My son-in-law, Travis Royce loves to mow the lawn. He always has. When he first told us that, we were surprised. I had never met anyone who truthfully enjoyed mowing the lawn. He used to mow our lawn when they lived in an apartment, just so he could have a lawn to mow. I think one of the things he never really liked about Wyoming was the shorter lawn growing season, because unlike mowing the lawn…he hates shoveling snow. I can’t really say that I blame him there, but I can’t see myself ever enjoying the job of lawn mowing. When Amy and Travis bought a house here in Casper, Travis finally got to mow his own lawn, but it was a small yard, and it didn’t take very long, so he didn’t really get to mow as much as he wanted.
After their move to Ferndale, Washington, Travis finally got the yard of his dreams…and it came with a riding lawn mower. Travis was in Seventh Heaven. As the kids put it, they bought a riding lawnmower, and while they overpaid for the lawnmower, they did ok in that the house and yard came as a part of the deal. Now Travis can finally be mow happy. I have only seen their new yard in pictures, but I do know that it is really a big yard. There are some beautiful trees there, and yet the yard is open and spaceous…and that is just the pictures I’ve seen, without the perspective of seeing it in person. I am looking forward to going for a visit, so I can see this amazing riding lawnmower that is apparently made of gold, because it cost a lot of money, and came with a free house and yard. What more could you ask for?
Of course, as happy as his riding lawnmower has made Travis, he simply can’t mow the lawn all the time, or it would quickly be mowed down to dirt, so he and Amy had to figure out something else to do too. They came up with the idea, along with their friends, Burt and Amy, to play darts via Skype. If course, they can’t both shoot for the same dart board, but with Skype, they can each see how the other side is doing. As is common in these couples matches, it was guys against girls. I would love to say that the girls won, but unfortunately, that would be a lie…they lost. Nevertheless, it was an innovative way to play long distance darts, and girls…I think you need to practice up and call for a rematch, and show those guys how it’s really done!! Today is Travis’ birthday. Happy birthday Travis!! Have a great day!! We love you!!
I’ll admit it, I’ve never liked change. I like being in my comfort zone, where I know the way things are going to play out. Having those I love grow up and live their own lives makes me feel pretty lonely. My grandkids are all grown up now, and busily working and going to school, and I don’t get to see as much of them, because they have things to do…their own lives to live. It’s easy for them to think, “I’ll go see Grandma tomorrow…or the next day.” But then something comes up and they are off in another direction again. It’s not that they never come to see me, it’s just that life has them running here and there, and the time they get to spend with me is far more limited than it used to be. That is change…having your kids and grandkids grow up and start their own lives. I don’t like it much. No, the kids and grandkids aren’t ignoring me, and seeing less of them isn’t something they are doing intentionally. They aren’t mad at me…just busy.
I remember when my girls were little. They would come home from school, and we would be together as a family. Oh sure, we didn’t spend every moment that they were home together. They went outside to play, or played in their rooms, or went to a friend’s house, and maybe I took those moments for granted…like we all do, but I cherished those moments, nevertheless. Family has always been important to me, and I don’t like to have those close days end. And yet, it is inevitable…for every family. We go from seeing our parents every day to seeing them once a week, and sometimes longer than that. Kids head off to college and the relationship changes to one of calling, texting, Facebook, and Skype…and we are thankful for those things, because that old long distance calling was expensive and you couldn’t do that several times a day.
Life gets that way for everyone at some point. We all have our own schedules and responsibilities. I remember my dad saying something similar to me. In fact, what he said was, “You need to come over hand have lunch with us once a week, so we can see you!” Dad never was one to mince words exactly. If you needed to do something, you just needed to do it, and he didn’t mind telling you about it. It wasn’t that he was mad at us, because he wasn’t. He just wanted us to know that he loved his family and wanted to be around them. He knew we were busy, as we all worked, but he decided that we could take one lunch hour to spend with our parents…and he was right. I mean, we had to eat anyway. It has worked well for us, and even though Dad is in Heaven now, we still have lunch with Mom once a week, and I have dinner once a week too. It’s just important to do these things to stay close. And after all, wasn’t that what Dad was after anyway…being able to stay close to his family. We must cherish those moments, because all too soon, they are gone.
As Bob and I were having breakfast this morning, I noticed a family leaving the restaurant. They stopped outside to hug each other and say goodbye. There were two little girls there that the elder side of the family seemed especially sorry to see go, and it didn’t take much vision to realize that the younger side of the family had moved away from Casper, and the grandparents missed them terribly. My thoughts journeyed back to when my sisters and I were much younger and living at home with our parents. Almost all of us have either stayed in the Casper area, or returned to it now, but that doesn’t change the feelings that happened when we had to say goodbye to the ones who moved away for a time, or the feelings we felt when our cousins would visit and then had to go home.
It seems like more and more, families live in various places around the country, and even in totally different countries from their parents. While sometimes it is necessary for jobs and such, it doesn’t help the loneliness that it always creates on both sides of the situation. The hardest part is always the little kids, who don’t get to know their grandparents. Oh, they will get to know the a little on visits, through phone calls, and Skype, but they never really know them well…never feel the real bond. Those things are left to the family members who live nearby, and are privileged enough to have lots of contact with aunts, uncles, cousins, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren.
Of course, that is not the only way that people can miss their family members. So many people get wrapped up in their own lives, and forget that there are loved ones out there who would love to have a visit from them. People who can’t get to them so easily, and so depend on them to bring those little ones around so they can get to know them. Sadly those little ones have no say in the matter, and the time to let them share in the lives of their elder relation is so quickly lost…and once it’s gone, there is no going back. People really should try to think about how badly their loved ones could be missing those who are far away…or even those, who aren’t so far away.