At the very last minute before leaving for the airport last week, I decided to leave my laptop at home. It turned out to be a good decision, not the least because I had to run through the Phoenix airport both ways in order to catch my connecting flights. It also felt good to take a break from the endless, admittedly self-imposed, stream of social media.
That doesn’t mean that I didn’t connect while on my trip – you can see some of the more scenic parts of my trip via my Instagram. My aunt and I explored a nearby organic farm on a college campus, and spent a morning in San Clemente. Yet, while those photos give the impression that my days were filled with sand and sunshine, the reality is a little different.
I went to California to visit my 93-year-old Nana. Growing up with a grandmother (and Papa, before he passed away) far away wasn’t easy, but taking family trips out to the West Coast has always been a treat. It makes the memories of our times together more precious. This year, my aunt and I decided to make a girls’ trip together.
Most of our time was spent visiting with my Nana. On Sunday, after I arrived, we attended church and stayed for the potluck luncheon, where I made up for all the desserts I deprived myself of during Lent. Another day we got to go to our favorite spaghetti restaurant. The only day it rained, my aunt and I took a group of the ladies to see Cinderella and got us all In-N-Out (I love those fries and shakes.) On my last night in town we got frozen yogurt and watched The Rockford Files. Most of the time we just chatted, remembered, and laughed.
Those were the good times. But, we also made trips to the pharmacy and doctor’s office. We went to the bank to settle accounts. We called Social Security with questions. We had to fix the answering machine in my Nana’s room. I had my eyes opened more to what it means to age, and more importantly, what it means for a parent to age.
So, when everyone asks how my “vacation” was, I tell them it was wonderful, and it was. I loved my solo, quiet sunrise runs as much as I loved sitting all evening with my Nana just to watch old TV shows. I wouldn’t trade a minute of the time spent with family for an extra hour at the beach.