I accidentally bought a box of brownie mix, instead of chocolate cake mix, for a dessert I was planning to make. We got half-decaf – instead of full-strength coffee – by mistake, and didn’t realize it till we were making the first pot of coffee in a house filled with can’t-wake-up-without-it coffee drinkers. And just for good measure, it rained all afternoon and evening on Friday – starting just minutes after we got on the boat, planning to spend a few hours exploring the lake.

It was the best 4th of July weekend ever.

I don’t mean that facetiously. It really was wonderful. Both of our kids, along with their spouses, were able to make it here for the holiday. It was their first visit to our new home in Georgia, and we were thrilled that they were able to get their schedules coordinated in order for all of them to be here at the same time.

My husband and I did a lot of planning and prepping for their visit. Naturally, I wanted everything to be perfect while they were here. But, of course, I knew it wouldn’t be. Nothing ever is. The key to a successful visit – or a successful anything, for that matter – is to do your best, and adjust as needed. It’s good to have a Plan B – and perhaps C, D, and E – for things that are beyond your control. And in the case of events such as a holiday visit with family or friends, it helps to remember that the pleasure of each other’s company is all that really matters.

In our case, I made the chocolate dessert with brownie mix instead of cake mix, and it tasted great. We made a quick trip to the grocery store for regular coffee, even though everyone assured us that half-caf would be fine. It eventually stopped raining and we had plenty of time to play in, on, and around the lake. But we had a few movies in mind that we wanted to watch, just in case we ended up stuck indoors.

We were sorry to see the kids leave when it was time to say goodbye to everyone. But it felt good to know that they – and we – had a great time while they were here.

Now my husband and I are getting used to a quiet, empty-nest house once again. We’ve finished washing all the bedding and beach towels, we’re gradually finishing off the leftovers, and we’re enjoying the stories and memories that are still fresh in our minds.

And, of course, we’re already looking forward to next time, whenever that might be.

July 7, 2017
©Betty Liedtke, 2017

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