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In Focus

I’m back from vacation...and I feel like I need another one just to recover!

In ten days I have traveled to two different states (four if you count airports), slept in five different places and consumed more alcohol than I have for the entire year. I love my family, but dang.

I stayed in a motel the night before my 6 a.m. flight out of Fargo. That was a sleepless night because of paper thin walls and sticky floors. I’m never doing that again.

The flight was a small plane that was packed full of masked passengers. I slept. I switched planes in Chicago to a nearly empty flight and the attendants had to move us around to distribute weight. It was like that on the way back home as well.

I enjoyed my window seat on every flight! A short 45 minutes later I had landed in Columbus, Ohio.

My dear little sister picked me up and drove us to my dad’s place in Beavercreek where I was greeted by my dad, stepmom and little brother. Fun fact: I’m 33, sister is 25 and my brother is almost 11. Anyway, most of the weekend revolved around my brother’s baseball games, in the intense heat and sunshine. It was the first baseball game I photographed all year!

Some parts of Ohio had masks mandated and all of Michigan required face coverings, so I had plenty of time to get used to wearing masks everywhere. Mine have cute cat faces or skulls on them. The mask I wear depends on the mood I’m in. I only scared one kid with my grinning skull face.

After a few short days in Ohio, dad and I went to Michigan to visit my grandparents. I hadn’t seen them in years and, yes, we took precautions. We had a good time.

The next morning the family reunion was set to began. Dad and I were the first ones to arrive at the campground in Traverse City. We signed in and got the cabin, golf cart and unloaded the truck, waiting for the rest of the family to show up.

I am the second oldest of 19 grandchildren. One cousin beat me by a month. Neither him or I have been able to attend the reunion in nine-ish years because of our work. Ironically, the pandemic made it possible for the majority of us to see each other.

Most everyone was on board for this reunion to continue despite the current Covid situation. Masks were worn around our grandparents and they were the first ones to grab dinner. Different families teamed up to make dinner each night.

It took me a day or two to realize why they would call me up to eat after the grandparents. The families ensured those of us with compromised immune systems would eat first to avoid any potential issues. That was considerate of them.

It was great to see everyone! I rarely see that side of the family as I don’t live nearby. There was actually a family that I still hadn’t met in person until this vacation. I have finally met everyone on my dad’s side. We took a new cousin photo (minus two who couldn’t make it), new family photos, met my sister’s fiancé (of which I approve) and went on a cruise around the bay drinking wine.

You know it was a good vacation when your memories include a bonfire every night and sitting on the porch of a cabin watching the pouring rain with family, drinking until 5 a.m.

The next morning, at 5 a.m., when several people got up to go fishing they asked, “What are you guys still doing up?”

The answer: “What does it look like? Have fun fishing and toss me another beer before you go...”



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