Marissa called in early January 2016 to see what the possibility would be of me coming out to visit her in California...Livermore to be exact. The request came because Hank had planned a motorcycle trip to Baja and I could come stay with Marissa and help her with the boys. They generously bought my airline tickets and I suffered through the crazies of all the worrisome things that could happen to me on this trip.
The first news of trouble came in the week before...while working on the cycle, Hank broke something but Marissa told him to just fix it! More crazy worries on my part. When will I ever take a trip without getting so paranoid? Then I get a call that Hank is NOT going on his trip at all. He left home with the cycle and had to return because he forgot his passport. Around midnight, Marissa heard someone in the garage and it turned out to be Hank....whose motorcycle died about 20 miles from home and a man with a truck brought him and the cycle home.
He was totally bummed and I could understand it BUT, here's the strangest part..all of a suddenly, I was singing the happy songs about going to visit. I was calm and looking forward to going. Do you mean to tell me all this worry was more about Hank's trip than me?
January 26th I flew to Charlotte and transferred planes for San Francisco. Hank met me at the airport with even worse news, in my book. Hank, it turned out, has pneumonia! He had gone to the doctor that day and was given the diagnosis as well as meds. Can you imagine him in some Mexican hospital with pneumonia? No wonder I was a mess. So I was able to play with all the family there.
This is what greeted me in their kitchen, as well as a vase of flowers which Henry had insisted I needed. He wrote the Welcome sign! Henry and Oskar had stayed up to greet me and then Hank went and gently woke up Simon, placing him in my arms while he continued to waken. He was all warm and snuggly til he realized I wasn't his mom. But once he was in her arms he was content to look at me.
The boys wanted to make cinnamon rolls with me on Saturday and so we did. They are very comfortable in the kitchen and with dough...and they do enjoy my cinnamon rolls...altho Henry, oddly enough, does not like icing on his.
We did go to Target one afternoon before picking up Henry. I walk too slow for Marissa but at least we did hit one store. I was going to buy a heavy sweater only in CA there is no such thing. The closest thing was a vest that looked like something Sonny and Cher would have worn back in the day. I skipped the idea.
Sunday morning I was determined to get a picture of all 5 of the family. Here's how it goes:
Church was their ward conference which really was only 2 hours of meetings and the 3rd hour was a meet/greet linger longer situation. The children stayed in Primary unit the very end and then the curtains parted and these dear kids were all on the stage and sang to us.
Oskar is 3rd from the left end, next to the girl holding out her skirt, and Henry is standing behind Oskar, every protective. It was adorable.
Oskar is so good with Simon, so gentle and yet willing to show him the ropes of rough-housing.
Sunday night Marissa opted for a good ol' fashioned Sunday-night popcorn fest as we watched some movie on TV. It was crazy and the kids were tired but where there's popcorn there's antics and love and fun. So much love and so much fun!
As I got packed up Henry felt I needed to take the bouquet of flowers that he greeted me with. But that wasn't possible but I did snip off these 3 colorful flowers and packed them. They are stick to the wall behind the shelf above my computer here in the kitchen. A fond reminder of a wonderful visit and a hope for another one.