Sunday, June 8, 2014

The Saga of the Traveling Grandparents Begins


Somehow, five years ago we went from having all our kids within a half hour, to having all but one spread out   across the country. That was a brutal time for me.  We knew we needed to retire in a place we loved, that would be accessible by airports, and that would be a fun place for our kids and grandkids to visit.

We moved to Cedar City, Utah, in December.  Our closest child is 7 hours away.  The next two are 9 hours away and the other two are in Tennessee, a long way away,  both stationed at Fort Campbell Kentucky for the Army.We plan to visit the kids at least twice a year.  Of course, that is not adequate for me.  I have to keep telling myself I only saw my maternal grandparents twice a year and they could not have been more dear to me. And that was before the days of cell phones, email and skype.  We were just spoiled by those early years of being in the same county, and even having Paige, Kaylee and all of the Gargalis boys attend Grama's preschool. It helps when I know the next time we will see them, but there are so many variables right now. Nothing is definite except helping when Nick and Renee have their baby girl the end of August.

Nick, Renee and Skye were our first visitors in December.  They spent a week with us for Christmas which was heaven.  Then after Christmas, Rebecca and Melissa visited for a week.  We were even surprised by Jamie for a few days while she was in Utah for her Uncle's funeral.  Then the dry spell began . . .

In March we planned our first return trip to California for dental appointments and to visit Melissa's family. It was so, so good to spend a few days with them.  We were so spoiled having them for neighbors for 2 1/2 years.

We planned to visit everyone throughout the summer.  It just all worked out that the best time to visit everyone was in the month of May. Our saga began on May 1, when we left for a visit to California for Luke's baptism.  He is our second oldest grandchild.  Rebecca and Paige flew down for the baptism also, so that was a bonus for us.

Just after we planned our California trip, Rebecca called to tell us that the girls had dance recitals May10.  Plus we could see Paige play softball and Claire play soccer since their season ended the following week.
We got home from California on Tuesday, and we left for Idaho on Thursday. We had a busy trip to Idaho.  We went to a softball game on Thursday night, and then we got to spend  Friday with Nick, Renee and their darling Skye. On Saturday we saw a soccer game, a softball game and two dance recitals.  It was fun to be in the thick of a  busy Saturday with the Bryant's.  Sunday we went to church and celebrated Mother's Day with two of our kids and their families, so that was sweet. I wish I had taken more pictures of the beautiful Idaho spring.  It was so green with trees and flowers everywhere. (We are usually there in the summer or fall).

On the way home from Idaho Craig was a good sport and we stopped in Kimberly, Idaho, at the Quilt Barn.  It was glorious and I can't wait to go back!

Six days after we returned from Idaho we were on the road again to visit Ben and Josh who are both ( thank you Heavenly Father) stationed at Fort Campbell in Kentucky.  Ben is a Captain and Josh is a Specialist in the Army.  Ben has had a crazy schedule, but since he had a four day weekend for Memorial Day, that was best time for a visit.  We flew out of LasVegas to Nashville.  We spent the night coming and going in Las Vegas, where we could park our car at the hotel for no charge.  It was a long trip but so worth it to spend a week with Ben and Josh's families. Plus I discovered Panera!  And finally found a 48" barn star for over my fireplace.

We hadn't seen Lincoln since September when he was almost 6 months old.  Needless to say, he has grown from a baby to a darling toddler.  Josh and Krista bought their first home in Clarksville, Tennessee, near post, and they already have it fixed up so cute.  While we were there, we found out the baby they are expecting November 8th is another boy!  We also found out there is a chance Josh will be deployed to Afghanistan for a few months to take the place of someone who needs to return home. I was horrible about picture taking, but Craig got lots of fun video.

It had  been almost 8 months since we've seen Kaylee and Blake and they have grown so tall!  We stayed at Ben and Jamie's new home, also in Clarksville, but they live about 10 minutes away from Josh and Krista.

We spent parts of everyday together, and our week in Tennessee ended much too soon.  Tennessee was beautiful and green with lots of rolling hills and trees everywhere.  It reminded us so much of the Louisville Kentucky area where Krista is from.  It is also very humid.  We attended church in four different states during the month of May: California, Idaho, Utah and Tennessee.

This summer our only plans are to go to Panguitch, Utah for a few days for the Panguitch Quilt Walk, and to June Rockwell's 90th birthday party in Las Vegas.  I am thinking we need a quick trip to Idaho to see those kiddos in July.  Then  we are looking forward to Rebecca and Melissa's family visiting the first week of August.  Rebecca and Melissa are going to run in the Parowan Half Marathon.  Nick and Renee's baby girl is due August 30, so we will be spending lots of time there this fall.

Until we know what the status is of Ben's deployment to Afghanistan this fall, probably in September, we can't make any other fall or holiday plans. Kaylee turns 8 in October, so they will wait for her baptism when Ben is home next summer.

It is fun being retired and being able to travel. Now we need to be responsible and work on our backyard, which is currently 1/2 acre of red dirt. It looked so beautiful covered with snow!  It will be a fun project, but getting started is the tough part!!!