Monday, September 7, 2009


The kids and I just returned from a trip to Texas, where we visited my maternal grandparents. Incredibly, this is just over two months after we visited my paternal grandparents in Kansas. And by the way, both sets live independently in their own homes, at the ages of 86-88.

Whoever coined the title great-grandparents was pretty astute. While Tim did not have the special privilege of meeting any of his great-grandparents, I knew three of mine, so I really relish the fact that my kids have met theirs and are hopefully getting to know them, too. Of course, we don't visit them as often as any of us would like. But the time spent together was definitely memorable.

New Braunfels, TX is known for a vast array of water recreation, not the least of which is the Schlitterbahn (or Shitterbomb, as Katy unwittingly called it). I think I had overly high expectations of our visit to this place, based on our time at Adventure Island. The Schlitterbahn is the largest water park in the world, which was a bit overwhelming to us, but it's also a bit old, so it was hard not to be a bit icked out at times. Mostly I think our problem was the ratio of two adults to four kids. But ultimately I think the kids had a good time, so we'll focus on that.

However, I think they had an even better time simply playing at Grandma Deany and Grandpa Roger's house. Thanks to a break in the heat for most of our visit, they spent much of that time outside, doing heaven only knows what. My grandparents really don't keep any toys at their house, but they did have a flashlight. Turns out that armed with that and an iPhone, you can have a really fun dance party in the dark!

While they don't have toys, Grandma Deany and Grandpa Roger do have several decks of cards. Ask any of their 13 grandchildren to play Gin, and you'll have an experienced partner thanks to countless hands played with Grandmother and Grandfather. Let me tell you, they never took mercy on us, either, so if we were lucky enough to win a hand, it was fair and square. Last night the torch was passed to Katy, who had her first lesson in Gin. She lost, as did we all in our first few hands, but I'm pretty sure she won some respect from her great-grandparents - and the feeling was mutual.

To top it all off, Grammy and Grampy were also in town for this visit, so the cousins not only were reunited with each other (and shared a hotel room to boot!), and not only got re-acquainted with their great-grandparents, but also got to see their beloved grandparents - and even met/re-met great-uncle John, who drove in from Houston. My grandfather marveled at how well the four kids, who span age 3 to age 9, played together. I marvel at how special it was to have four generations mingling so easily.

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