Getting a late start on our road trip to Upstate Utah – but stopping in Ogden for beignets and waffles at Pig in a Jelly Jar on Historic 25th Street, and then heading to Scruds for milkshakes where Holden climbed up to the bar and proclaimed: “We’re not here for beers or alcohols!”
I didn’t snap a photo of the kids arranging flowers for their two “Greats” and Grandma Stevie, or cuddling with Holden in his bottom bunk-bed as we whispered Math Facts into the darkness.
We ate meals around a giant table with four generations present and I watched Holden escort his Great Grandmother to the table and then (with no prompting from adults) watched him pull out her chair kindly and proudly.
She later would tell him about her Mother driving a car pregnant – and he would listen… and then later in a quiet moment to her reflect and remark “It must be hard having your husband gone.”
Zoë would make pictures for the Greats – with pictures of pianos, soccer, and flowers with petals leaves and pollen.
We would jump on the new trampoline – play ‘crack the egg’ and roast smores on the gas fire pit at “The Barn.” We found pauses in the rain to shoot hoops and walk along the river with Danny’s parents while the kids rode bikes and stopped to look at a tree, a poinecone, smell some flowers or in Holden’s case – discover a snake.
When we stopped at the park he was convinced he found tadpoles – his Grandma and I thought they were a lichen on the river’s rocks, but on closer inspection they were actually some form of worm.
We made it back to The Barn. Holden leading the way and not complaining once about hauling his bike up the hill.
The rain would return but that wouldn’t stop Zoë from her time on the tramp. At one point, the kids jumped nonstop for almost an hour.
We cuddled. We read stories. Holden started The Jungle Book with his Grandma while I finally got a shower. Danny tried to watch baseball. We all had naps – except Holden. He worked on art projects and spent time drawing comic books and working on art projects.
Stevie and I moved in synchronicity on food prep. Some how bobbing and weaving but not having to say much to one another and she mastered the grill and we produced massive amounts of food for another meal before catching the Derby race.
The next morning Danny presented me with a flowery card that included purple butterflies. I saw it an immediately knew he had;t picked it out. “Where did you get this card?” I said, chuckling. “Zoë insisted you loved purple butterflies,” he said. He didn’t have to, but I loved we were both in on a secret joke – that was more sweet than silly.
We’d head to Snowbasin for brunch with 15 other family members. And still, I didn’t have my phone for pictures. I was just still taking it all in.
On the ride home, the Great Gradmas would join us, and before the kids settled into games on their electronic devices, Holden suggested we play the “Movie Game” where we’d recite lines from films and the rest of the car members would try to guess where they came from.
After that, the Greats shared a bit about what life was like before television – or even radios in Marion’s case. Holden wanted to know what football was like in Barbara’s (“G.G’s”) day and the most popular sports that Marion (“Nana”) enjoyed.
I thought a lot about my own Mother over the weekend (who is traveling overseas.) I thought about my Grandmas and my sisters.
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words. But sometimes I also think, it’s better to leave the camera-phone behind.