My Mini Escape
So, I had big plans to blog while I was away from home – I even took my camera and fresh batteries. Yeah, the camera never got used once. All those cute pictures of my niece Kate – you’ll just have to imagine (or go see her parents’ blog – Weston & Erin). Not to mention the pictures of the snow storm, or my younger son on one of his rages, or my daughter with her amazing block castle… All those great memories, NOT captured for all time.
Anyhow – two weeks ago I packed our Pathfinder with:
- two kids, aged 9 and 10
- three duffles full of clothes (including a few grocery bags of mending – I did do ONE constructive thing at my parent’s home)
- two laptop computers (one is mine, one is a really old one my brother Alex passed on to us – loaded up with all the old kids games that only run on Windows 95)
- a tote bag full of books – piano books, scriptures, about 600 library books (not really – just six or so)
- a bag of trip snacks (crackers, candy, cookies – all the good stuff)
- 3 water bottles
- 2 pillows, 2 fleece blankets
- one portable dvd system – the most ESSENTIAL item packed in the car for this trip
This is the first trip from Denver to Utah that we’ve made with a portable dvd system. It made a world of difference! My kids didn’t fight – they didn’t ask over and over where we were and how long until we got there – they didn’t eat every snack they had within 10 minutes of leaving home. In short, it was a pretty pleasant trip for a 7.5 hour excursion. Of course, I’m a mean mom who generally doesn’t allow much t.v. as a rule – 30 minutes in the evening before bed is about all they can ever hope for. But NOW they watched movies for 7 hours straight! Oh, the luxury! I’m grateful to Mom & Dad who gifted us with this miracle machine at Christmastime. Destined for greatness in our house!
Once parked safely in front of the distinctive pink stucco house, the Pathfinder moved nary an inch until it was re-packed at the end of our stay. My dad wondered if it would even start after sitting for so long! We walked in to discover my sister, Erin, had come to stay for a few days. I was so glad – I really wanted to see her, but wasn’t really thinking I wanted to make the drive up north to Utah County. We had a lot of fun together – well, we thought it was fun, anyway. We stayed up late talking (solving all the world’s problems, by the way). We watched her daughter, Kate, be cute (2 is a very charming age, especially if you are a precocious talker. We were continually giggling over her funny expressions!). We watched The Time Traveler’s Wife one evening. We ate yummy foods and slept in late, and just generally enjoyed being together. Thanks so much, Weston, for making the sacrifice – it was greatly appreciated!
After Erin went home, my kids were more bored – no Kate to play with, too much snow on the ground to really play outside for very long. Oh yes, did I mention the snow? Friday night we got dumped on – Dad said there was about 10 inches in the back yard when he went out. All the snow brought down some power lines. We woke up to snow falling and no electricity – no heat, no t.v., no phones (because, seriously, who has a corded phone anymore??). It was kind of fun – Dad turned on the gas fireplace for a little heat, and we all sat around in our p.j.s. Then we decided we’d have to go to Richfield to get breakfast, since we couldn’t really fix anything at home (obviously!). McDonalds it was – and by the time we got home, the power was back on.
Back to our second week – I finally did all my mending (my mom is the master seamstress and I like to do mending at her house because she has great equipment, a huge variety of threads, and knows how to make things look right) and made plans with my mom for dresses to make for Haley. Mom makes the cutest dresses for her – we are so lucky! I finally logged in to my computer at work and returned the calls I had been ignoring (I’m on vacation, right??), so that made all our unhappy tenants a little more happy that finally their issues were being addressed. And I decided to help my parents strip the wallpaper off the guest bathroom. My mom has been talking about doing it for almost a year, but every time I have come out to visit we’ve been too busy. This time I wasn’t too busy, but I was tired. I really just sat around most of the time I was visiting – and sleeping as much as possible. But a few days before I planned to go home, I decided to at least do that one constructive thing. Luckily the paper came off easy-peasy. It was already peeling at the seams – I pulled off the vinyl coat, sprayed the paper with hot water and vinegar, and scraped it off in long, wide strips. And I enjoyed The Graveyard Book and Airhead (books on tape) while working, because that makes it fun! Unfortunately, I only cleaned the glue off part of the walls – I had to leave the rest for my mom. But we went to Home Depot and picked out paint and tile for the tiling project my mom has for my dad in that room, so I will expect a big makeover the next time I visit. (My parents have been on a kick this past year – did the kitchen and some flooring – it’s been fun to see).
All good things must come to an end, and this trip finally ended when I drove back into Denver last Friday. It was nice to be home. Especially since I have felt so much better since I got home. All the rest and escape from life was just the thing I needed to beat the winter blues. Thanks Mom & Dad!! (And Tom!)