Friday, July 22, 2011

Plan B

Every year since I've moved out of my family's house, my mom and I have gone on a vacation in the summer together. I think this is pretty special, especially when you consider that a lot of women I know would kill their mothers if they had to spend 4-7 continuous days with them. We've been Myrtle Beach, Washington D.C., Indiana Dunes Park, Chicago, the Wisconsin Dells, Angola State Park and Pokagon Park in Indiana and a few other places that I can't remember at 7 a.m. on one cup of coffee. But you get the point. We've had some instances of having to make the best of not so favorable conditions too.

Perhaps the most challenging was Angola Park, when it rained for most of our trip. Ever the optimists, we ended up going to a bar, movie theater, and finally surrendered at the end, packing up our camping gear and heading to a Holiday Inn. Of course, there was also the extreme heat of Washington D.C. a few summers ago. The popsicle that I ate at the National Mall on that 95 degree day is still the most delicious popsicle I've ever had in my entire life.

This year's vacation has the twist of adding in little miss Amelia May. At almost nine months old, I was confident enough that she could travel fairly well, although I did tell my mom that we were shaving one night off our stay for various reasons. And so, I packed Amelia and I up to stay two nights and three days at Maumee Bay State Park for our annual girls' vacation.

During the biggest heat wave in years. In accommodations sans air conditioning.

This is a 'yurt'. How fun is that word?
As the countdown to our vacation continued, Mom and I watched the daily news hoping and praying that the forecast would improve. Instead, the temperature predictions worsened and climbed. I voiced my concerns about the heat and we attempted to find a hotel in the area to no avail. Our only choice was to be inventive as always and find ways to cool the yurt we were planning on staying in.

It didn't work out.

We did spend the day at the park all day yesterday. We saw the nature center and Amelia felt (and attempted to eat) the various animal furs and seed pods they had on display. She scared the crap out of  the fish and turtles in the center's aquarium. We visited the beautiful lodge, visited the gift shop, and had ice cream. We took a nice drive in the area while Amelia napped. Then we headed to the campground to set up to stay the night. 

Amelia waiting for Mom and Grammy to set up camp.

The view behind our campsite.

An hour later, we surrendered and headed back to my parents. When they say there is an excessive heat warning, they aren't fooling around.

I feel badly for my mom and disappointed that we couldn't enjoy all the plans she had made for us. But at the heart of it, I'm happy that we still get to spend time together. And, I'm thankful that she is flexible enough to change plans as necessary. In the end, it doesn't really matter if we are on a beach, in a park, or right here in my parent's lovely log cabin. What matters is that we get to enjoy each others company and make memories together. The location doesn't really make any difference.

I think our professions have led to both of us having an even greater appreciation for this. As a hospice nurse, my mom sees families lose their loved ones every week. Many of these families must face the fact that they have wasted a lifetime arguing and using their energy on hating each other rather than making the most of things and loving each other. And for me as a counselor, I see many families that are incapable of appreciating each others strengths and dwelling on what they can't stand about mom, dad, Uncle Joe, whoever-- GET OVER IT. You only get one life, and one chance to love your family.

So today, after we have breakfast, we will be leaving to go shopping and going wherever the day leads us, together as mother, daughter, and granddaughter. We will have a fabulous time, and we will love each other. And THAT is what will make this vacation spectacular.
Good morning! Can't wait to spend the day with my family :)

1 comment:

Kendra said...

Beautiful pics of Miss Amealia, as always.
Yurt is a funner word than heat stroke. Glad you're safe and cool.