Last year our family went to a farm in the north/middle of PA, near Bloomsburg. We enjoyed our long weekend there so much, we decided to extend our stay to a whole week. There were 20 of us there this year, all from my side of the family- my mom, sisters, brother and their families (including my sister from France and her 2 boys). There were lots of little kids, lots of laughter, good cooking, swimming, fishing, and hiking. It was a great week to get reconnected with each other. It is funny how even after all these years, we all fall back into many of the roles and spaces that we occupied when we were children. Sometimes, that is not so great, like when I am sharp with my 33 year old sister, like she is a child. And other times, it is fun as we laugh at my brother's wit and antics. Of course, there was a hole where my dad would have been there with us. We all commented at one point or another throughout the week how he would have loved being there with his kids and grandkids, how it was exactly his favorite kind of vacation. Despite moments of longing, our eyes shiny with tears as we mourned our deep loss once again, it was a joyful, fun week. The kids loved playing with their cousins, favorite activities being the pond, fishing, and the trampoline.
We took a trip to Rickett's Glen on Monday, where coincidentally our next door neighbors were hiking there the same day and we ran into them--crazy! The falls were gorgeous, and the trails were a little challenging, but not too bad. The kids also loved wading in the different pools along the creek. (KK did not come on this hike, maybe next year she will be big enough to handle it.)
Later in the week we went to Knoebels amusement park. It was a blast- KK was actually the one who was the most daring on most of the rides. We went on one together that E and N did not want to try. It lifted into the air and the ride spun several baskets all around in a huge circle through the air. KK kept saying, " This is so fun! I love this ride!" We also went on the flume which she loved, and N hated. I was amazed at her enthusiasm for the fast and dizzying rides. As for me, it is clear that I am past all that. I used to love those rides that went in circles, and I felt absolutely sick. I remember as child, how my mom used to sit out most amusement park rides herself, and I never understood it. Now I do.
The rest of the week we spent just hanging out together, games at night, sharing meals, just doing family stuff together. And it was good, really, really good.