I might say this every year, but this year's trip to Chelan was the best
. Being in close quarters with my brothers and sister and parents again just makes me feel like a kid again. It helps that I love my family so much. Billy keeps me on my toes with his need to be active and thought-provoking topics of conversation. Denny never fails to make me laugh and but then shows his concern for me with questions that allow me to express more of who I am to him. Mike makes me feel good with his sweet smile and quickness to laugh at my jokes, his dedication to his family is something I always learn from, too. And then there is my sister, Rachael, beautiful as ever with her bright blond hair and fun jewelry I always covet and I find myself looking up to her just like I did on the sidelines at every high-school football game she cheered at. My mom and dad tirelessly love on all their grand-kids all week and I'm SO happy to be part of that now with my little Sarah.
It just felt so good to be together.
I have to put a plug in for the in-laws:
Nate, Crystal and Melissa. You didn't grow up with us so the magic I refer to might not be there for you. THANK YOU for coming and being a part of this Hancock reunion so we can remember how important the family unit is that us siblings came from and then return to our own family units inspired and strengthened to make just as many good memories for our own children.
I get just as much out of being with my in-laws. Nate works so hard at being a good dad. He also makes himself comfortable in any situation and this way of ease he has makes him nice to have around. Crystal quietly does all she can to make everyone happy. She supports Denny in every way and has joined me in laughing at all his jokes. Melissa's soft spirit contributes a serious tone of reflection and care to do what's right... she's also a bit goofy, which I appreciate.
What marked this trip was not the perfect weather, nor the nightly meals, but the 24-hour flu epidemic
that Sarah carried in her tiny body and passed on to little Mary and me who then passed it to Alex and Crystal who then passed it to.... until 11 out of 20 of us suffered the wrath! We tried our best to wash hands and keep them to ourselves but if anyone knows us they know we're a touchy family. That otherwise sweet family-trait proved to be our downfall this vacation.
But, to Sarah's credit (wink, wink)
, our constant battle over the flu brought us together in a way we wouldn't have if we were completely healthy the whole week. Families were taking care of each other but also families were helping and taking care of other families. Since there were 20 of us in one house, some of us shared the downstairs TV room as our living quarters. I saw my big sister take diligent care of her little Mary throughout the night as she vomited almost every 30 minutes for multiple hours. I, too, was vomiting that night... one episode I was actually nursing Sarah while throwing up in the toilet at the same time... Sarah didn't seem to mind. During these episodes I thought of how strong Mary was and how she started to repeat what Rachael kept telling her every time she threw up, "It's gonna be OK, I'm OK." I saw how much Rachael loved Mary, how seriously she took her job as a mother and the incredible impact what we say and do can have on our children.
All throwing up aside, we did have some crazy fun times.
The usual cliff-jumping was so much fun. It's easy to jump when your 10-year-old nephew jumps without thinking twice!
Just driving around on the boat brings back a flood of memories. That feeling of up and down with the wind and sun in your face is one I love to remember.
Any chance I had to ride a bike I took. My mom let me ride hers down to get snow-cones with D&C (Denny & Crystal)
where we sat and I laughed at Denny's impersonations.
Some nap-times I was the one at home while Crystal played at the pool. This was precious time to read or just relax in the familiar Eastern Washington heat.
We even took a girls night to spoil Melissa a bit before her 4th little one comes along. We got all spiced up and then drove around in a mini-van looking for fun. We ended up at the grocery store buying ice cream and a tabloid and then enjoying those on the end of a Wapato dock in the dark to the light of my iPhone.
Sunday evening we tried to make special with a little family testimony meeting. All of us have been through and/or are going through very challenging times. The running theme was that embracing the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the only way to happiness. I know this, too, but it is hard to live by it at all times, in all things and in all places. This spiritual pow-wow revealed to me that we are all striving to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ in our own way. Having faith in something you can't see can be difficult, but with the support of the ones you know, love and respect most in your life it is made a lot easier.
Thank you Mom and Dad
for starting this wonderful tradition of Lake
Chelan. In my dreams we will continue it until we're all old and
grandparents ourselves. But, it is comforting to think that even if
Lake Chelan dried up, I'd still have the people I have enjoyed it with
my whole life. That will always be what's most important- our family.
Lake Chelan has just been an instrument in bringing us together- so,
thank you, too, Lake Chelan.
|that's me in the air...|
|On our way out we serendipitously ran into some of my dearest friends, Linsey & Tri|