Flying to Virginia
I apologize at the beginning for this dear diary moment, but I am totally out of my writing mode lately. I some how have hit a case of writers block, so I figured I’d just write about my weekend and hope that it will get my mind moving for future topics.
This past weekend I rushed down to my parents home in Port Haywood, Virginia, a little town that’s an hour from civilization. Okay, maybe that’s a bit mean, but it is pretty far removed from any real cities. The post office is a box like one room building. The closets grocery store is in the next town over of Mathews, VA. If you want to go to a gym or pool you have to drive for what seems like an eternity to Gloucester, VA. There is seriously nothing you can do in Port Haywood, VA itself.
Well, nothing the town can offer, but my parents home is a different story. When I visit my parents I feel my youth shining through in the best of ways. On my most recent trip, a weekend run to Virginia, I thought I was going to be stressed to the fullest. Having just taken two weeks off from work at the beginning of July, followed shortly afterwards with a long weekend that required more vacation time to be taken off I knew I couldn’t really take the Friday off that weekend. I had no choice but to make the trip and to leave the city after work on Friday. I arrived at my parents in the dark of night at 1:30 am after everyone had gone to bed. So I followed that plan and tiptoed my way through the house, up the stairs and into the only guest bedroom that was empty. I curled up with one thought in my head, “how am I going to make it through Saturday, my only full day in VA this trip with no sleep.”
Morning came and I popped out of bed right at 8:30 am. I had the energy of a teenager. I took a refreshing shower and emerged from the bedroom and made my first appearance to my family. I have no clue where all the energy came from, but I knew I wanted to seize the day. My first thought was to follow my sister, sister-in-law and mother in whatever they wanted to do to entertain themselves and my niece and nephews. The first event was shopping in Mathews, Virginia. It’s always a fun thing to do. The town is full of consignment stores and antique shops.
Just like when I was a teen I could feel my energy bubbling at the surface around 11 am. The sun was beaming and I was going in and out of stores. It may have been comfortably air-conditioned, but I wanted to be sweating my brains out under the delicious rays of the Virginia sun.
After grabbing a bite to eat in town we hopped in the cars and traveled back to the house. This is when everyone said they wanted to go for a swim. I am pretty
sure I was the first person in swimwear. Before my older nephew Paul and my niece Bonnie even had a chance to go into the guest house to change I was already in the water. I was only in the shallows trying to find the dogs tug of war toy they accidentally tossed in, but I couldn’t wait to splash around, get a tan and play like a child.
Mom and dad blew up the monstrously large inner tubes for us and every single person in the family sooner or later decided they had to join us in the water. My nephew Paul, who is in the fifth grade, showed us his best cannon ball jumps off the dock. My niece Bonnie put on her goggles and showed us how long she could swim under water. My 18 month old nephew Luke screamed bloody murder as we all tried to get him to enjoy the water. My brother, sister and sister-in-law floated on the inner tubes. My mom and I, per usual, decided to swim laps across the water to the far side of the inlet they live on and then back to the dock.
Everyone got a bit of what they wanted. I got what I didn’t know I wanted, but in actuality learned I needed it. I got my family. After a few years of being a bit disconnected from my family and/or completely estranged form a couple of family members, I realized just how badly I needed that connectivity only family can give you. I tried to remember the last Thanksgiving I spent with family or the last Christmas and I couldn’t place a single year. That means it’s been too long. Yes I like my independence, but there needs to be a balance.
My family gave me something I don’t think I’ve had in a long time, undying support. At one point we sat around the table. The night sky flooded us with darkness as the citronella candles flickered around the sun-room. Mojitos in our hands and music playing around us. We talked. We talked about the good, the bad and the ugly in the way only your family can. They let me know that all’s that is important is living life in the way that makes you the happiest. They hope I dance (and ironically I do mean that pretty literally since I gave up dance years ago, something that made me incredibly happy and free).
What I got was my family and a lesson that family loves you, they are forgiving for whatever issues may arise and will always be there on the other side of a phone, flight, or car ride.
Following this happy endeavor I had to travel home to New York leaving my family behind. I was dropped at the airport and once again heading into the world with my head held high. So I thought anyways! I made it to the gate to learn that all flights to the northeast had been canceled that Sunday due to storms. After having a partial mental breakdown realizing I’d have to fly out Monday mornings (waking up at 3:00 am) my mom came back to the airport and we did what we do best. We grabbed dinner, downed a martini and headed back to the house.
I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack
Pictures from my short weekend trip: