Sapphire to Sullivan’s to Savannah. I just can’t wait to get on the road again.
Actually, for the time being, hanging our hats at home is pretty sweet. Me and the gaggle have been on the run for the last few months. It all started with me panicking (once again—annual event as summer approaches) around summer camp sign-up. Perhaps it’s my rebellious nature or my hippie attitude– at some point I just go—buck it! Everyone pack a sack! We gone.
Casually I ran some dates by my husband, though it wasn’t until the car was slam packed in the driveway when he put together that we weren’t going to be home for 3 weeks. Sure he would come to visit with our pooch when he could, but it was bachelor city for him for a while. (mac ‘n cheese in the fridge, Dear!) At first I saw panic in his eyes when he realized he was gonna miss us; though quickly the wheels turning; long live freedom and quiet! And he deserved it.
The kiddos and I crashed with my supremely patient and loving folks in Sapphire, NC. We hit the ground running with fishing, rock collecting, river hikes, rock “climbing”, tree climbing, waterfall viewing, tennis attempts, trail blazing, nature crafts and even fudged a few insurance waivers to get my littles on horseback in the open woods—by far my favorite activity. My sweet Aunt and Uncle (E&P!) came to play with us for a few nights because we were sad to miss our annual gathering with their gang this time of year. Being with them kicked off, unexpectedly, a subtle, but powerful theme to my summer. I’ll be getting to that….sit tight.
While my parents seeeemed sad we were leaving at visit’s end, anyone that is human and living amongst the chaos of my little humans (and me!) for a wild three weeks, would be expected to be jazzed for a breather of silencio! (Hence aforementioned happy twinkle in hubs’ eyes at our departure.)
We began our journey home. Pulling down the mountain, I felt that kind of sadness like when you were leaving camp or something. You always knew it would come to an end, though I think at my age, I was surprised at the stomach punch it gave. Of course I don’t ever like leaving my parents, though it was more than that. Something about that neck of the mountainous woods just grabs ahold of my soul and hugs it reeeeal tight. This trip in particular had gotten me and my gang in a comfortable spot. We were able to unplug off the grid and just be; explore and create.
Once we were home, the sadness was manageable, but I’m not even kidding that I had to adjust my eyes seeing the Target sign amongst the surrounding others as we approached passing the mall on our drive home. It was a (cool) reminder how much we really had checked out. And needed to.
Next onto our quick dip home for packing reboot, friend and family hugs, mail purge and mindful gear switch. Next stop Sullivan’s Island for a long awaited family reunion.
The word blessed never flows easily for me, yet there is no doubt in the department of family–on both sides– I am. On my mother’s side of things, I grew up one of 13 cousins, who have all now “plus-oned” with kiddos. This makes for one helluva crew– and even growing still –with the fun additions of second cousins to boot! We were throwin down. One of those face-hurts-from-smiling kind of times.
To be completely honest, the beautiful though poignant reality of holidays and family gatherings is that while you are twisted up in the mix of excitement seeing your truly loved, loved ones after too much time passing, the pain of who isn’t there can sometimes have the volume revved in the back (and front) of your mind. We have suffered some extremely sad losses in our family, and also living with some complicated relationships. Sometimes that sting is perched right in your lap—and balled up in your throat—and nestled in your tear ducts. It sure does help to have those true blue, ride or die cousins and aunts and uncles there to hold your hand and laugh supportively and share in your tears and fears.
So this Garrett family reunion was a bustling, busy, loud, fun, funny, sweaty, rainy but sunny, rainbow kissed sweet one. Ping pong, beach pong, boogie boards, countless (repeated) stories, laughs, tears, jabs, hugs. I wish I could hog this moment and share how each person affected me in the most beautiful way– because, no lie, every person did.
Back to that “summer theme” I mentioned… this reunion was the place that really socked me in the face with it. The theme of real, old timey, sweet love. I started noticing this at the beginning of the summer and throughout my traveling days- the quiet, sweet gestures of open, loving hearts. I watched my parents, friends HB and CB, and aunt and uncle in Sapphire, and then the trend just kept coming with aunts and uncles and cousins and children in Sullivan’s. (And happy almost 50thto UJ and AR!). It doesn’t take much to be sweet and see the good in each other. And geeze—how good does it feel to love the one you’re with and not let the noise of negativity interfere?
I was able to squeeze in a baller yoga class led by the amazing and stunning Sarah Frick Fitness . She opened my mind to the simple behavior that we should all practice. When in a relationship—of any kind– look for what IS there, not what isn’t. Life is work as it is; flip that switch in your brain and just love what you have. No comparing. No woe is me. And this should most especially come into play when it comes to you doing you. As we all know, we make tremendously better pals, lovers, parents, etc. when we are happy on the inside. Hell, sometimes just stretch and smile and breath if you’re feelin’ low. A temporary fake it to make it never hurt anyone.
There is a truly different and shimmery light around my gooshy perspective this summer. I’m going to enjoy it as long as it lasts. In noticing the gentle arm touches, sweet smiles, hearty laughs at partner’s (again, repeated) stories, making of the coffee, helping one put on their jacket, praising a partner’s hard work or talents, a quick, sweet gaze into the eyes….noticing this from all of you and your loving ways, my heart’s cup runneth. I want to say thank you to my vibrant, kind, and loving family for that. I am, on that note— blessed.