We’re back home, after several weeks on the road. Our first trip was to Florida, to spend some time with our daughter as she was having – and recovering from – oral surgery. Then we came home long enough to unpack, do laundry, and repack for a trip to visit our son and his family in Minnesota, celebrating the 4th of July and our grandson’s first birthday. On our way there, we spent a few days touring a number of Civil War battle sites, and spent one afternoon visiting my alma mater, which I haven’t been back to in almost 45 years.

It’s not that we’re trying to make up for time we lost while staying home – or very close to home – during the COVID pandemic, but it did feel good to be able to move about freely again. The novelty hasn’t worn off yet over being able to travel to places farther away than the grocery store and the doctor’s office. Spending time with family members who live far away made it even more rewarding, especially being able to see the babies that grow so quickly even when you’re around them all the time – but even more so when you’re not.

This was actually our second trip to Minnesota since COVID restrictions were lifted. Our first was in March, as soon as we were fully vaccinated and had completed the waiting period necessary for the vaccine to get to full strength. At that time, our granddaughter was two, and our grandson, whom we were meeting for the first time, was 8 months old.

Both of the kids have grown so much, even in the short span of four months since we saw them last. Our granddaughter’s vocabulary  has increased immensely, with our favorite words of hers being “Eema” and “Eepa” – her name for “Grandma” and “Grandpa.” Our grandson is just starting to take his first unaided steps, and the photo I have of him sitting in his highchair, with his face and hair smeared with the remains of his birthday cupcake and icing, is one that will put a smile on my face every time I look at it – which is often.

I don’t know how long it will be before we head out again, or where our travels may take us – other than that we plan to see our kids and grandkids whenever we can. Travel still seems a bit iffy right now due to the Delta variant, COVID cases spiking in areas with low vaccination rates, and an increase in unruly – and sometimes violent – behavior of airline passengers. Not to mention gas price increases as people start traveling again in greater numbers and for greater distances.

So we’ll probably be staying put for a while. But even here at home, it’s wonderful to have new memories and mementos to enjoy. And that will keep us happy and content until we’re ready to hit the road once again.

July 11, 2021
©Betty Liedtke, 2021

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