Last month about this time, I felt so drained.
I had just finished teaching for the semester.
And I was convinced I needed major downtime, major Me-time.
Serious rest and solitude for writing, reflecting, meditating, stretching, painting, cleansing…
my usual salves for funky-funks.

Problem was, I had a gazillion things to catch up on at home and for our businesses…
oh, and my parents were planning to come stay with us for two weeks.
Two weeks, in our house.
With their dog.
Two weeks.

We are pretty quiet homebodies.
Most of our housetime is spent on survival stuff (eating, cleaning, sleeping)
and creative activities in our respective studios (the really important survival stuff).

I have to admit I felt some sense of anxiety about hosting,
even though I miss my parents desperately (they live 13 hours away).

But you know what?

It ends up that the salve I needed most,
the medicine my soul craved for
was just what I got.
Not my usual fixes at all.
But some quality family time.

Laughter, philosophizing (my family does that a lot), dreaming, telling our stories,
and just being together
in a way that isn’t possible during the craziness of holidays with the extended family.

We had the kind of fun and sharing that heals.
And good food.

We shared our favorite Blue Ridge spots (like the one in the pic above)
giggled at our four-leggeds
breathed in the fantastic weather of our mountain climate
paid attention to details
slowed way down (except when we played laser tag at Fun Depot… four times)
listened and loved music
learned new things
traded books and gifts
talked spirituality (dad’s specialty)
art journaled (my mom is on fire with the art journaling – seriously!)
and even Fearless painted (the women).

Even though the time actually flew by
until the melancholy of too-far too-far laid itself gently on the day they departed,
I feel so filled up
with the good medicine
of gratitude and family.

And despite all the tragedy and turmoil we experienced together through the years,
I feel so blessed to be in a family that actually enjoys each others company.

my mom’s hands, art journaling
the folks’ pug-bug
our family pic by the ten commandments at Fun Depot??? 🙂 (we ARE in the south)
dragon tree on our hike

my view of Steve playing by the river
my mom’s second intuitive painting – she did her first here, too! in my studio…
my sister
mom chilling with a book by the river
dad and BlueJay
my sister-in-law with her new uke
steve swingin’