Me: "Who has the best seat in the house, me or daddy?"

Adam: "Well, Daddy's is nice, but yours is best. Your's is squishier."

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Road Trip Part 2: Washington

It has been about 13 years
since we last saw Guy's relatives in Washington.  That meant that Ethan had to endure a lot of cheek pinching and "my-how-you've-growns" that led to plenty of teenage-groans from him.  It was really amazing, though, to be around a close extended family.  Guy's Aunt Marilyn and Uncle Jim are raising the fourth generation to live in their beautiful Washington town.  It was really inspiring to be in their home surrounded by their grandchildren, food, laughter and music.  I know that, like everyone else, their family probably has it's moments and its problems, but they have each other.  I loved seeing the grand kids glow in the light of their grandparents eyes.  I loved hearing the stories that brought them all together and keep them together.  

The house that Guy's grandfather built is still in the family and it was magical to take the kids to see it.  "Don't turn on the light!"  Adam said as we made our way down the dark basement stairs, "I want it to be all creepy!"  The basement is full of simple and carefully made furniture, and grandpa's woodworking tools are still sitting on his work bench.  It was a step back in time to see the old coal pit and coal burning furnace, and grandma's old beauty salon hair dryer straight out of Fried Green Tomatoes.  We had other special moments, too, like seeing Aunt Beth, and my sister and her husband.  There were never enough hours in any given day to see and say all that we wanted to.

My favorite moment came when Jenni's family, gifted with their father's talent for music, sang for us.  It was so inspiring to see all of their children playing instruments and singing.  I committed in my heart to invest more effort towards my own children's music education.

 Our time in Washington was too short, and I wept a little as we left
the special people that we grew to adore in the few days we were there. 

 This is the kind of moment that cameras were invented for
 (yes, they actually walk around hand-in-hand like that. 
They also pull hair and poke, but every once in a while
 if you catch them being nice, you gotta get proof).

Second cousins, now best of friends

Cool, baby!

A magical evening listening to Jenni's super-talented family sing
 and play ukuleles for us in our own private concert.

Eddie amazes with a song written for his mother.

Aunt Beth, one of the most spiritual women I have ever had the privilege to meet,
and her son Mike.  It is sort of weird how many of Guy's cousins have gone grey,
because I'm certainly not getting any older. 

One of the many furniture pieces
made by Guy's Grandpa for his sweetheart, Ella.

 A hand hewn timber in the basement of the house also built by Guy's grandfather.

Cousins; they may look grown up, but it is purely an illusion.

This is pretty much how Jonah spent the whole vacation;
wandering the kitchen begging for food like a puppy. 
We call it "The Helen Keller School of Food Acquisition".

Translation:"More, please!"

Note the experienced grandma in action: Excellent eye contact,
super snuggling form,
not to mention the unconditionally loving look. 
Yes, ladies and gents,
these are the hallmarks of a true professional.
Jonah meets his Auntie for the first time.

If I had to name this one, I would call it "Childhood".

A visit with my sis and her hubby,
and not enough time.

And the sun goes down on Washington State. 

 Next up:

1 comment:

Jenni said...

You got some amazing pictures! I love that last one of the girls looking out over the water. And I agree, we all got older these past 12 years but you didn't! No fair!