Slice of Life – A Friends and Family Week

6 February 2024

We learned a few days before they arrived that some friends we haven’t seen in five years were coming to Palm Springs for a vacation. We made plans to spend a day with them visiting Joshua Tree National Park. Last Tuesday I had this text conversation with the friends:

We both made assumptions. First, I had thought that they were still in Michigan when I sent that message. (I guess the “road” I really meant was, “Are you up in the air already?”) I assumed they meant they were leaving in 30 minutes for the airport. I also made the assumption that their ETA was to get to the airport, either in Michigan or maybe in California. I thought it was odd, but I didn’t answer anything back.

However, they had arrived the day before in Palm Springs. They assumed they had the day wrong or that we had had to change the day, so when they saw my note, they changed plans and got ready to come to our house. (They did miss the “tomorrow” in my text.) We were still in our pajamas at their ETA of 9:25.

We all laughed, my hubby and I got dressed, and we spent a wonderful day together, a day early. The weather was perfect–the best of their cold and rainy week of vacation, so that was a bonus!

It was fun to see the park through the eyes of someone who had never been to the desert. They were so genuinely enthusiastic and loved the rocks!

We watched rock climbers. Do you see them?

Then on Saturday, my nephew from Pennsylvania came for the weekend before he went to Las Vegas for a business expo. Two more California nephews were able to join us. My siblings came too, and we spent many hours together over the weekend reminiscing and laughing We laughed over crazy stuff my nephews and brother did together, a brother who became an uncle at age four. He was a ringleader of mischief–swimming in desert lakes without adult supervision, spinning donuts in the sand with younger ones in the back of his pickup, crawling through culverts in out-of-the-way places and more. We marveled with gratitude that they all grew up without a tragic accident.

We have not kept in good touch with some family members who live far away (and who have far and away political views from ours). However, love prevailed, and this visit revitalized my resolve to stay in better touch with those I love.

Thank you for coming, A

Let us forget our differences for a moment.
Mutual affection wins this time, wins over false
love of unwavering political loyalties. Let’s
continue in humble love for one another.

Hebrews 13:1a “Let mutual love continue…”

10 thoughts on “Slice of Life – A Friends and Family Week

  1. Time with family and friends grows more precious by the day. Thank you for sharing this time well spent, Denise.

  2. Denise, I had to laugh when I read about the antics of your brother and nephews. As kids we would go swimming in water holes near abandoned coal mines. It is a wonder we suffered no major accidents. Spending time with family is precious and priceless.

  3. Denise,
    This ending describes my life and the lives of many: “ We have not kept in good touch with some family members who live far away (and who have far and away political views from ours).” This is so sad, but I honestly think most are tired of the divide. I’ve been taking your approach the past year and trying not to let the divide, well, divide. Love your poem but can’t believe you didn’t post a Joshua Tree tree photo. 😉

  4. Some people might get upset from misunderstandings, you took the most out of it. Your post shows great appreciation for the people and experiences together with them.

  5. This is such a joy to read! I, too, have to curb my dismay about leanings far away from mine. I also had to zoom in to find the climbers! I think starting the visit with pajamas is inspired and probably dispelled any nerves. How cute is that story? Now you have one more unique moment to bind you.

  6. I love the joy shown in spending time with those who are important to you. The day mix-up made me smile, especially at the thought of you just going with it. This reminds me that great things can happen that aren’t planned!

  7. Such special time with so many dear people! Just marvelous. How I love that text message confusion – and you and your husband just rolled with it (I mean, what could you do, really?) and had the best of days! Goodness, this could have gone so many different ways (what if you happened to have out early at appointments or something?). Sometimes the best fun comes from these kinds of surprise get-togethers. Thanks for sharing this!

  8. Good for you that you went with the flow even though your text messages got jumbled and crossed!

    And WOW! The rock climbers really add perspective to that picture! Another WOW for your blue blue skies!

  9. Embracing the moments we have with our family is a lesson we all need. Sounds like it all worked out even with the misunderstanding.

  10. Oh my goodness, Denise, I’m laughing and so relieved that you all took this in stride. I would have panicked if someone had knocked on my door with us in our pajamas……..but what a fun time to spend the day with people you enjoy and go outdoors! I love pictures of people sitting around a table. There is something sacred about sharing a meal together, and you have it so evident right here that this is the way to spend time with others to the fullest!

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