I have about 3 weeks of vacation left, and a lot of my friends are bemoaning the end of summer, but I figure that 3 weeks, all together, is a luxury very few other Americans have. So I will not gripe. I will soak them up and be thankful.
The vacation-y thing I did today was an excursion to a point midway between our house and my parents' house, to meet up with my mom and an Aunt I haven't seen in four years, but dearly love. I was supposed to go up on Sunday, after a weekend helping run something called a regional gathering (food, games, speakers for about 100 people at a hotel. Fun, but exhausting.) I called off the trip. I was just too wiped out to drive all the way to the Lake. My mother suggested a meet-up someplace between here and there, and my Aunt, after driving a reeeally long way to get to Ohio, was gracious enough to drive some more to see us today. We spent the day at an indoor pool which was not nearly large or exotic enough to merit the cost, but it was plenty big for my little ones. Also not crowded at all. And it was indoors where it was not 95 degrees and scorching. So, good times.
This Aunt is not one by blood--she married into the family -- and made a real effort when I was little to be special to me. I can remember her taking me out to see "Annie," and another time to buy shoes--something that would have been an errand for my mother but became somehow a special outing with my Aunt. She worked at it, and I appreciate and love her for it. It makes me want to be a better Aunt to my own nieces, and try to do some special things for them, too.
So, I'm grateful that there was something reasonably fun and entertaining to do with the kids halfway between here and the Lake, and I'm grateful that my Mom and Aunt were willing to make the trip, and that I have a pretty enjoyable family in general. How many people can say that?