I’m putting the auto reply on for my email and finishing up all the last-minute things one does before annual summer vacation time. Tomorrow at this time, I will be with my family heading to Ohio, the home state to aunts, uncles and cousins on my husband’s side. Last time we saw this side of our family was when my son was 5 months old. Considering he is on the brink of being a teen-ager, it’s been much too long between visits. My daughter is thrilled to be boarding a big airplane tomorrow, her blue eyes growing wide each time her brother tells her that will we be flying even higher than the clouds.
Our sweet friends are house and dog sitting. I made sure to stock up on some of their favorite goodies as a way of saying thanks for ensuring my home front is safe and sound while we’re away.
The thing I’m most looking forward to is staying at my husband’s aunt’s home, which is a 180-year-old farm house with a big, white picket fencing running nearly a mile across the front of their farmland. It won’t be quite the same, as Uncle Johnny passed away last year, but I can’t wait to spend the evenings sitting in the handmade rocking chairs on the porch after dinner each evening talking and watching the fireflies flit about the yard. We don’t have fireflies in Arizona so I can’t wait to view my daughter’s expression as she see these tiny dancing lights twinkling next to her.
My husband used to spend summers on his aunt and uncle’s farm, getting up at 5 a.m. with his four boy cousins to milk the dairy cows. They would work hard until noon, called in by his aunt with the proverbial iron dinner triangle for glasses of cold lemonade and sandwiches stacked high on the plate. There are less than a dozen cows on the land now — a big change from the 500–head dairy they used to have. Just enough to keep Aunt Joanne content.
Last time I was there, when I was having an identity crisis going from reporter to at-home mommy, Joanne proudly declared to me that she “was a farm wife through and through.” I admired how hard she worked to take care of husband, 4 boys and a farm. I also admired her award-winning pies at the country fair and her complete no-nonsense approach to life. I can’t wait to see this salt-of-the-Earth woman again and give her a big hug.
Other plans include visiting my mother-in-law’s best friend since they were both six-years-old in her hometown of Millersburg. We’ll be spending a day amongst the Amish and I’m jonesing to visit Lehman’s, the old hardware store where the electricity is cranked on each morning. I can spend hours in hardware stores looking for cool stuff for art projects, and even longer in Lehman’s with all its throw back to simpler times. The kids are also ready to do some swimming and fishing and I’m looking forward to some pure downtime.
We’re also trying to figure out how to get to Cedar Point to spend the day with Susan and her kids. I can’t imagine going all the way to Ohio and not checking in on our company offices and spending time with my friends/family. All in all, it’s looking like a nice, relaxing time with some long hours of family bonding.
I sincerely hope you are having a lovely summer and getting in some much-needed creative time for yourself too.