Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Making Memories II



In December of 2011 I wrote an article on my blog titled Living in the Moment.  It is interesting for me to read my writing from years past.  I sense creativity and intellectual “nimbleness” that is now much less accessible.  I remember that the pastor of our church actually read it to our congregation.

In June of 2012, I wrote a sequel of sorts to Living in the Moment titled Making Memories after we had taken a family vacation to celebrate our older son’s 40th birthday.  We have many good memories from that trip.

It is now June 2018.  Linda and I had talked about putting together a summer family vacation as we celebrate our 70th birthdays and approach our 50th wedding anniversary (August 2019).  We actually talked about doing this in 2019, but I ended up talking her into moving it up a year.  My rationale was that after ten years with PD each year is likely to be better than the next, so it made sense to me to do it sooner than later. 

We asked our boys for ideas on a location and did a good deal of research ourselves based on the kinds of things we enjoy.  We were looking for someplace “special” in the mountains or by a lake with plenty of elbow room for our “tribe” that now numbers twelve, including three boys (10-14) and three girls (11-12), as well as lots of fun things to do.  We looked at some great possibilities in Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming before deciding on a “cabin” that sleeps up to 14 people in Idaho not far from Jackson Hole.

I am really looking forward to this trip.  I am taking my older son’s advice and trying not to “overthink” it, which is my tendency these days.  Both boys are making it easier to do that as they have told us they will handle the planning and details while we are there.  That definitely opens the door for Linda and me to be able to “go with the flow” and enjoy our time together.  I hope this trip will be memorable on many levels for all of us!

We are fortunate to be able to do a vacation like this.  Just finding a “window” when all of us are available these days is no small task!  Spending almost a week with parents/grandparents is not necessarily something most kids would look forward to. 

I am not sure why, but our family seems to be a little different in that respect.  Maybe it is because we attended so many of our boys’ activities (soccer, football, baseball, basketball, tennis, cross country, band concerts, award banquets and more) over the years.  Not because we felt obligated, but because we genuinely enjoyed being there.  Some families are not this way, which is something Linda and I could never understand.  We are happy to see that our boys are the same with their families.

We also made time to do things together.  We had some memorable weekend ski trips starting when the boys were “pre-teen”.  One of the things I enjoyed most about these trips was the drive to get there.  This gave me a captive audience on which to impose my “dry wit”.  I can still here the groans!  In later years, we were able to take some pretty cool Christmas ski trips to places like Steamboat, Breckenridge, Vail, Snowmass and Park City.

I can honestly say that there is a genuine “closeness” in our family.  That is something that is difficult to “manufacture”.  When I think about it, Linda and I both were raised by parents who demonstrated interest in their family’s activities over many years.  My grandparents were the same way.  We had regular get-togethers, family gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas and family reunions that were preserved in pictures and home movies.


If you already have a family that enjoys spending time together, creating memories will already be a part of your family culture.  Don’t take it for granted.  It is a precious gift!  Be intentional about keeping it “alive”.

On the other hand, if you don’t have a family that is naturally “close”, you have a bigger challenge.  As I said earlier, closeness is difficult to manufacture.  I think the first step is to communicate your genuine desire to feel close to the people you love most.  Then find ways to demonstrate your commitment to that desire.  As they say these days, “walk the talk”.  Or as they used to say, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. 

As I said at the close of Making Memories, “My hope for everyone, including PWP's and care partners, is that we will resolve to do the best we can to enjoy and appreciate each day whether we are taking a walk in our neighborhood or on a remote sandy beach.  Remember to set aside some time to plan special activities you enjoy with those you love and create memories that will last a lifetime and beyond.” 

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