I can’t think of any better way to initiate the New Year than returning home and visiting my family. My parents have lived in the same house for almost 40 years and returning there brings comfort from the familiarity and memories it holds. And there is something to be said for living in one place so long—a kind of security and stability that is magnetizing.
We ate at our favorite Mexican place, still as festive and bright as it always was, with burritos as delicious as I remember. And it’s amazing how some places just don’t change and how satisfying that sameness can be.
My husband and I slept in the room that was mine growing up—a room pretty much unchanged in the last 20 years. I reminisced with my daughter as we looked through my old books—books still on my closet shelves, tucked away and saved over the years. We pulled out a yellowed-copy of Little House on the Prairie and an old version of Judy Blume’s Freckle Juice, and she laughed imagining they had been mine at nine. My stuffed animals still live on the shelf above my bed, the ceiling fan is the same, and my old prom dresses hang from the closet hangers. And visiting here is reassuring , as if in a sense it may be possible that time can stand still.
She practiced roller skating with her new skates, on the same sidewalks I practiced on when I was her age. And my mom stood beside me and remarked at how the years fly by. “She reminds me so much of you, you know,” my mom said, as she hugged me tight as we stood in this same yard where I had always played.
We played pool on the same pool table I’ve known all my life, with the stained-glass-hanging light still illuminating the green felt below. And the same elk head is still adorning the wall, the one that my dad had been so excited to get that year long ago. And of course Mr. Elk doesn’t supervise the pool room by himself. On the other wall, Mr. Elk’s friends, the antelope, white-tail buck, and mounted fish, watch too. And this is the pool room I’ve always known and loved and now my kids love it too.
Dad made us breakfast–eggs benedict with crab, accompanied by my high-maintenance Starbucks drink–his copy of our favorite Holland America breakfast. And it was so very delicious! He’s always loved to cook.
And what a great time we had showing the kids the giant trees of the Sequoia National Forest, a place I’ve visited countless times. This is the only place in the whole world where these giants of the forest grow. People come from all over the world to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Forest to see them. And as a kid, we would always take friends and family when they would come visit us in California, and their reactions would always be the same, as they became awestruck standing in the presence of these biggest trees on earth. And this visit with our kids was no different. They all stood in awe of the view this forest offered. It was nothing short of magnificent!
And this New Year weekend, the grandeur of God’s creation overwhelmed. The blessing of family filled. And again I pour out my thanks to Him for all He has given and continues to give. I am so very blessed!
#1166 A Friday drive with music and books #1167 Cool weather and the wearing of coats #1168 A real fire in the fireplace, crackles, and the smoky smells
#1169 Burritos with melted cheese and yummy rice
#1170 Hugs and recipes from Grandma
#1171 Electric-warming lap blankets
#1172 A quiet New Year’s eve celebrated east-coast-time
#1173 Kids and tractor rides
#1174 Parents modeling generosity
#1175 Majestic trees and rocks and mountain peaks
#1176 Hot pizza after a long day
#1177 The togetherness of spending vacation time together
#1178 New connections with local bloggers
#1179 Forest-learning on our way home
#1180 Relaxing David Nevue music