Well we took the fam, or the fam took us, and headed up to Big Bear Lake for the Independence Day weekend. To make this simple(r), here’s a list of

Characters:

I…………………………… Yar
Daughter…………………. Little Miss V
Son ………………………. Mr. Fatty Pants
Mom………………………. Mamma
Dad ………………………. Dad
Sister ……………………. The Lizard
Brother ………………….. Lyosha
Grandma ………………… G-ma
Grandpa …………………. G-pa
Sister’s fiancé ………….. Seanster
Husband …………………. SIH (Stayed In Houston)

So most of us headed up in two cars from San Diego,and the Lizard and Seanster met us there, since they were coming from home and had a much longer drive. This was the first time that we had the fam in this combination (as in, everyone living on this continent minus Hubby ) in one enclosed spot for more than several hours, and it was…educational. To say the least.

Highlights of the trip:
Cruising around Big Bear Lake in a rented platoon. The weather was superb, albeit quite breezy, especially in the middle of the lake, the sun was shining, the air was fresh and crisp as mountain air should be. We rented a platoon that comfortably fit all 10 of us and enjoyed the morning cruising around the lake, looking at dream properties, taking pictures of beloved family folk, and Lyosha and I even went swimming, very briefly, in the lake.

The beautiful San Bernardino Mountain Range on the way to Big Bear...and me.

PushUps for GrownUps

PushUps for GrownUps (Silliest Picture Prize)

Cruising on Big Bear Lake - Lyosha and I

I really wanted to swim in the lake more than just the few minutes, but the platoon kept on drifting away from us and the water was a tad chilly (17 C) to remain in there comfortably for more than two minutes. Lyosha and I jumped in twice each, and then it was time to get moving, get defrosted, warmed up and on with our day.

The thing about spending any amount of time together makes you realized is that at one point, you were one cohesive unit. You were so familiar with each others’ ways that basically in a family you didn’t even notice that each person had their own “ways”, their own quirks and preferences. But since the family has grown, the Lizard and I moved out, spending less time with the parents and Lyosha and the g-parents…and we obtained our own quirks that are different. Lizard got a lot from her Seanster. Now they have many inside jokes and preferences for doing things, from washing dishes with extra soap, to frying their meat on the rare side.

The grandparents have also…grown. Which means that they too have their own way of doing things and are painfully inflexible. Nobody would want to cause them discomfort, and it’s perfectly respectable that at their mature age of 85, they should have the comfort of being surrounded by familiar things or at least of following familiar rituals: dinner preparations, taking medications, bedtime routines…the list goes on.

And I of course have gotten married and had two kids. Which changes things. Mainly though it changes me. I have become more flexible and patient, hopefully, yet I get more irritated, on the inside, and I feel harder somehow, more weathered, as married life has not been easy. On the flip side, I feel a tremendous need to just chill, and find that every squabble is needless and every cause for worry is unworthy of the stress it brings. On this trip I was trying to remind people to just relax. Seeing everything in a new perspective, I realize that ultimately, what matters is feeling joyful and relaxed and sharing good times with dear ones. Period.

Fabulous ladies - me and Little Miss V

The REAL Big Bear

The REAL Big Bear

Now we’re back in Sunny San Diego, I am on a continued mission to find real chillage, heading up to speak my poetry at the Open Mic hosted by Radiance , a group of christian artists of all caliber that the Lizard and I were part of years ago, when we lived here….

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