertain them. That’s such a unique element to life on the road. Bring it on.
And so we’ve planned, discussed, cooked, added other things, given thought to activities and generally spent these few days getting ready. It’s not easy to have a full course dinner for ten or so people in a trailer, but we’re gonna do it, that’s for sure. We set up the rented party room by ten a.m., put the roast in the oven, and settled back to wait for the onslaught. Sure enough, Ashley arrived with two year old Kylan shortly after lunch and we spent all afternoon playing with him and completely messing up the nice look of the room. Toys everywhere, what joy. Kylan was in a great mood and we had so much fun with him. Wow, did I miss this.
And then everyone else arrived. Birthday presents arrived for me and added to the occasion. A cake was snuck in (do they think I’m blind? No, just old.) The kids played everywhere, in and out of the room, under tables, around people, toys and noise everywhere. The food came out, we all ate too much and wow, it was like a real occasion! A rugby game (teenagers versus five year old) ensued out on the lawn and was cheered on by all the lazy adults. Why do I need a house? Can’t remember right now, sorry. Having way too much fun.
And then it was finished. Successful annual Thanksgiving-in-a-trailer feast. Did it again. Hah.
Next example, the trip to Edmonton for a grandchild’s birthday. Oh boy, the anticipation. How much have he and his adorable brothers changed? Will they remember me? Do they know my name (GG for Grandma Glenda)? Am I bringing good presents or will they have outgrown them? Am I staying long enough? Too long? Are my son and his wife doing this just because I asked or do they really enjoy it when we come? All of these things are considerations that occur when you are doing “life on the road” visits to kids. None of this might not be anything you have to worry about if they live in the same city or down the street. But fly-in, fly-out visits? A different kettle of fish all together. But, believe me, certainly not unsatisfying. Maybe more satisfying given the circumstances. But I could wonder about that all day. Instead, here goes, another supervisit. Again, bring it on.
And so I endure a red-eye plane ride to Edmonton. Oh well, so what if I had to get up at four A.M.? This will be worth it and I can do it. Landing at eleven is no problem, bleary-eyed, hungry, cold and in a bit of a stupor. Where’s my son to pick me up? Finally, after texting, “Did you remember I’m coming? Are you going to pick me up?”, I get an answer, “On my way. ” Oh, right, no problem.
After a short nap at my hotel, I’m ready for yet another onslaught. This time, three kids under eight and a houseful full of toys, diapers, more toys, excited little bodies, noise, so much noise!! Yes, it’s true, this is harder when you’re not used to it. Trailer life is quiet, peaceful, organized. But this is fun! I love it! And I can leave tomorrow evening. It’s all good.
We arrive at their house (after finally being picked up at the airport and having my little nap), and it’s awesome. I love them so much, my heart is bursting. Every one of the kids is competing for my attention, they are all in for hugs and kisses at the same time and they’ve remembered who GG is. In fact, Gabe, the seven year old, still calls me “GGandJimmy” every time he talks to me, putting together Jim’s name and mine in one garbled phrase. Can there be anything cuter? And is this life “on the road”, and if so, how can it be so good? Why do I need a house again? Still can’t remember.
And so it goes on. Theodore, the birthday boy, is so fat and pudgy and such a Dennis the Menace I can’t stop laughing at him and amazingly, he keeps laughing back. At one point his dad yelled, “Hey!” at him to get him to stop climbing up onto the table, and Theodore, teething drool all down his face, yelled instantly back at him,”Hey!” in exactly the same tone and then burst out laughing. All I can think is, wow, are you going to get yours. Hilarious.
And so, from all of this, can we come to a conclusion? Well, I just have to say that life on the road is still, in my opinion, fabulous. It just needs some manipulating, rearranging, organizing and rethinking to be made to contain all the necessary elements for happiness. Gratitude for what you have is a big component. Making it happen is another. Jim and I seem to be very good at both of these things, and so we are managing. Next, a visit to Winnipeg to pack up the condo. That’s the official reason we’re going, but really, we’re going to have more of these soul-warming events, this time with both family and friends. I will get to visit with yet another son of whom I am very proud and dying to see. More family that is very dear. Friends that are so precious they seem like family. Can’t wait. Bring it on.