Tuesday, June 28, 2011
GratiTuesday - When Time Stands Still
When I was a little girl, I spent two weeks of several summers with my grandmother, who lived about eight hours away in New Hampshire. She lived with her husband in a huge, traditional New England home with many stories, slightly slanty floors, oodles of antiques, and wavy windows - and I loved every minute of it. I felt quite grown up when she let me help make dinner and took me on an annual overnight trip, usually to someplace that seemed quite fancy to me.
Time has a way of flying, however, and eventually my summer jaunts to New Hampshire stopped - as I finished college and Nana sold the big house and moved back to her hometown in Pennsylvania. This would seem convenient, only a year later I moved south, finding myself again eight hours from Nana - and the rest of my family.
I didn't mind living so far away, mostly, until my Big Girl was born. Suddenly I realized how much I wanted to teach her to do all the things that I did as a child, to be close to multiple generations the way that I was - only those family members were far away, many in poor health. As the children have grown and our situation has changed, we no longer make bimonthly trips to Pennsylvania, making it harder and harder to see my grandparents.
But this past week, we spent nearly a whole week there, and it was great.
My uncle, a truck driver from the midwest, realized that he would be in our home county during the same evening that we would be - and he arranged a meeting at a local truck stop. My Little Man was quite excited to see a big truck up close and personal, and My Big Girl loved the couch in the back!
We often walked to a duck pond from my childhood home. I loved feeding the ducks the stale bread Mom would bring along, but there aren't any duck ponds near our southern living quarters. My Big Girl got quite the kick out of sharing some old Cheerios with these ducks.
As a kid, we visited Hershey Park and Chocolate World every summer. We hit up Chocolate World on our way back south, and the kids loved seeing how chocolate is made just as much as I always have - and they still give out free chocolate at the end of the tour!
We spent an afternoon at the lake where Nana played as a child, and we had a blast. Nana said when we returned that she loved that my kids could play where she had so much fun as as a little girl - and I didn't quite get it until ....
I saw them all huddled together on the couch right before we left. The kids didn't want to leave and they were showing Nana how My Little Man's kiddie camera works. Suddenly, looking at them there, enthralled in what they were doing, all snuggled up together, it reminded me of being just a bit older than them, curled up on the lounge chair on Nana's wide, screened porch, reading away the afternoon with Nana in her own chair nearby.
Suddenly it seemed as if time were standing still. As if just yesterday that was me, tucked up near Nana, excitedly showing her something, feeling as if I were just the biggest stuff on the block.
Suddenly it didn't seem to matter that we're so far away. That my kids get to see my grandparents about as often as I got to see Nana as a child. Because the time when they are together counts, and they love them and know that they are loved in return.
So today I'm grateful that God can make time seem to stand still. That He draws us close to Him and to each other through simple things like books and sandy beaches. That He gives us enough time on this earth to share our stories and connect heart to heart. I'm grateful that this life isn't about the stuff or the distance or how much time we spend texting each other or who has the biggest, baddest toys.
It's not about the mutlitude of moments, as the saying goes. It's about the the important ones, and what we do with them.
This week, we spend some important moments with lots of family members, and for just a little bit, time stood still.
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