Summoned by the Father

Because of great distance, historically, I haven’t spent a ton of time with my parents as an adult. We’ve visited during some of my kids’ summer breaks from school, shared a few holidays, graduations and anniversaries, but the day-to-day stuff really hasn’t been a big part of our adult relationship.

Therefore now that we have a little extra time to spend as a ‘neighbor’ in their town, it has allowed for a more relaxed approach to our relationship.

Over dinner a few nights ago, 20140826_201854my Father said to me, “I’m going to need you for a couple of hours later this week. Do you have a free day?”

“Sure.” I responded. “What’s up?” (thinking I would have an opportunity to help him with a task.)

In his standard mysterious style, Dad responded with nothing more than, “You’ll see.”

And I know Dad. If he doesn’t offer the information, it means he won’t offer the information. (Even if I cajole and barter. Trust me… there’s history there.) Therefore, for the next few days as me and Benj went about our daily lives, every now-and-then one of us would  pause, and  proclaim,

“Oh, I know. Dad probably needs help with…” (fill in the blank.)  And, I suppose if I’m being honest, the little girl who still dwells underneath my not-so-little-girl skin wondered (fleetingly, of course), “Oh no.. am I in trouble?”

When the day dawned, I arrived  promptly at 10 a.m. to undertake whatever mission I chose to accept. (I’ll pause while you do your best Mission Impossible impersonation.)

We hopped into the car and he began to drive. I knew he wasn’t about to tell me where we were headed, so we just maintained a casual conversation as we motored. Finally, we arrived at the mall.

“Oh!” I laughed. “Ben was right. He thought you needed some help picking out a birthday present for Mom.”

Dad just chuckled. “Something like that,” he responded.

Once inside the mall, he treated me to my favorite coffee place and then said, c’mon. After a few minutes, we arrived at a vendor who was selling Churros.

I smiled at Dad.

Dad smiled at me. “This is our final stop,” he said.

Churros: Deliciously, deep-fried, tubular, South-American doughnuts: Crunchy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and laden with sugary cinnamon crystals. (YUM!)

The churro connection: On a rainy day in the 70’s in  very quaint coastal village in South America, a man in his late 30’s and his tween-aged daughter thought it would be fun to venture out onto the beach and enjoy mother nature on her soggy terms.

rainybeachLuckily a street vendor had also braved the weather and so the father-daughter-team procured a bag of the above-mentioned tasty treats before running towards the salty surf. As luck would have it, the rain slowed to a drizzle, but the wind still howled, blowing sand in their eyes and mouth. Therefore, they constructed a shelter (an overturned picnic table or something like that) to ward off the pelting assault. And in their little nook, in the midst of the chaos, they hunkered down, tanking up on churros, and enjoying a few sweet moments of connection.

I’ll give you a moment to dry your eyes before moving on….

…okay, ready?

Thirty-five  years have passed, seriously like a flash of lightning. I’m the mother of grown children, and Dad’s retired from a lifelong career as a computer engineer. Dad and I have always been nose-to-the-grindstone type of folks. Therefore, we tore through our allotted days toiling in our separate worlds, clawing our way to the top of the heap. And now,  thirty-five year later, want to know the best lesson I’ve learned?

Slow down!

dadandmeBecause the sweetness doesn’t really come from the churro…


Whew! Made it!

Can I bellyache for just for just one quick breath?

I’m tired! (okay… I’m done)

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Benjie… what’s with all the sweat?

So, this is how it went down: After two weeks of packing, storing and tossing all that we own, the gypsies finally hit the road!

Oh. You are so, very, welcome! 😉


So, just to remind you: We still had to pick up our “house” out east. Therefore, we motored from Northern Illinois to the Carolina coast in three segments:

Day one: It was a short five-hour drive… cuz we got a late start. But, oh what a blessed evening we had!!

2014-08-24 22.08.41You see, we sorta, kinda, just dropped in on our Ohio friends. Yep.., we’re that kind of people. Therefore, I would be remiss not to offer the official Hostess-with-the-Mostess award to my bestie, Crystal.

She is an ahhh-mazing woman. With a heart of gold (spun from the hands of  Glory), she pulled us into  her home and treated us like traveling royalty. From pip’n hot pizza waiting on the table, to hot tub and smoothies and Belgian chocolates on our super-puffy, deluxe, imported (ahem) pillows. Then after a good night’s sleep, Mr. and Mrs. Awesome treated us to specialty coffees, a super uplifting church service and a cookout for lunch! (Did I mention that we literally dropped in on them, with like two hour’s notice?) Crystal and Daniel, WE LOVE YOU!!

Day 2: Well, after pulling away from our Ohio blessings, we motored on to Virginia. Dinner was a little different on the second night, ‘cuz Honey-Jayne got a crazy-bug-of-a-notion. “Hey, honey,” (she said) “let’s pretend it’s a Zombie apocalypse and we’re running for our lives.” (Yes, she said that.)

Luckily  Benj is just as weird. He agreed, so we stopped at a local Kroger, fought off the local (West Virginian) zombies and nabbed a few canned goods to eat in the car.

2014-08-25 12.42.18(I chose a can of green beans and a can of carrots. Benj nailed an extra-large can of new potatoes and peas/carrots. Errrp!)

Day 3: We made it to Wilmington! We picked up the trailer (which, from this moment forward, will be known as “Rocky”).  Rocky is pretty move-in-ready (and very open concept, BTW) but alas, I had all my earthly treasures from the big house (Ahem, my big house, not the clink!) in a U-haul that needed to be stored.

Guess what? It’s done! (as soon as Benj fixes the closet rack that folded under the pressure of Honey-Jayne’s (although-scaled-down, still-slightly-large) wardrobe.

For now, however, as I sip an icy beverage on a very humid Carolina summer day, I do decla’h, “it’s pool time!”

See ya!  (Splash!)

The Countdown…

Oy vey! Seems like we’ve waited forever for this opportunity and then last weekend… bam–it happened!

Wait. What opportunity?

And what happened?

Well, you see we’ve been awaiting an opportunity to grab our laptops, climb into our dually (Dually = Cool-speak for a big-a** truck  with dual rear wheels), hitch up our house, and see the U.S. — up close and personal. But you see, we had a problem… in the form of a four-bedroom, two bath house that didn’t seem to interest the market.

So what happened? Well, just one weekend ago,  BAM! A renter fell from the clear blue sky. Well, not just a renter, but an entire family who really needed the exact house that we really didn’t need. Oh. Perfect!

We (who will henceforth be known as Benj and Honey-Jayne), are really quite the nerds.  But now–

Now, we are GYPSIE-NERDS!

But first things first… we have a lifetime of belongings that we need to  put…well, somewhere.

Amongst the rubble… notice Ben’s juggling pins just over from his right foot. He’s bringing them. Ahem… (nerd)


Oy Vey

Yeah, probably can’t leave them in the kitchen. The new tenants might complain. Instead, we decided to get one of those Pods storage containers. Let me tell you, watching one of these things being delivered was totally cool! (Friends, this was 100% ‘Merica!)

20140816_111924 20140816_11141920140816_111941

By the way, Roland is Da Man! He worked those levers, lifted and lowered wheels, torqued the pod at unspeakable angles, and landed that baby like a pro! (Oh wait. He IS  a pro! Well, nice job, anyway Roland!)

Anyway… Ta da!

20140816_111336Now, all we have to do is load the pod, have them haul away our treasures, climb aboard the dually, and drive from Illinois to North Carolina to pick up the trailer.

No sweat!

So, wanna travel with us? happydanceC’mon! It’ll be fun!

(P.S. If you’re curious and need to know Benj and Honey-Jayne a little better, go to the “about” page. We’ll make official intro’s there.)