Ugh. It's been too long. I love to hate it when I go this long without writing. The hiatus always seems to cause a certain brand of writer's block which, unlike conventional writer's block, feels more like a metropolitan traffic jam of thoughts, ideas, feelings, than a loss of words. I hate the mental congestion, and the gap in our written records that three weeks' silence creates, but I love the fact that life has been so full and lazy and rich for the past three weeks that it has actually eclipsed the blogosphere in appeal and priority. We've been in Oregon and, (for the most part,) we feel like singing...
...because before we even got here, we missed our connecting flight in San Francisco and got to sleep a night in the Embassy Suites(!) which, to one who grew up lodging in the likes of the Val-U Inn, seemed like a palatial hallucination more than a sleeping stop-over. My notion of continental breakfast, as shaped by my childhood experience, consisted of stale pastries and machine-dispensed juice. You might well imagine that we almost missed our flight the next morning what with all the excitement of our made-to-order omelettes and griddle cakes that were all part of the Embassy Suites' "cont-brek." It was positively royal. (And perhaps an omen of delicious things to come.)
...because we've eaten real, General Mills Corn Chex (my favorite cold cereal) for breakfast (as opposed to the parsimoniously produced Great Value Toasted Corn Squares that we have at home.)
...because Henry knows Nana, Papa Darren, Kyle, Max, Allie, Michael, Grandpa Eldon, Belle, Auntie Hellie, Gigi, Baby, Chaz, and Simon by name and asks about them regularly. (Relatives not listed, please do not be sad that Henry is more familiar with your pets than he is with you -- he's just in that oh-so-predictable three year old boy phase where four-legged friends hold impossible amounts of intrigue and pleasure.)
...Because really, what's more fun than Family Olympics? (*Let it be known henceforth and forever that Dad (50) did in fact beat Rob (22) in one on one b-ball. Grandpa's got game. Amen.)
...Because we didn't want to leave game night at Nana's even if certain participants were a little outspoken in their opinions about what is and is not appropriate conduct when playing the Bowl Game.
...Because really, (besides maybe family olympics,) what's more fun than cooking a surprise candle-lit spaghetti dinner for Nana and Papa at the very exclusive, five star Restaurante Le Villiams with a Mrs.Claus-apron-clad Auntie Hellie?
...Because if you're going to share a bed with a not-sleeping, perpetually whining, AND puking toddler, what better place to do it than at Mimi's house, where the back-up troops swoop in for duty at seven in the morning so a delirious mother can get some deperately-needed rest? (And where Mimi and her super capacity washer and dryer can wash the three loads of soiled linens that such a night produces.)
...And because the next morning, we were lucky enough to find ourselves among the privileged few who got to attend a charming puppet show in the doorway of the play-room, planned and produced by none other than Master Puppeteer Extrordinaire, Aunt Halley.
...Because we got to partake of the Costco-like bounty of Grandpa Eldon's snack cupboard as an appetizer to the yummiest (and the only) 13-topping pizza we've ever had!
...Because it's almost time to go back to Texas (where Nate's been since Wednesday) and be our own little family again -- a happy prospect that would be much, much happier if our heartstrings weren't stretched across half the continent.
(Pull out the Dell. Open up iTunes. Select the Homeward Bound track. Push play.)
I dedicate it to you.
I know this is unforgivably cheesy, but I'm not home 'til I "return to you somehow."