I stole the title of this blog from my son. Since I’m writing about his visit, I don’t feel too guilty swiping his cleverness. My 25-year-old boy-child, Charlie, flew out from Alabama to see us earlier this month. I’ve always lived within 30 minutes of my kids. All I ever had to do in order to see them was to cook a meal. Any meal. Let them know what time we were eating and BAM, they showed up. Not so easy now that we’re 2300 miles away. Lucky for me, my son needed a vacation from the city life.
There are not many people I would welcome with open arms to stay for 10 days. Charlie is on that short, approved list. Keep in mind, we turned our tiny spare bedroom into a pantry the day Lance’s brother moved back to Ohio. The only living room seating we have for now is a leather recliner. That became Charlie’s bed. The first night he struggled with the recliner returning to a sitting position randomly throughout the night. By the 2nd night, his 6 foot 5 inch frame mastered the recline position. He managed to master our laid back lifestyle almost immediately.
Charlie became proficient at wood chopping and fire building. Two important skills here in the wilderness. He quickly earned his keep by hiking to and from the mailbox for me while I was a bit under the weather. Such a quick study this city slicker, book smart, kid of mine is. If he were to stay longer, I’m certain Lance would’ve had him on the roof, laying solar panels.
The April weather was anything but typical. The first couple days we received a couple of inches of snow. What a treat for the southern boy. The next few days it rained, not such a treat. Then came the glorious sunshine sans the humidity. His 6 mile jogs would’ve been effortless had it not been for the hills and gravel.
Charlie seemed quite content to hike, read, and eat. I’d forgotten how much food a young man can consume. He said his motto for the trip was to not turn down any food offered him (he almost succeeded). He commented that he enjoyed not having to get in a car and go anywhere (this child IS related to me). I was happy to have his company on my hikes. It’s fun to share the beauty of this place with a like-minded soul.
The local junkyard dog took an instant liking to Char. Brewskie stopped by frequently to see if our houseguest was up for a hike or had some food to spare. The two became fast friends and partners in adventure. Charlie seemed to love the simple life as much as Lance and I.
Unfortunately, all vacations must end. I was rather sad to have to send him home. Isn’t home where Mom is? I haven’t spent that much time with my kid since the summer he was 10. After that age came baseball, buddies, bands, girlfriends, college, jobs… As a parent (especially a mom) you just want your kids to be healthy and happy, the rest is gravy. I was delighted he seemed to adapt (and enjoy) our laid back, rustic way of life up here in northern Idaho. Maybe he’ll grow weary of life in the frying pan and head to the Idaho panhandle again, SOON.
Having a place to go- is a home. Having someone to love- is a family. Having both- is a blessing. ~Donna Hedges