My husband and I have been blessed with a life filled with adventures. We owe many of them to his incredibly generous parents who shared their riches of time and treasure with the whole family.
Each year, they whisked us off to a week’s vacation somewhere fun at no cost to us.
Christmas in July!
This started very organically as the family started to marry and begin families of their own, and getting together at Christmas became more and more difficult. (We still managed it a couple of times, but eventually, the majority of trips moved to the summer.)
Dude Ranches, Disney World (a few different resorts and on site properties over the years), Lake Tahoe, Sedona, Atlantis, Sea Island, Hawaii, and Disney Cruises to the Bahamas and to Alaska were some of the highlights. Cousins and in-laws got to know each other and form lifelong bonds, and four families who were spread from California to Arizona, to Texas, to Florida kept those connections alive over the miles.
Mom and Dad got it right.
They chose adventures, great family stories, and love over leaving more money to the children, and their family deeply appreciates that choice.
Now my husband and I are moving into that space in our personal family that Mom and Dad filled so beautifully, and we have been inspired them in many ways.
First, we have decided to keep the reunion tradition alive, and as long as we can make it happen, we will whisk our daughters and their husbands and children off for a week of rest, adventures, and re-connection. We may even help engineer an extended family reunion now and then!
There may be years that will be interrupted by births, deaths, and the vagaries of life and careers, but we have made it a “big rock” in our future together, so, despite occasional bumps, we will make a reunion part of our year.
We have also decided together to continue to avoid living an “ordinary life.” (Another legacy from his jet-setting parents!) There is nothing wrong with that kind of life, but we are making a conscious choice to do an extraordinary life together. When the opportunity comes to have an adventure, defy expectations, or simply take a chance on something…we are quite likely to do it!
I like it.
At 45, our daughters and I set off on horseback across the Sea Island beaches.
At 50, the girls and I decided to go tandem paragliding over Interlaken, Switzerland. Yes, with a professional by my side, I literally jumped off a cliff…and then flew!
At 55, I thought I might as well continue the trend and so my husband and I went indoor skydiving together.
60 approaches and we will see what choices come our way, but I think a zip-line adventure might be fun…or maybe something completely different, but equally exhilarating. Dan will be running half-marathons to celebrate his milestones as long as he can, and we will both stay open to new adventures.
After all, who knows what mischief our yet unborn grandchildren will get us into!