We're home again, after a two week trip to the East Coast. I almost wrote that as, "home again, after a two week trip back home." I'm extraordinarily lucky in that visiting my parents still feels like going home. Even though my own place here on the opposite coast is very much home as well. I guess it's rather like knowing that my roots are still intact, though the trunk has grown across a continent and the canopy is spreading wide, far away from where the acorn was once planted.
My parents still live in the same house in which I grew up, and it does my heart good to be within those walls. Whenever we come to visit, Mom always ties a yellow ribbon around the oak tree in the front yard. They are such thoughtful hosts, shopping for the foods we like, making everything as easy as possible for our visit, wanting to be sure that everything is just right.
Unfortunately, the first week of our trip turned out to be rather wretched. We arrived late Wednesday night (actually, very early Thursday morning) and much of Thursday was just spent recovering from the trip and the time change. On Friday morning BB came down with a bad stomach virus. She was vomiting for four days. Poor boo couldn't hold anything down at all for the first two days, and we ended up at the urgent care center worried about dehydration. The doctor said she wasn't clinically dehydrated -- yet -- but that she was probably within 10-12 hours of being so. And thus the pee watch began. (As long as she was urinating every 10 hours, the doctor said, we would know she wasn't dehydrated.) Thankfully, almost as soon as we got home from the doctor she took a turn for the better, though it was a good 48 hours before she was back to her usual, healthy self.
Meantime, alas, my dad came down with the bug while BB was recovering. Then BJ got sick. Then my mom. Though none of them had it as badly as poor BB, we ended up losing an entire week to folks being sick. Had to cancel our camping trip and almost had to cancel the trip up to visit my sister and her family. I'm still not sure how S and I managed to avoid getting sick (other than by washing our hands almost until they were cracked and bleeding). NO FUN.
Happily, the second half of our visit was much, much better. We packed it with all sorts of wonderful things:
- fishing with Uncle R and riding on his boat (he runs a marina and knows the best places to catch sunfish -- the kids caught about a dozen little sunnies!)
- playing with cousin B (such fun especially to see BB and B together, since they are only about 9 months apart in age)
- shopping with my sister (even got to visit the cosmetics store with her! Excellent! It's very cool to have a licensed aesthetician as a sibling.)
- seeing the place where Washington crossed the Delaware (a big deal, thanks to Schoolhouse Rock and "The Shot Heard Round The World" -- we heard about the Hessians all day long that day)
- catching fireflies (in spite of discovering that there are Real Fireflies and Impostor Fireflies, and the impostors will eat the real ones if permitted... ah, wild kingdom in a jar. Let's just say it's rather challenging to remove one particular firefly from a container of many. But I managed it!)
- visiting Milburn's orchard (and feeding the goats!)
- jumping in the bounce house (yes my parents bought a bounce house in preparation for the visit!)
- visiting the Delaware Children's Museum (which had an exhibit all about the human body! Guess who loved that one!)
- making homemade ice cream (using one of those balls you roll around -- pretty neat, and yummy too!)
Thanks so much for a wonderful visit, Pop-Pop and Giki, and Auntie B and Uncle R, and cousin B, too! It was wonderful to see you all. We miss you already.