When I left here yesterday, we drove out to the archery club where Ken and the kids shoot. I was impressed with how well they all do, including Alayna, who needed some new arrows with sharper points. She and her dad and grandpa are on their way back out there this morning to try out her new arrows.
Sheila works until noon. Kyle and Ivan are junior zoo keeper volunteers, and they’re putting in four hours today.
After lunch yesterday we went out to the neatest place. It’s both an aquarium and a butterfly house. I loved the butterflies. Hundreds of them flutter all around you, some unique and some that are more familiar. There are also quails, and of course lush vegetation that attracts the butterflies. Does anyone know what this is? It’s a vine, and the butterflies were around it all the time. I’d love to have one.
Ed and Betty arrived around 4:30. They had a great trip out west, and seemed very relaxed and ready for the next leg of their journey. They had supper with us, and then they broke out a 1000-piece puzzle that Ken bought at the butterfly house. When they left, they took quite a bit of our luggage so we won’t have to pay to put it on the plane on Sunday.
When the boys get home from the zoo, and Sheila from work, we’re possibly all going out to the zoo to see where the boys work. Ken has also mentioned a couple of parks that have beautiful flowers. The sky is clear today, with a very pleasant temperature and a mild breeze. Should be a good day to spend some time outdoors.
You know, I’ve been thinking a lot about family. Not surprising, I guess. We live so far away from Mike and his family in Germany; from Ken’s family here in South Dakota. Dan is probably going to end up in the UK with Maria, and I’m hoping there will be a baby or two, but again they will be so far away. I’m thankful for Deb and her family being so near to us. At least there are three grandkids that I get to see often! This isn’t meant to be a complaint, please don’t misunderstand. I wouldn’t try to keep any of my own kids from following God’s leading or their own inclinations. I just wish, sometimes, that I could have these kids closer and really get to know them before they’re all grown up.
The wonderful thing about family is that it doesn’t matter how far away or how long between visits, there is an instant bond and sense of belonging. Kyle and Ivan don’t seem to mind that I want to be touching them, and Alayna is a cuddler. We’ve laughed around the supper table, enjoying each other’s exploits. It reminds me of the rare visits we used to have with my dad’s parents in Colorado. We lived in Minnesota and Oregon when I was growing up, so we didn’t see much of them. It was always special, though, and I remember looking into Grandma Fullmer’s face, especially, and seeing the clear genetic connection to my own features. That connection becomes more noticeable as I age. I’m wondering which of my own grandchildren will see that same connection as the years go by.
The pictures, in order, are of Kyle, Ken and Ivan, and Kyle and Alayna.