29 May, 2006

Memorial Day

My maternal grandparents recently celebrated 50 years of union, so this weekend their children planned a surprise celebration. We left on Saturday to travel to their town. I ate "fruity delight" and M&M chocolate bars while planning a trip to Paris on the way there :-) However, my father stayed behind to wrap up the Sewer Project, and my sister headed to L-ville for a conference, so not all of us could come.

My grandparents were thinking that they were going to meet my uncle at the country club for a belated Mother's Day dinner, though they called and wanted to delay it. They were late anyway! But after opening the door, they saw all of their children and their children's families, as well as some of their own siblings, standing in the room yelling "surprise!" and "happy anniversary!"! My grandpa was laughing heartily at the sight of his brother, and my grandmother was in tears upon seeing her brother and my cousin (who's been deployed for a while). It was a pretty cool evening, celebrating their lives together while a wedding party was celebrating downstairs :-) My aunt had made a DVD of pictures that encompassed their marriage and family, and my mother had made a scrapbook of many similar pictures as well as newspaper clippings of important events. I ate so much I couldn't believe myself. I had some queen-cut rib (whatever that was), which was rather tough but still juicy and almost pink :-) along with potatoes and bread. I didn't touch the green beans because they were stewed, but the salad was delicious. I had cookies and cheese throughout the entire meal, and topped it off with a huge piece of chocolate cake.

After dinner we went to my uncle's house and played some volleyball. I got involved in a backrubbing chain, which was inevitable, and then I suggested the hot tub. So we continued the massages in the hot tub, which was cool, and then we ate mountain pies around the campfire. Plans were made for breakfast at Eat'n'Park, and I could just imagine gaining 5 pounds by lunch on Sunday :-P

The weekend in general was full of good food. I ate only fruit and eggs at Eat'n'Park, and washed it down with chocolate milk. Yum! Almost the entire family attended my grandparents' Methodist church, which was interesting and VERY HOT. I felt bad for the pastors, who wore those robes and scarves and cords and whatnot during the hour-long service. Most of my relatives were astonished to find that I usually sit through an hour's worth of preaching, but we cover a LOT more material that way. Dave (a cousin) showed up in his Air Force dress uniform, which was way sweet and had a lot of little buttons & stuff on it. I found out he's a veteran of 3 wars! And he's 24?! Cool. I had an interesting discussion with my great-uncle Dick in his convertible Toyota on the way home. We discussed the sermon and the DaVinci Code, but I was mostly excited about the car, and I think he was too :-) Lunch was your typical American grilled picnic. Dave and I searched for a frizbee, to no avail, but found stuff for wiffleball, and got a game going. I think my team won, but we decided to go sailing and/or swimming before a victory was decided.

There wasn't much wind, but I had fun putting the sailboat together anyway. After my lonely little jaunt on the lake, I took out the kayak for the first time. Wow! I LOVE that kayak! It was crazy fun and crazy fast. It's probably the best way to get a tan that I've ever encountered :-P My dad arrived sometime that evening, which made me happy. I talked with my great-uncle Tom and my great-aunt Chris about their extensive traveling experiences. They both were in the Peace Corps and Tom was a US ambassador to Egypt and Chile and a bunch of other places for years. Gradually people left and I collapsed in the basement.

On Monday I woke up to a typical breakfast experience. Grandpa and I conquered the world's problems by the time I finished my third bowl of cereal :-). He had been talking about the purpose and necessity of NASA with my brother, so we discussed the role of government and privatization etc. until the younger crowd woke up and demanded some table space. Then I went out on the kayak again while the younger cousins drowned the canoe and had a ball. Matt accidentally overturned the kayak so I swam a bit in the coldcoldcold water until it was time for lunch. By then a few aunts and uncles had arrived, so I tried to join another theological discussion. My grandma was going to cut my hair, however, so we went out on the porch. Dave came out with a guitar to strum and chat for a while. I kinda got an inkling of how the military changed his life. We went inside and didn't really do much until it was time to leave, and then I said goodbye to everyone.

Dad and I left earlier than the others, and had a long, hot ride home. We had some good discussion, though, and I'm glad I went with him. I'm hoping he comes to the dance show in a few weeks :-)

Throughout the weekend I've been thinking of marriage and what it means. I know marriage isn't always a picnic, and though it is often marked by moments such as births, graduations, and deaths, it isn't built upon them. So, how do I build such a long, fruitful marriage? Honestly, I've come to the conclusion that I can't do anything to ensure a godly marriage. Why? Two reasons: God has done everything that I, as a sinner, can't. Also, marriage takes two, and my (hypothetical) husband has some preparation to do before we tie the knot :-P As for my preparation, I'm going to continue in the Christian calling that God has given me, seeking the Spiritual gifts for the building of the church. I'm going to work on my memory, though, to make it shorter and more forgiving :-) I think my grandma's ability to chuckle and forgive contributed a lot to the success of their marriage.

My grandpa passionately loves my grandma and seeks her comfort, but he also loves his children. I hope to see my own parents in such a place in 26 years, and maybe I'll have a loving husband and blossoming children of my own by then!

1 comment:

Jon Daley said...

Heather and I just watched "Race to Space", on loan along with some other great movies (the complete Herbie series and a decent bible series, mostly straight scripture) from the Kiesewetters.

After the movie, I wondered out loud whether all the gazillions of dollars we have spent on the space program have been worth it, and would people back in the Mercury and Apollo still go through with it, if they knew where we would be today - ie. I think people thought we were going to move a lot faster than we have.

And for what purpose? What has the space program really gained for humanity? GPS satellites. Cool pictures of faraway places. Anything else?