22.4.06

Farewell to Our Visitors

Most of our vacations growing up were at rented houses at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Some moments in our vacation were so predictable you could set your clock to them. Two grumpy daughters being awoken by an overeager Mom before the crack of dawn and grumbling for the first 30 minutes about why we had to leave at such an uncivilized hour. A dad who managed to pack three truckloads of fishing gear, beach chairs and towels, cooking supplies and clothes into one little trunk by using some secret technique that only fathers know. Heartburn from donuts on the first hour of the ride. The whole car stinking of McDonalds for two hours after lunch time. The moment the radio snapped off suddenly, which indicated we were lost. Several fights about who was on who's side of the car. Another complicated fight, full of conniving and intrigue, where the winner anonomously got dinner where they wanted but didn't have to take blame if it was bad.

After two days and 14 hours of driving, we would arrive at last at the cottage, unpack the crammed trunk and do the grocery run. Then, finally, two weeks of vacation at the beach would officially begin.

Next, the inevitable words of my father.

"Well, vacation is almost over."

My mother, sister and I would all groan and grimace. How could it be almost over? It had just started!

But, after two weeks, as we piled into the car to head back up north, he would always say, "See, I told you vacation was almost over." And somehow he was right. The two weeks went by in a blur and were always over way too fast.

My sister and her boyfriend headed back across the Atlantic today after their two weeks of vacation and it was too short once again. I loved having them here and haven't laughed so hard in months. Although my sister and I rarely get to see each other, there is always a bond there and I know that there is someone who really understands without words or much effort our shared history and all the quirky things that make us who we are. That makes her a rare and special person to me and as much as I wouldn't have believed this when I was 5, I feel very lucky to have her as my sister.

I hope that even though it went by too fast, this trip will be a cherished memory for both of us just as those long ago family vacations were.

Posted from Munich

5 comments:

jen said...

its exactly like that with my brother and sister. for some reason, i never laugh more than when I'm with them. Its the only "real" complaint i have about living abroad. I miss them like crazy.

lobstah said...

Michelle,
Thanks for all the great hospitality while we were there. Greg and I really did have a lot of fun despite all the worrying over the weather, travel problems, etc. Oh yeah, sorry I always turn into a blubbering mess when I say goodbye...I'm such a baby...but I do miss you!

Was a little depressed when I got back last night, but now that I've been ruthlessly thrown back into the work routine it's like I never left. Ha ha. Love ya! :)

P.S. Banhofeingang Gedungeldingel forever!

James said...

I miss my sister, Michelle. (that's her name, too) We both don't talk much any more. We had a falling out over my mother....and I miss her.....stay close to her and don't let anything come between you two....

Expat Traveler said...

Michelle that's so awesome you got to spend 2 wks with your sister. I wished so badly my family would have visited me in Europe, but they did not. Feel lucky you had the chance to show them all around. I'm happy you were able to cherish the time. :) And thanks for the comment about the flowers. hehe

NiHao said...

So glad you had some great family time. Life as an expat can sometimes seem like you never see family, but even if I lived in the same country I'm not sure I'd see my sister 14 days in one year!