In late February I spent nearly a week at my brother’s house. Our sister came down for a long weekend as well, and we again had a lovely time together.
Part of it was the fact that we were in Florida where the temperatures were in the mid 80’s, and I was able to be barefoot for most of the time there. I also was able to drift aimlessly around in the pool in his backyard… one of my favorite things to do when the water is warm enough.
Part of it was being able to wear shorts and a tank top as I went out for my morning walks. We’ve had such a great winter for cross-country skiing that I wasn’t running or walking at all, so it was really nice to be able to do this without having three or more layers on.
Part of it was being there for my brother the day he was sick and home from work. He slept much of the day, yet came out to the living room roughly every hour, long enough to drink some orange juice before starting to feel dizzy from being upright; about 20 minutes. This happened, oh, about seven times throughout the day. I was happy to be able to provide him with some comfort food by making him a grilled-cheese sandwich that day for lunch… in between naps, of course.
Part of it was watching some of the Olympics while there. My brother turned on the U.S. vs. Canada women’s hockey gold medal game to see the U.S. was up, 2-0. This was on the day he was taking his seven naps, and I was spending time doing some studying and writing. The moment he turned on the TV was the moment that Canada scored their first goal, with about three minutes to go, making the score 2-1, U.S. It was time for his 20 minutes of being upright, so he came out to the living room and told me the game was on. He commented the U.S. had been up, 2-0, but that Canada had scored when he turned on the TV to check the score. He commented that he brought them bad luck, so that we shouldn’t watch the game. I asked him if he was really that powerful?! We decided to flick on the game, and the moment he turned on the TV was the moment that Canada scored their second goal, tying the game, with less than a minute to go. Maybe there was something to his bad luck theory. So we turned the TV off so we couldn’t be hel accountable (i.e. blamed!) for the outcome of the game. Sometimes being with my brother makes me feel like I’m seven again.
Part of it was the fact that our sister was able to make it down to Florida in the middle of the coldest Minnesota winter in the past 30 years. Her early Friday morning flight was cancelled; something she found out about two days prior, because there was a large snowstorm predicted for that time. This was really nice to know ahead of time. They got so much snow in northern Minnesota she spent much of the day on Friday digging herself out and figuring out what she was going to do with her dog since the person scheduled to dog sit couldn’t get out of the house, and how my sister was going to get to the airport… after hearing about how bad it was, it’s pretty remarkable, really, that she made it down only 12 hours late or so… it’s a miracle!
Part of it was going out for lunch many days in a row and eating outside (my measure for whether or not it’s a successful day!).
Part of it was being out on a boat ride in the middle of February, the sun on our faces, the slight breeze out on the water keeping us cool.
Part of it was watching the peacock and the peahen enjoy our brother’s front stoop and top of his car, and hearing our brother ask and answer the question, “Where are peacocks native to? I always thought it was a zoo…”
Part of it was observing our sister learn how to be a “be-er” and not needing to be a “do-er.” For years we’ve tried to get her to relax and not always have to be on the go; that some of us enjoy just relaxing and hanging out. She commented at one point that she even kinda likes relaxing and seemed surprised by that revelation. I knew better, though! I knew she’d enjoy it if she’d just give it a chance.
And part of it was playing many games of Farkel and just enjoying one another’s company.
I’m happy that we made the effort to get together during the dead of winter in Florida. With Mom no longer living, getting together must be more of a conscious decision now, and I’m really glad it is still a priority for the three of us to get together.