Saturday, August 24, 2013

Great Expectations & Family Vacations

We all have them.

Great expectations.

For family vacations.

We had one of those recently.

Great expectations surrounded our recent family trip out to Oregon.

To see my oldest daughter, Kate & her husband, Josh.

They're spending this year and next as traveling physical therapists.

We hadn't seen them since March.

Here's my photo of them in our driveway just before they began their adventure.

Four long months ago.

There was a lot of anticipation about our trip on both sides.

Just as anxious as we were to see them.

They were looking forward to seeing us.

To show us that part of the country.    

And reconnect after months apart.

We looked forward to our reunion with them.

We anticipated the trip for weeks.

And weeks.

And when anticipation grows.

So do expectations.

It's a good thing.

We can't see too far down the road.

In life.

And in trips.

This face developed before we ever got on the plane in Charlotte.

That would be Taylor.

My youngest.

Artsy.       Witty.        Bright.        Articulate.      Taylor.

I first suspected this face was associated with leaving her boyfriend behind.

Not a shocking surprise.

We persevered.

And got on the plane in Charlotte.

Non-stop to Portland.

And this slightly unhappy face.

Turned into a wretchedly sick face.

Throwing up in one of those airline bags......sick.



Three times.

Multiple times.

And the tone for our family vacation was being set.

And we didn't even know it.


The die was being cast.

Have you ever had one of those vacations?

Long awaited.


Talked about.

Planned for.

Costly vacations.


This would be one of those.

Kate described Oregon's weather.

As always being like a "warm fall day."

Cool temperatures.

No humidity.

Wonderful weather.

All the while.

It was music to our ears.

We were leaving Greenwood.



Summertime Greenwood.

And our expectations for cooler weather were high.


A funny thing happened.

Our expectations for cooler weather.

Went the way of our sick child.

Oregon had a very unusual weather phenomenon.

The very week we arrived.

Record high temperatures.

As in..........102 degrees.

And we sweltered.

Expecting cooler weather.

We packed jackets.

Long pants.

Long sleeve shirts.

And we got.........are you kidding me?!?

Record setting high temperatures.

Of course we did!?!


I know what you're thinking.

So what if Taylor spent the first 48 hours in a continual barfing state?

So what if it was incredibly HOT?

So what if you spent the better part of a day.

In the emergency room of a local hospital?

As a very dehydrated and weak Taylor was hooked up to an IV.

Getting needed fluids into her body.

For a non-descript "viral" bug.

And to be fair.

In full disclosure.

I brought along my own contributions to the trip.


Just a couple of days before heading out on the trip.

I did my first walk through of the old house in Due West.

The one that's occupied much of my attention.

Then and now.

And too much time was spent on the trip.

Talking about the pro's & con's of this house.


That was my contribution.

And Kate's expectation of completely focused mom time was a bit dampened.


Not such a good thing I brought along.


You still got to see Kate & Josh, right??


Yes, we did.

We LOVED seeing them.


We explained before coming out.

They were what we really wanted to see.

That was our expectation.

But, my adventuresome, traveling  daughter & son-in-law.

Their expectation was showing us the state.

Of Oregon. case you didn't know.

Oregon is a very.......BIG.......state.

And over the course of our seven days in Oregon.

We drove over 1,000 miles.

Yes, we did.

From the most unique city of Portland.

To the Pacific coast.

To the mountains.

To the high desert.

It was absolutely beautiful.

All of it.

And at the same time.

It was a lot of time in the car.

Josh's........two door.......Jeep.

The kind of car that requires you to climb in and out.

Up and over seats.

Multiple times a day.

I felt all of my 54 years at the end of that 1,000 miles.

Did I mention the air conditioner didn't work that well?

And nearly all of those 1,000 miles were spent.

Riding with windows rolled down.

Wind tunnel effect.

No point in trying to control your hair.

In the record heat.

I can laugh about it now.

Sick child.

Hospital visit.

Record heat.

Many, many miles of driving.

Without air conditioning.

Great expectations.

Family Vacation.


I know.

We got to see our kids.

It was definitely worth all know.

All the expectations.

In the mist of high expectations and family vacations,

you sometimes get bogged down in the things that don't go as planned.

Some time and distance is often required.

To really look back and appreciate the fact.

That the wonderful moments were there along too.

And lesson learned.

I'm all about learning a lesson.

Go with the flow.

Be flexible!   (to coin a phrase from my Kenya trips with NewSpring)

And keep reasonable expectations.

Above all else.

Really appreciate and hang on to time with your family.

The good.

The not so good.

The unexpected.

And the memorable.

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