Just under 48 hours ago, we returned from five days together in Denver...home? I'm not sure about that, but it comes close. Anyway, I just wanted to say a few things about this trip.
First of all, we left feeling as if it was going to be completely "family occupied" which isn't such a bad thing, it's just not what we really wanted to happen. God is good! Here's what actually happened.
When we realized that the family greeting of Jonathan, Adam and David from Space Camp at DIA was not going to involve a family outing for dinner and discussion of their week in Huntsville, Warren and I were thinking...hey! We have a free evening and nobody but us knows about it! I suggested we call Durlin' (one of my longest and dearest friends). Warren said, "Call!" So I did...and, thankfully, she called back a few minutes later. As it worked out, we spent the evening with Durlin' (Debbi) and Les and Les fixed us a wonderful meal and we all had a wonderful time catching up and just re-energizing our love for each other. What a gift!
Saturday was pretty much family-oriented, which was a good thing. Jonathan had good times with his cousins on my side of the family, and lots of folks showed up to celebrate Jonathan's 15th birthday. It was a long, wonderful day with family and friends.
We'd thought long and hard about where to go to church on Sunday, and finally decided on St. John C's in Golden, where our dear friend Tim Thaden is Rector. We sent Jonathan in ahead of us and, as expected, Tim did not recognize him. After an "uncomfortable" greeting (Jonathan had a mouthful of Egg McMuffin...go figure), Tim looked out the window and spied me and Warren in the parking lot. He was astounded to realize that the young man he'd just greeted was Jonathan Hicks. We had a great reunion, and enjoyed so much sharing Eucharist with Tim and his flock. Unfortunately, Kathy Thaden was busy at the Cherry Creek Arts Festival that morning, so we missed her...boo!
Off to the Heim's house -- great 4th of July celebration -- we cooked kabobs on the grill and had a really nice time with family, which included Uncle Rich who drove down from Ft. Collins to be with us. The rain put a bit of a damper on the fireworks displays, but it cooled things off enough that it just didn't matter! We had a good, long day and were so happy to get back to Julie & Steve's house in Capitol Hill and just unlax, with nobody around to be bothered by. God is good.
Monday, by some happy glitch, we were able to schedule "breakfast" with our good friends Steve and Karen into our schedule. It was as if we'd been there last week...we hugged and kissed and got that out of the way, and then we were "off to the races" with our disconnected conversations and insights and jokes. We made so much noise, their neighbors closed their windows! FUN, FUN, FUN. Thank you, God. You are so very good! What a gift, to spend those few hours with those wonderful, dear friends.
On our way back to Golden, we'd re-connected with the Thadens, who live about two miles from Amy. So we did a "drive by" their house and were able to hug Kathy and have some chips and salsa with our dear friends. Another gift, as we never expected to see anyone other than family our entire visit. God is so good!
Once we were back at Amy's, it was all about family but it was all good. Dad and Olga arrived, and the party began. Michael sang; the boys played their instruments; the boys played baseball; the boys played and played and played. We have a wonderful family, and everyone was so gracious to spend so much of their time with us.
Tuesday, we got up early and packed up and locked up Julie & Steve's house. We drove up to W. 32nd Ave. and found a restaurant open. It was about 9:00 when we arrived. I ordered chile rellenos (so did Jonathan), and Warren ordered a bowl of menudo. Yum, yum, yum, yum! Our visit was now complete with the addition of Mexican food.
On our way to meet Jerry Heim to take us to the airport, we drove by our old houses in North Denver. They all look pretty good...a little worse for the wear, but sort of the same. It was the first time I did not feel sad seeing them. I'm not sure what that means, but I think it's important to remember.
Now we're back in Worcester. I can't say that I'm "home" because I don't think I can identify where my home is right now. That's sort of a sad feeling, but exciting in the fact that there are so many possibilities! We are so looking forward to our "relaxing" vacation next month in Maine, where we park our pop-up camper and read and sleep and watch the ocean currents and eat lobster and don't have to go anywhere or do anything.
God is so very good. And so are you, if you've taken time out of your busy life to read this!