I don't know about you, but I come from a good family. We're weird, we're obnoxious, we're geeky or nerdy or dorky or just goofballs. We're LOVING. We're nuts. We're FUN. But most of all, we're all living our lives, spread out across not only the country but also the globe, and we only <really> get "together" online anymore.
Stephen and I moved from California to the wrong coast a year (or so) ago to help out his ailing Dad. We live a mile-and-a-half from his Stepmom, maybe half an hour from his half-sister, and further and further from the rest of either of our immediate kinfolk. His stepmom seems to be coping well enough via her own actual immediate kinfolk (brother and daughter); his half-sister has her own family unit to keep her insane, as it were. So here we are, separated from home, looking for reasons to "visit" with ANYONE offline, and struggling in that area.
Today I was supposed to join a friend at the movies. I was going to drive 40 minutes to the friend's house because I didn't know the theater, and carpooling is always better anyway (IMHO). But then I got a text message, and my day changed.
My sister-who-is-not-related-by-blood-or-marriage-but-is-my-sister-nonetheless suggested we meet up - did I want to drive halfway to visit in some unfamiliar location, or did I want them to come all the way to me? Are you KIDDING? Come to ME! You gave me a cookbook when I got married the first time, of all of your within-our-family-famous recipes! I now get to prepare for you and your family A MEAL... A PIZZA... made by my own two hands, in my own kitchen, using whatever ingredients I happen to have. Come to ME! How many are you bringing, and what time should I expect you? (And will you be able to dine late enough to also visit with Stephen when he returns from work?)
They came - all five of them. I made one pizza with MY version of "the Works" and we all ate it. Not one of them expressed sufficient hunger for more than that, so I made sure they also had access to the cookies and Southern Sweet Tea. It was such a lovely visit. We laughed together, we reminisced, the youngest (who barely remembers me because, well, when was the last time she actually SAW or talked to me? - it's been YEARS) proclaimed my pizza the "most awesome" she'd ever tasted (which gained her an immediate high five from ME) and gave me a sparkly plastic bracelet that she had JUST made for me.
As a group, we all sort of pined for "simpler" days, when you didn't have to plan a visit, and your "spontaneous" visit didn't involve a workday's worth of driving just to make it happen. Yes, I could have gotten in my car and shortened their drive, but would we have had as long of a visit? I really don't think so. Maybe, if there's somehow time to "do this again" before I leave the wrong coast, we WILL meet in the middle. But where, and for how long?