I just got home last night from a short change of lifestyle — we went to see my grandma again in Michigan.
We call our trips to see my grandma a vacation. In one sense, these trips are not a vacation. Many of us are sleeping on old beds not in proper bedrooms with space heaters trying to keep an unheated upstairs warm. There is one tiny bathroom that does not have a great septic system. My parents sleep on a fold out couch in the living room, and we take shifts to eat our meals. Even the people who live up in that area say they have no idea how we do it.
1. Behind the tarp hanging is a queen air mattress on an old frame and a twin bed next to each other where 5 girls sleep (against left wall of main room upstairs).
2. Another twin bed against the right wall.
3. Walk through an open door way and there is another twin bed against the right wall. This was supposed to become another bedroom, but my grandpa died unexpectedly almost 30 years ago.
4. On the back wall behind a curtain we rigged up is another full bed (now we use a queen air mattress and there is a cot that can be used.
5. To the left of #3, there is a bedroom that my grandpa finished years ago. It has two full beds and room for a pack n play, two dressers for sheets, and a closet where we store extra pillows.
6. You can see a little play area out in the main room where there is a box of toys and play dishes my mom played with as a girl.
Since 10 of the 16 of us were children, there is a lot of cooking and clean-up still be done, although we get the kids to help when we can. And the only thing to do is for the kids to play outside–imagine that! Although it was below freezing, the kids played outside (and loved it), because there was not much else to do.
On the other hand, it is a vacation like no other. It is like being transported back in time where families worked hard yet they all lived close together and were able to see each other on a daily or weekly basis. Since we get only two channels on the local television network and my phone’s network does not receive enough service to even pull up my emails (although AT&T and Verizon do), we put even the older children to bed by 10 p.m., and the adults stay up to midnight or later to talk and maybe play games.
1. Baby time!
2. Craft time!
3. Grandpa reading What Was I Scared Of? from The Sneetches and Other Stories (affiliate link)
4. Cat time!
5. Visiting with great-grandma in the nursing home.
Sometimes we are just silly; but many times we talk about serious matters: our kids, our jobs, our ministries, changes, correct responses and attitudes. We get advice; we encourage; we get encouraged.
We have said that as this form of vacation is almost over with my grandma being almost 93 and now in a nursing home due to dementia and the inability to get up and walk without help, that we will have to find a way to replace it. Where we are all under one roof with nothing to do. No TV to turn on. No internet to sit at–only people! But then we get to talk-really talk. And we don’t want to lose that.
Of course, a few days is all we can handle of this kind of change of lifestyle–because we get exhausted from lack of sleep. But we really don’t want it any other way. We are thankful for this change of lifestyle because it reminds us of what is truly important.
There were many great posts linked up to last week’s Thoughtful Thursdays. Here are just three of them. Please try to make it by a couple of posts and leave them an encouraging note if it is truly a thoughtful post.
- Putting Worry in Its Place from Encouraged at Home
- Striking a Balance between Technology and Life— a guest post on Made to Mother
- 7 Ways to Respect Your Husband from Just One Mommy’s Opinion
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