Family Trip To Ohio

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For the first time in two years, all five of us were able to head out together to Ohio. My mom’s side of the family all still lives in or near Kirtland. It was great to see my Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles and Cousins.

After attending Scott and Chelsea’s wedding Sunday night, we drove up to Council Bluffs to meet my parents. We then all piled into their Explorer and started the drive – oooo wait, make that the 14 hour drive – to Kirtland. With five legal drivers now, it made my parents job a lot easier. Although, my dad could still drive the entire thing himself. Shane is the same way, once they are in the seat, they would rather keep driving. We arrived to the same wonderful home my Grandparents built themselves years ago. They are 88 and 86 and are still living there. It is a great house filled with this wonderful smell that only resides with their home. It is such a memory smell to me. Memories of summers spent there, of conversations had and lessons learned. That night though, a new smell was added. We arrived to a roast with mashed potatoes and carrots. Homade applesauce, cole slaw and gravy were also set on the table. To top it off, G-ma made he famous fresh strawberry pie. I know she secretly had Shane in mind because it is his favorite pie of all time! She is the best cook, still makes everything from scratch. And I mean EVERYTHING! It makes me feel very lazy.

We drove the entire day of the 3rd so our first full day was at the huge family picnic on the Fourth of July. My cousin and his wife just moved back to Ohio with their three kids. He just finished his 20 year work with the Army and is now able to be home near family. We had a great time seeing everyone. It was a lot of fun to sit and visit and catch up on their lives. I was so happy for my mom to have the chance to be with her family that she rarely gets to see. Here is a picture of my mom with her two sisters.

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My mom, the one on the left, is the youngest. Donna, in the middle, is the middle child then Gail on the right is the oldest. It is really fun to watch them interact as sisters. They are similar in some areas but, like many sisters, very different in others and I love all three of them for it. They filled our visit with laughter and love. I wonder what it would have been like to grow up watching those three interact more often. It is always great to see my Aunts and their families.

The next day, we went to a park where my “Uncle George” (my G-pa’s younger brother) has built this train that gives rides through the woods. My G-pa helped design the track. There was a lot of work that went into it and my Uncle George wanted us to come out to take a ride. It was really cool. Here is a picture of all of us (sans Shane – he is behind the camera) on the train.

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The week went fast. We had lots of family to share time with. I really enjoyed my time with my Grandparents. I am completely fascinated with them and how they live. They have such a work ethic. They both still do yard work – and I really mean a YARD! They have over an acre lot that they still mow and garden in. My Grandpa still builds and invents things in his garage and my Grandma makes every meal each day along with homade bread and pizza crust every week. She lays out my Grandpa’s breakfast each morning after they exercise. Three times a week she goes to Curves. G-ma can pinch a perfect pie crust edge with her tiny fingers, dice up the percect size pieces of egg and potato for potato salad and bake the best lemon bread in the cutest little bread tins. G-pa still creates a pull that brings down a railing for the attic stairs, wire a light in the garage that signals that he left lights on upstairs and buy a new lawn mower only to rebuild it the way he wants it. And those are just the things they did this past visit. Oh yea, did I say they were 86 and 88!

They are so precious to me. They model a perfect pairing. They have taught me there is nothing wrong with each partner having their role, we must bring what we can to the relationship to make it work the best we can. I have actually grown to see a strength in giving of yourself in the ways my Grandparents do. My G-ma opened my eyes to a love that can be offered by caring for your husband in a domestic way. There is something so sweet and tender about they way she cares for him and the way he looks out for her. She gently introduced me to cooking and baking and even sent me home this time with a cup of her age old “starter” for her homade bread. I won’t let you down Grandma! Every Wednesday I will be up adding my ingredients and baking up a storm.

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4 Responses to “Family Trip To Ohio”

  1. I had such a great time in Ohio. Great review of the trip!

  2. Tears, tears, tears. What a great week! Thanks for sharing it. What a lovely family you have. Love ya!

  3. Oh yeah, and GREAT pictures!!

  4. Dad Arnold Says:

    Hey Shane–where did you get those ugly red flip flops?

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