Sometimes family – at least my family – has a way of turning something fairly simple into something way more complicated that you could have ever envisioned. In early June it looked like the weekend trip to St. Paul that I’d been pitching to my brother and sister-in-law for months was finally coming to fruition, except three days with three people had morphed into ten days with my entire family coming to visit. Surprise!
Here’s a summary in brief: ten days, six family members, one flight from South Dakota, one flight from Portland, one car from Chicago, one car from Iowa, two hotel rooms, three guys driving to Canada for five days of fishing, one adorable fourteen-month-old who enjoys picking things up and then dropping them, one grumpy, passive-aggressive downstairs neighbor who yells or pounds on the ceiling when things are dropped, two family meals in the backyard, five after work meet-ups at various shopping areas around the Cities, two Friday night dinners from Brasa, one dinner with college friends, one brunch with childhood friends, five days of head-bobbing tiredness at work, one cat visitor for nine days, one houseguest for one night, one Twins game, and one incredibly awesome boyfriend who not once complained and only rolled his eyes if I rolled mine first.
It turned out to be fun, crazy, and stressful, sometimes all at once. It’s not too often that my parents, brothers and I are in the same place at once, so I was grateful for that, but I was also grateful for the peace and quiet that came on Sunday morning when the last of the group drove off. As I walked back into our empty apartment I was on the verge of tears, and I’m still not sure whether they were tears of joy, tears of sadness, or tears of exhaustion. Probably a little of each. I am very happy that our next get together will involve a spacious house, palm trees, and a beach.
*Photo courtesy of my brother