Hope … and Travels

The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is HOPE. I am going to piggyback on the prompt, but bypass the usual five minute format. But, please, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t check out what the other free writers contribute at Kate’s place (http://katemotaung.com/2015/07/09/five-minute-friday-hope/). You won’t be disappointed.

But, back to today. I have tremendous hope for the next week when I {deep breath} take my grandkids on the annual trip.

There are those who say I am crazy {if they know me, they do have a point}. Others think it’s the sweetest gesture ever {I wouldn’t go that far}. But it is a fun time as I corral the grandkids for a — hopefully — memory making experience.

This actually will be the sixth year I’ve taken the grandkids — initially those between the ages of six and 16 — on an adventure. And, remember, I have 18 grandchildren, which means at any given time, there may be around 10 grandkids participating. It was born out of sheer panic. Shortly after Karen died (in September) I realized I had to do the Christmas shopping for the grandkids. I was clueless. I didn’t know sizes. I probably wasn’t as attentive to what they were in to. I will even admit, I have to group them by my children to even name or count them.

So, I’m sitting commiserating my plight with Karen over a morning coffee. She didn’t answer, but later that night, by happenstance {is anything ever happenstance?} I saw an ad for the Radio City Music Christmas Show {I generally watch the New York City TV feeds}. Hmmm. Light bulb. A way to bring the family together for joy.

The next morning, with the sun gleaming off the urn, I started researching the Christmas Show and, low and behold, they have a traveling show as well. And they had a show booked in Cleveland, which was even more enticing since a passel of the urchins were from Ohio and Illinois. And so it began …

From Cleveland, we saw the show in New York City and then Boston as the western grandkids aged out to be replaced by a new generation. The Boston experience in Boston was the year they had the debilitating blizzard with snow measured in feet blanketing the Eastern seaboard from Delaware to Maine. We got into the motel just before the snow starting flying and since we had the late afternoon show, managed to get in for a memorable experience.

2014-07-11 12.58.40But winter travel is always a, shall we say, challenge, so I skipped a year before retrenching and planning a spring event as their Christmas present … an Easter kids cruise aboard the Odyssey around Boston harbor. Last year, we scheduled a summer junket to the Jersey shore/Carlo’s Bake Shop/New York City including a ferry ride, a couple of hours at a park, a visit to the Empire State Building and heart-stopping taxi thrills.

That brings us to this year. Initially I planned a camping vacation to dig for diamonds at Crater of Diamonds State Park in Arkansas {yeah, the same place a Colorado woman just unearthed an 8.52 white diamond} but my chaperones felt it was a little out the way, so I backtracked.

Then I found out Brett Favre was being inducted into the Packer Hall of Fame in mid July. I waited for the tickets to go on sale and scored the limit of eight within the first few minutes of availability and four more afterwards to accommodate the dozen of us. Not all of the little ones are Packer fans … but they will be next week {the induction is July 19}, so I’ll have to be a little creative with activities.

We will be camping, and I hope we get to do a little fishing, some putt-putt golf, maybe some bowling and take in the Lambeau Field and Green Bay experience.

I have to tell you, it’s always a little crazy on these junkets … but I think the kids have fun interacting with cousins they rarely see. For the most part, the kids behave with just a gentle {and sometimes not so gentle} chiding and a couple of deep breaths maintaining order. We typically go on a buddy system with the oldest responsible for the youngest, next oldest with next youngest and so forth, while I and my chaperones {my kids, usually my daughters or daughters-in-law to help with the girls} overseeing things.

We’ve gotten to the point where the younger grandkids never got the chance to really know Grandma. But I hope the grandkids know Grandpa is taking them on these trips, but it’s Grandma’s spirit that keeps us going. I know she would have thought I was crazy if I suggested these trips … but I also know she would have loved every single minute of them. I still feel her presence when I plan these adventures and “see” her smile while we’re together.

THOUGHT TO REMEMBER: Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

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About wisdomfromafather

I'm just an ordinary guy walking along the journey of life.
This entry was posted in encouragement, family, Five Minute Friday, grandchildren, joy, Laughter, Life, Memories, relationships and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to Hope … and Travels

  1. Barbie says:

    Wow, can you be my grandpa? What wonderful memories you are making with your grandchildren. I only have 1, a grandson, and he’s only about 11 weeks old. I cannot wait to do all of the fun thing with him and others as they come along. Visiting form the FMF!

  2. This is such a wonderful investment in those relationships! I never got to spend much time getting to know my grandfathers, and I regret that now.

    Enjoy your travels!

  3. denise says:

    you are a special man, bless you.

  4. Su Leslie says:

    I’m sooo impressed. I didn’t really know my grandfathers and my son barely knows his. One lives too far away and the other had kind of got bored with being a grandparent by the time my son came along. I know my boy feels the absence, as he has friends with grandparents who are more hands-on. What you are doing is amazing and your grandkids will always cherish these memories.

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