When I read this quote this morning I just knew it was the right one to get me going on that promised page about my families´visits.
As I have said, this past month has blessed us with family visits from East and West, from the United States and the wonderful Isle of Guernsey, plus an impromptu visit to Sevilla to surprize my wonderful Mother-in-Law (careful...she´s probably reading this!!!!) for her 61st birthday.
Family from the Sates (finally some more offspring into the family fold that doesn´t come from me!!!) arrived Tuesday afternoon, just 2 days after we came back from the Barnabas Retreat. But the work was made light, by the height of excitement that engrossed us. We had seen our new niece during our "flying visit" to L.A./Hawaii in Feb, but no-one else of the Clan had seen her, including obviously our kids - so this was the first time!
There was/is definitely an "invisible, innate connection" to family that covers time and distance, because my kids were "instantly chummy" with the new niece and she with them. There were no tears, just smiles and hugs, and more smiles and hugs plus the fights as to who would hold her next and, "Can I take her to my room now?".
Already on Friday morning the US part of the clan packed up our car to drive down to Sevilla to meet Opa and Omi for the first time. We followed the next morning to suprize Omi (the best mother in law in the world!!!)for her birthday...which was a complete success ..thanks Sudie! The look on her face when we walked into the Kitchen was worth a million Euros! We had a wondeful meal in a fantastic restaurant... boy, isn´t Sevilla beautiful!
Sunday morning we dedicated the new niece to the Lord, in the Church. The proud Opa and Pastor lead us all in that very intimate and important moment in family life. Love you Opa...you´re the best!
The next day we drove back up leaving the rest of the family to savour the recently arrived visitors from Colombus´s New World. My sister in law did a great job tackling the challenges of jet lag with a small baby and adjusting to new foods and the like and it was fun also to have chats into the early hours ..burning our candles at both ends to soak up every last minute together!
Meanwhile, we arrived back to Guadalajara, within a few hours to prepare before the arrival of the "My side of the family Clan" and added couple from Guernsey. Having already entered into the our group dynamics, there had to be a change in gears (and language!!) for the British subjects about to come. I actually do find myself somehow changing gear internally, as the reality of cultures washes in and out of the house like the tide on the shore.
Having my Mum and her sister around was really fun as well as an interesting phenomenon to observe of sisterhood in latter years !!! (now there's a book right there) The other couple that came with them, (this is their 2nd visit)work with the Salvation Army and have been a great comfort to my Mum when my Dad was ill and then passed away.
This group was all over 65, so they were "guinea pigs" for my studies! They make a very different type of guest, with very different needs. I had to constantly remind them all to drink enough water..they subsequently baptized me with the title doctor Ally!
Their visit was made up of cultural outings, shopping, eating around the table together and best of all: fresh bread with Guernsey butter! Hmmmmmmmmm! My Aunty made an Indian meal and a Traditional English Christmas Cake (which I am continuing to soak regularly in a secret ingredient!!!). We had a fantastic BBQ with the combining of both clans....now that was something! In the midst of this I also hosted an american couple and met Lyn and June.
When our relatives are at home,we have to think of all their good points or it would be impossible to endure them -
Gordon Bernard Shaw
It´s great to have family and be with family, but it is good to settle down again. I did next to no studying so now I have to catch up...but it was definitely worth it! Here are a few final quotes about families... I think you will enjoy them!
The informality of family life is a blessed condition that allows us to become our best while looking our worst. ~Marge Kennedy
If the family were a fruit, it would be an orange, a circle of sections, held together but separable - each segment distinct. ~Letty Cottin Pogrebin