Memorial Day is a great time for a Family Reunion.
I have an aunt who owns one of the historic homes outside of Vicksburg, Mississippi. We had a family reunion at her home several years ago. Now there are fewer of us to reunite, so my sister decided to do it again this year. My aunt was onboard, so we spent Saturday in Vicksburg.
This reunion was different. All of the kids are older, so part of the fun of the reunion was watching the next generation interact with each other. My son and my sister’s kids see each other quite a bit, but they do not see my cousins’ kids very often. I am still close to my cousins, but since we live in Texas and they live in Louisiana our kids just didn’t see that much of each other when they were growing up. It was great seeing them hang out together and enjoy each other. And Peggy got to spend time with Mike, which is always a good thing.
And, of course, us old folks had a great time visiting and rehashing old family stories and memories.
I love to watch my father interact with the rest of the family. He has become the patriarch of the family as the oldest surviving relative, and it is fun to hear his generation telling stories on each other from their youth. It is a highlight any time we get them all together. My father turned 80 this year, so it becomes more apparent each time we get together that we need to do it while we can. My sister lives in Vicksburg so she was the primary planner. She did a great job.
When the reunion was over, Peggy and I made the drive back down to Lake Charles to spend the holiday weekend. Her cup was full from our son’s presence at the reunion, so we just went down to hang out and relax. She will be heading back to Dallas to visit her mother this week, so I wanted her to have some real down time this weekend.
This is the easiest place for us to go for a quick weekend to get away. Peggy loves to come here, so I love to come here. Frankly, if she loved to go somewhere else that would quickly become my favorite place to go. I just want her to be able to have fun and recharge.
Spending a relaxing week in Lake Charles may not sound like a perfect vacation to you, but it is working out pretty well for us.
We started the whole Mother’s Day trip tradition when my son went to college because Peggy didn’t want to sit around feeling unhappy that she wasn’t seeing her son for Mother’s Day. Mother’s Day always falls during finals week, so he was not able to come home when he was in college. We have kept it going because he still doesn’t want to travel from Baton Rouge to Katy for the weekend.
Today the tradition continued in the best way possible — I arranged with Mike to show up today and surprise his Mama for Mother’s Day.
Mike typically travels with an entourage — I’m pretty sure he just doesn’t like driving around by himself — but I asked him to come to Lake Charles by himself. No friends (we know all of them), no girlfriend (since she is not a follower of this blog I will tell you that she is not “the one”), just him.
He is a good boy and he loves his Mama. He also knows what she has been through this past year with her own Mama. And I bought gas for him. So he made the drive over from Baton Rouge and arrived early.
Actually, the hardest thing about the morning was convincing Peggy that we did not need to go down to the pool just yet. Fortunately it was overcast this morning so she was OK with waiting a little while to go down.
She and Mike have a very special relationship. He is an only child, and Peggy came home from work when he was in the first grade to spend more time with him. They have spent a lot of time together and fun typically ensues. Today was no different.
I won’t say it was the best Mother’s Day ever, but I have a feeling it was the best one since 2007.
Peggy and I like to take a trip every year at Mother’s Day. It started when our son went away to college and it quickly developed into a wonderful tradition.
Last year we went to Nuevo Cancun in Mexico and had an absolute blast. We decided that we would like to go back often. Then we came home and began the journey with Peggy’s mother.
This year Peggy was not comfortable with the idea of leaving the country in case something happened with her mother, so we had to adapt. I decided we should spend the week in Cajun Mexico and go back to L’Auberge.
I know what you’re thinking — you go there all the time — and that is true. However, we have never gone for an extended stay. Our trips are always quick, two or three night excursions. This is the first time we have ever come here and stayed for a week.
When we went to Mexico last year, I realized that Peggy really does not want to spend time in the ocean. We spent virtually all our time at the pool. While the view of Lake Charles is not quite the same as looking at the Caribbean, the resort here is comfortable and beautiful. And the food and drinks are certainly comparable. More importantly, the fact that Peggy doesn’t have to worry about how we would get back to her mother if necessary immeasurably increases her ability to relax, and that is the point of the vacation.
We’re not telling anybody where we’re going. We’re staying here just like we stayed in Mexico last year and leaving our phones alone. I can’t make the reason for her constant travel back and forth to Dallas go away, but I can make sure that she gets the opportunity to go away, at least for a little while.
And I have asked our son to drive over from Baton Rouge on Mother’s Day as a surprise for his Mama.