Thursday, June 23, 2011
Good-Bye, So Soon
The last few weeks have been hectic and busy, and wonderful. I started out the craziness with a trip to Ohio to see my brother graduate. Brad gets cooler all the time. He's so easy going and hilarious, and fun to be around. He's so good-natured, and he gets along with everyone.
Graduations are pretty boring. I don't recommend them. I do recommend trips to the motherland whenever you get the chance, though. It was fun to be home, see everyone, and participate in a the time-honored tradition of going to Kentucky to decorate headstones of family members past. I haven't been to my grandmother's gravesite since she died in 2003.
You know you are in Kentucky, because they memorialize your rockin' mullet when you die.
It was great to be around cousins and aunts and uncles. I grew up with them always around, and these last seven years, I haven't been as much a part of all the traditions and get togethers that we have, and I've missed it. The weather couldn't have been more perfect - mid-nineties with only a titch of humidity - and the only thing that was really bothersome was the discovery of ticks. Yes, ticks! [Take the time to shudder. It's appropriate, I promise.] We found one on Kelsie's back two days later! And it was probably more traumatizing for the adults than it was for Kelso; she was so good about leaning forward and letting everyone inspect and work to get it out.
I started reading the book Creeker while at my Aunt's house, and found that Memorial Day has long been called Decoration Day in the hills of Kentucky. The explanation the author gave of what the holiday consists of: decorating graves, talking about loved ones passed, etc., coincided with our own family tradition. I love that we have just a little bit of hillybilly roots.
I stayed for almost a week, and was still sad to leave. I just missed the Troy Strawberry Festival, which was sad. Even more so, because I didn't get to go pick berries like I wanted to. It helped to know that just a week later, my family would be coming to visit me in Utah. All except Mark, who is recovering from ACL surgery.
We started out their visit with a trip to Bear River Lodge. If you are ever looking for a beautiful area to ride ATVs or get away in a luxury cabin in the mountains, I recommend it. It was beautiful. And just a little bit cold. There was still snow, and Brad's shorts froze over night after he hung them out to dry. We went for a mini-hike, took a couple ATV rides, sat in the hot tub and had a really good time. The owner is a friend of my dad's (an old mission buddy) and he totally hooked us up.
Kelsie was hilarious because she climbed on the king-sized bed and immediately did this little dance and laughed.... non-stop for five minutes as she shifted from one foot to the other. It was contagious, and we were all doubled over, laughing.
Afterward, we headed down and spent some time with my Grandparents in Clearfield. We went to church and then headed down to hang out with some friends, the Belnaps. They have been friends with my parents for some 20 odd years.
The Bollschweiler Family Reunion started on Monday in Bryce Canyon area. We stayed at the KOA. I don't have tons of experience staying at KOAs, but this is by far the nicest one. The restrooms were remarkably clean - which is the most important factor of anywhere I "camp". (I'm no camper.) Much to Dad's chagrin, we did a lot of hiking. But the area is beautiful, and unlike anything I've ever seen before. We made sure to take lots of pictures (Amy and Mackenzie, you need to get me copies of the ones I don't have ASAP) and hang out with the family. All the siblings were there, and with only a few cousins missing, it was really great to having everyone there and Utah really is a geologically interesting place. There are so many different places and things to see in one state - all different. It is incredible.
Mackenzie had to take off a day early because she was headed to basketball camp, and so Dad, Brad, Mackenzie and I left and stayed in a hotel in order to get them to the airport in time the next morning. Only, ask my dad, flying stand-by is a pain in the rear, and even though I had to go to work, their flight wasn't set to take off until later that night. I left them in Salt Lake to visit Temple Square, and decided to show my face at work.
Mom, Amy and Kelsie came and stayed with me for a few days. It was fun having Kelsie at church with me, because she's a turkey. I had to take her on the elevator in order to find a suitable place to change her diaper in between classes. She decided that the elevator was super fun, and later told us that she needed to be changed again. We believed her. So I let her push the elevator button, and up we went, only to discover that she really didn't need to be changed at all. When I said, "Kelsie! You just lied to me! You don't need to be changed!" She responded with laughter. Peals of giggles, that made me laugh right back. Because she's sneaky and cute.
She obviously had too much energy to go back to class, so I stood in the hallway while she ran up and down saying, "You can't catch me - I'm a gingerbread man!"
Everyone at church thought she was cute. And of course she is, but she is also distracting. I didn't mind, though.
Mom left Amy down in Provo so that she could spend some time with her parents, and so I went back to work while Amy met up with some old friends. We made sugar cookie dough, that has yet to be transformed into actual cookies.
It was just so great having them all around, and now that they have left, I wonder what the heck I'm still doing in Utah? Who's idea was it for me to come out here in the first place! Why am I so far away from my family!?!!! It is torture to say good-bye, and I swear it gets harder every time.
I miss them already.