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Patty Craig: A Slice of Time

Extended family vacations are memory makers. Recently, 15 of us (representing four generations, ages 4 to 81) spent some time in a house in Florida. Previously, we had not been away together for more than a long weekend. Our vacation was memorable.

It’s a blessing to be able to spend that much time together. With busy work schedules and numerous responsibilities, spending a week with family is a luxury. It was like a “time out” for resting and playing. The sunshine state offers sand and water as well as many other opportunities for entertainment. Some of my blessings included:
• Having sons-in-law who drive in front so I can follow.
• The breeze from the ocean.
• Waking up to a “Good morning, Granny!” kiss.
• Watching grandchildren skim board in the shallow waves.
• Rain moved in and out quickly.

Some of the lessons I learned from living with 14 other people for a week include:
• Having enough clean towels is a never-ending battle.
• Food disappears.
• Common conveniences may require a trip to the grocery.
• Sea creatures in a child’s sand bucket stink after a few days.
• Sand comes home with you -- somehow.
• Things get lost.

Some incidents that might become often-told family stories include:
• A text message that read: “Just passed gas for $3.13!”
• When the flags were posted to prevent swimming, a four-year-old shouting to the ocean: “Bock, bock, big chicken! Is that all you got, you big old ocean?”
• An eleven-year-old who decided to change his clothes on the car port between cars.
• An eleven-year-old cousin teaching his six-year-old cousin the card game Uno (The six-year-old is well on her way to becoming a card shark.).
• A teenage grandson was in the pool catching the smaller grandchildren as they took turns jumping in. The teenager’s dad (my son-in-law) decided to get in line and jump toward his son to be caught. The son did not catch his dad….

I’m sure I’ve forgotten some things that others will remember. But, our time together was a blessing: one I wouldn’t have missed.

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