Anyone an "Everybody Loves Raymond" fan? We are. Remember the episode when Debra's parents come to visit, and Marie says something like, "oh, good. Connecticut grandparents and REGULAR grandparents." Hahaha. That's what my title makes me think of.
We've had a busy weekend...but a good one.
On Friday, my Dad and Clara came to visit us. They have not been to see us since we moved here 15 months ago. They are not good travelers...but then again, neither are we. We haven't been up to Tulsa in the past 15 months, either.
We have seen them quite a bit recently...for my family, anyway. We saw them at my nephew's graduation in June...and then again at my niece's wedding in July...and over Labor Day, which is a family tradition. But they haven't seen Clark play football in years.
And it's hard for them to travel. My Dad has not been in good health, and now he is pretty feeble. He moves very slow, and he has to be careful of steps or furniture that juts out or carpet that's turned up on the end. Things like that. His balance is not great. But he loves all of his grandchildren. Even tho he doesn't get to see them often, he wants to keep up with what they are doing, with what is going on in their lives. He and Clara pray for them every day. Doesn't get much better than that.
You know, with parents and grandparents...I've come to realize that each person or each "set" of grandparents...they can only do what they can do, whether it's by choice or necessity or outside factors. They might not be everything you and I want them to be...but they can do what they can do, and, if we can accept that and not stew over what we WISH things would be like...then that can be enough. My sister gave me the advice to "manage my expectations." Turns out that philosophy works for LOTS of things in life.
But, my Dad's feeling pretty good and his mind is sharp, so that's a blessing. Clara is amazing. At 81 years spry, she can run circles around most of us...most of the time. So she does the driving and he does the talking and the commenting...and a little navigating.
They got here mid-afternoon on Friday. Jim went and got Chinese food and we had an early dinner. Then loaded up and headed down to Little Rock to watch Clark's game. We were playing a team that wasn't too good, and we were predicted to win by 20-plus points. We were hopeful that Clark would get a lot of playing time.
For some reason, the game was being played on the field at Central High School. Yep...the old Central High that was in the news back in 1957, when the Governor of Arkansas, Orval Faubus, called out the National Guard to escort 9 Black students into an all-white school after segregated schools were declared unconstitutional.
Yeah. THAT school.
It is rich in history, and it's not all good.
Logan played there at least once during his high school career. He loved it because it was old, and walking into it, he thought it was kind of like a fortress. Where you buy your tickets has these little squares cut out of the stone or concrete where you can see the ticket sellers...he thought that looked like a good place for army men or snipers to be. I don't know...he's a boy. What can I say?
We had to be "wanded" before we walked into the stadium. I know that's pretty common-place now, but it's not where we live now...or at any of the schools my kids have attended. My Dad is the last one of our group through the gate. He is bundled up because he doesn't "do" cold. He has on his long-underwear, pants, shirt and a hoodie...and his leather jacket on top of that. He is wearing a cap from a cruise in 2012 that has "ALASKA" written on it. The lady wands him and asks, "do you have a pocket-knife?" He shakes his head and says, "no." Then he walks up the ramp and asks me, "what did she say?"
Oh yes he did.
He is EXTREMELY hard-of-hearing.
I said, "Dad, she asked if you had a pocket-knife." My Dad said, "WHAT?"
I said, "SHE ASKED YOU IF YOU HAD A POCKET-KNIFE!" He looked at me and very quietly said, "no, I don't have one of those."
Well, thank goodness, because you just told the lady you didn't have one.
We got them all bunded up in their seats and then we all had to stand for the pledge...but then we got settled and watched the game. We did end up winning by 35 points, but it was too close for comfort in the 1st and 2nd quarters. Clark got in on special teams, and then got in on defense in the 3rd and 4th quarters. I was very thankful Dad and Clara got to see him play. We got a cute picture of the two of them with Clark after the game. It was a good night.
Jim and Joshua got up very early on Saturday morning and headed down to Louisiana for MAN WEEKEND with Jim's Dad's family. It was already planned and so they went. Clark stayed home with me to entertain the grandparents (well, that's what he SAID. I'm sure it had nothing to do with his little "friend," Faith!). I was glad to have him here. I fixed breakfast and Clark made the coffee. We hung out here and just visited. Faith and Holly and Aaron came over around lunch. I warmed up the Chinese food from the night before and got out sandwich fixin's and cheese dip...and whoever was hungry ate whatever they wanted. Aaron likes to give tours of our town...when the big guys from his company come in, that's one of the things he does...to try and entice them to do business here. So, late afternoon, Aaron and Holly took Dad and Clara on a tour of the city...and then we all met up over at Aaron and Holly's house. Dad and Clara loved seeing their house, and my Dad loved their little dog, Marley. Around 6, we took everyone to eat at David's Burgers and it was great!
We had such a great day. Dad said they wanted to go to our church with us, but with the weather being bad (it was raining), they decided to leave and head home. They wanted to drive the Talimena Highway home to Oklahoma. I hope it cleared off by the time they got there. The scenery and the view is supposed to be beautiful, especially this time of year with the leaves changing. NOTSOMUCH if it's pouring down rain.
Clark and I went to church...and came home for lunch. Jim and Joshua came in not too long after lunch. Now it's nap-time for everyone because we are all tired. TRIED, really.
So thankful for the role and influence of godly grandparents in the lives of my children.
"Older men are to be level-headed, worthy of respect, sensible, and sound in faith, love and endurance." Titus 2:2