The Big Visit

Last weekend was special. The kids came—my two sons, their wives, and our granddaughter. Both of my sons live approximately two hours away (it all depends upon who’s driving). If they’re driving, it’s two hours (or less); if I’m driving, the trip takes more like two and a half hours. They can’t understand why it takes me so long; I can’t understand how they can cover the same distance so quickly. The generation gap, I guess.

Because my stepdaughter lives in Seattle, and my stepson resides in New Jersey, it’s nearly impossible to have all four of our offspring together at once. In fact, that only occurs about once every ten years. It’s not something my wife and I are happy about, but we’ve come to accept it as part of life. Ironically, the next such get together is slated to occur in just four weeks, when Becky will celebrate her big (fill in the blank) birthday. We are counting the days.

Despite my two sons living so close to us, visits are infrequent, owing mostly to the fact that it’s difficult to coordinate all of our schedules. Theirs are quite busy; ours are virtually non-existent. Fortunately, this time, the stars and planets had aligned, and we managed to find the one day when all of us were free. And it was grand!

As with most of our visits, our two cats made themselves scarce (god knows where they go, but we can never find them). There was the usual feeling out period, during which we all inquired politely as to one another’s health, job status, educational level, etc. My granddaughter held back her affections just long enough to remind me that we hadn’t seen each other in about seven weeks. But she soon fell prey to my grandfatherly attention, and, within ten minutes, I was once again “Pee Paw,” that old man she loves to chase, and who enjoys chasing her even more. You’d be surprised how simple it is for a seventy-two-year-old man to act like a two-and-a-half-year-old girl—and how at ease he is at doing it.

We had lots of great food, including hamburgers, hot dogs, and turkey brats. For me, it was a scrumptious veggie burger (if you’ve never tried one, you don’t know what you are missing). I’m not the greatest at coordinating a meal, but thanks to my eldest son’s barbecuing skills, dinner was served almost on time. Everybody ate more than they should have, but made sure they left room for Becky’s homemade Key lime pie, which added a much appreciated culinary punctuation mark to the meal. Afterward, we engaged in a few spirited games of Corn Hole, which were followed by more conversation and yet another round of chasing by grandfather and granddaughter. Some pictures were taken, more chasing and catching ensued, and then, just like that, it was over.

Becky and I stood in the driveway and made “royal waves” with hands raised in the air, as we watched the car, laden with family, slowly back out of the driveway and then pull away. I have no doubt that our granddaughter was asleep before we got back inside our house, and we were in bed earlier than we had been in quite a while. It was a good sleep—and a great visit! Would we have liked for it to have lasted longer?  Of course.  The time always goes too fast when we’re together.  But were we grateful for it?  Absolutely.  After all, we’re family, and is there anything else more important?  You tell me.

La famiglia—la cosa più importante di tutti!

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About AuthorJoePerroneJr

I am a former professional fly-fishing guide, and I write the Matt Davis Mystery Series, which presently consists of five books: As the Twig is Bent, Opening Day, Twice Bitten, Broken Promises and Deadly Ransom. The series is set in the real town of Roscoe, NY, in the Catskill Mountains, where I guided for ten years. I love fly fishing, movies, cooking (and eating), and music. To learn more about me and my writing, please visit my website at:
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8 Responses to The Big Visit

  1. Bruce Pfeffer says:

    We are also blessed to be able to state that nothing is more important than family. Jo Ann and I learned early on, to respect the parenting styles of our kids. The temptation of “sharing” our years of child raising insights was tempered by the realization that doing so, would cause unnecessary tension. What a joy it is to be asked for advice. That type of respect is priceless. However, we respectfully reserve the right to spoil our granddaughter. What could be more important than that?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. balroop2013 says:

    I can understand how precious these moments are! Good for you Joe. Stay blessed with all the family love 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. What a warm and touching story, Joe. I could really relate, since we just ended an awesome laugh-in with our two daughters—a mini-reunion in which our youngest (the “baconator”) had us all in stitches. As you put it so lovingly: Such a joy family is!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Just what you needed, a dose of “family-love” medicine, smiles! I never had children, so I had to make the world my family. Yes, I have nieces and nephews and one brother remaining here on Earth. Most of them live a 12-hour drive away or have already ended their visit to this Earth. I am at peace because I hold each in my heart with a prayer for their health and well-being in all that life, here and beyond, may bring to them. Many family members and strangers have touched my heart over my 72 years on Earth. Love in every form is the fulfillment of a good life! I wish you joy, peace within, and love every moment of your life, dear Joe! You have always given life your best!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You are so right. Family relationships require constant attention, but it’s worth it. 🙂


  6. Family is everything. I pity those family members who do not recognize that fact. Some seem to get it when it is too late.

    Liked by 1 person

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