20141126 – Joy Unleashed

(Note: this post was written last Tuesday and Wednesday during a Thanksgiving Week visit with our family in Alabama).

Monday we arrived. After one and a half days of driving more than seven hundred fifty miles in steady rain, wind, road construction and finally a little sunlight, and putting up with a major power outage that left our hotel in the dark for the forty five minutes leading up to the mid-trip continuation of driving drudgery, we arrived, dropped the luggage in the hotel, and headed right back out the door… to finish grocery shopping for Thanksgiving in unfamiliar territory when all I wanted to do was hug my daughter, son-in-law and grandkids. Ever the patient and dutiful father and grandfather, I put aside my frustration and decided instead to relish the anticipation of seeing my family again after three months.

At last we pulled up to the house, strolled up to the front door, and to peals of delight received the excited and frantic hugs from who else but the 75 pound Labrador retriever who leapt into my arms! Hunter managed to beat both grandkids and their mother out the door and could simply not contain his joy at seeing D and I beneath the porch light. After what seemed like interminable whining, yipping, jumping, licking and tail wagging, Hunter finally let us in to greet the rest of the clan and I got those hugs I so desperately needed. The perfect end, really, to an arduous journey, and the start of a week of thanksgiving and bonding that I knew would pass all too quickly.

Tuesday became a day of total immersion in grandparental bliss. Cutting into kiddy-bites those special pumpkin peanut butter pancakes with pure maple syrup for breakfast; sprawling on the floor to build a railroad and play with wooden trains; reading stories; playing Duck-Duck-Goose with Meema, Mommy, the Grandkids and the dog, a venture which soon dissolved into massive tickle fights; chilling on the sofa watching educational TV programs; racing Hotwheels® cars across the dresser; towing crashed race cars with TowMater (of Cars the movie fame); capturing some hilariously incriminating photos of Daddy and Meema flat on the bedroom floor serving as bucking broncos for both kids; playing a little hide-and-seek/peek-a-boo with the kiddoes in their sleeping bags; and finally tucking those two precious little ones in with stories and prayers. What a day full of life’s perfect moments, the kind that melt away the weariness of the nearly eight hundred mile drive it took to get us here.

For a Tuesday with Terry, I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. I was exhausted, but sad to see it end. And yet I drifted off to sleep eagerly anticipating the next day’s grandkiddo encounter; one which was to take us on a few errands followed by a visit to the Heart of Dixie Railroad Museum, to the delight of me and both of my grandchildren, train lovers unto my own heart (thank goodness!).

This afternoon while three generations of ladies are busy in the kitchen preparing treats for Thanksgiving dinner with mother coaching daughter and daughter teaching granddaughter, I lounge here on the sofa in the middle of a sunny and cool autumn afternoon in central Alabama pondering the events of the last several days and yet another perfect moment. I wonder what tidbits of wisdom I can offer to make this post worthwhile, and accept that the answer is none. The play-by-play commentary will have to suffice as a reminder of memories of those perfect little moments etched in your own mind and on your own heart.

Living in the moment…Pops


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