Friday, June 26, 2009

Empty Nest Syndrome

I looked at Char and said, “Well, I think we’re alone.” The past three weeks are a blur. It has been fast and furious but full of family, friends, and fun.

It started with a trip to Illinois. I hate driving eighteen hours straight so we stopped at my favorite places along the way – Morrow’s Bed and Breakfast. We got in early enough to play a round of golf at Northridge.

Early the next morning we were on the road to Illinois where we would see Nathan and Desiree. It was party central as we celebrated three birthday’s.

Tiffany and Jason came down and spent a few days. One afternoon they helped Char and I get bowling shoes. They also gave us each a bowling ball. One evening we went out and did a few games of bowling.

One of the birthday celebrations was held in a park with water features. What a great place for a party. Desiree and Nathan did a great job of planning and pulling off the party. Here Char is trying to explain something to Tiffany and Jason but I have no idea what.

One morning we were hoping to play golf but the weather was not cooperating. So after breakfast we headed to the driving range. It was fun and everyone took advantage of the chance to practice. The weather cleared up a little in the afternoon and we played a nice par 3 course.

Char and I took a day trip down to Springfield where we toured the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum. It was really quite spectacular as was the Lincoln house. Char fit right in with Honest Abe’s family.

Back at Nathan’s we had time for one more round of golf before heading home. Char is really improving and I think Desiree is ready to take up the game.

Before leaving, we confirmed our reservation’s at the Morrow’s Bed and Breakfast. You might notice this porch picture includes our future daughter in law, Desiree. She came back and spent a week making arrangements for the wedding. Between our visit and the time she was at our house, we had spent two weeks together, including eighteen hours in a car. The amazing part is she still wants to become part of the family!

While I think Desiree had a good time and got a lot accomplished, she was ready to go home. I took Desiree to the airport then later that day Cliff and Marilyn arrived. They were having a family gathering and our house served as the operation center, which was just fine with Char and I. Both of Cliff and Marilyn’s sons and their families arrived and the festivities began.

One of the gatherings involved Cliff’s world famous barbecue chicken. I always wondered how much chicken my grill would hold and I found out. You can barbecue six chickens at one time. These were not normal supermarket chickens. They were chickens raised by Cliff and Marilyn’s grandson and they were huge and very tasty. Six chickens filled a roaster oven.

Sunday was Father’s day. Before playing a round of golf, Cliff and his sons celebrated Father’s day. I heard from both our kid’s, my son in law and my future daughter in law, which made the day special and complete. As an added bonus, Hudson, woke up while his parents were asleep down the hall. Char brought him back to our room where he spent an hour entertaining us. Hudson helped me open up a Father’s day card and didn’t make a peep (except for laughter) the entire hour. It was a fun way to start the day.

Then people started heading home and soon it was just Cliff, Marilyn, Char and I. Cliff and I played some golf and the ladies went shopping. Then early one morning I caught Cliff trying to sneak out without paying the bill. Well, actually they had paid the bill several times over with all the fun they brought.

I went home for lunch and Char was the only one there. It may take me a day or two to transition back to the empty nest.


Blogger Paul Nichols said...

So that's where the word "fun" comes from. Ralph's trips. And Cliff's.

12:41 PM  
Blogger bobbie said...

It's always so hard for a while after everyone leaves, isn't it? But there's always another time to look forward to!

1:35 PM  
Blogger Live Well, Laugh Often & Love Much said...

Don't worry I will be back in 34 day's ! That will give you just enough time count all the beans and do all the laundy ! It was a great trip, thanks for all the help!

3:14 PM  
Blogger LZ Blogger said...

Ralph ~
Empty Nesters! Around here we call that "Successful Parenting!" It's good to see all of your family on this post (including) those Lincoln's... errr... no wait I meant Cliff and Marilyn! ~ I can't help but think that at this time last year is when we had that terrible storm come through here and tear up our neighborhood, but then, I also think about Blog Stock '08 and those fun times that followed in close pursuit! That was a really fun time for us. We think of you guys often. Say "HI" to Char for us. ~ jb///

10:05 PM  
Blogger Mountain Mama said...

What a wonderful time you had. Family, friends, golf, barbecue. It doesn't get much better than that!

I sure understand that 'empty nest' you wrote of. When all the family visits it's crowded and noisy and I love it. When they leave I can hear the walls breathe!

10:16 PM  
Blogger Cheyenne said...

Wow, my head's spinning just reading all that activity. I think I'll go take a nap now.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Jim said...

Hey Ralph, I found golf in every other occasion. Glad it didn't rain every day.
Congratulations are in order to all.
Especially, "Congratulations Desiree!" I think you made a good catch.
There is a neat little song, "I think we're alone now." I hope you guys took adavantage of being alone. It won't last. :-)

12:21 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

Wow, it sounds like you had a wonderful time...That bbq chicken looks yummy..... You know that the "empty nest" can be fun... You can run around in your undies, sleep when you want and have plenty of time for other things....

3:53 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

It was a great series of get togethers and I'm glad we got to be included.
Thanks for hosting all those Morrow's.
The golfing was great too.
Lets do it again.

6:22 AM  
Blogger golddog said...

Nice to see Cliff again and meet Dan while they were in town. Great time out on the course, despite the way I played.

8:43 PM  
Blogger Aravis said...

Wow! You've been busy. The house must seem so quiet now. :0)

11:45 AM  
Blogger nora said...

What a fun time! I'm glad to see that Desiree is a John Deere woman. My backyard is an overgrown mess right now too - luckily it's hard to compete with the abandoned car in my neighbor's yard.
Thanks for sharing!

3:31 PM  
Blogger Janell said...

What a fun time you've been having!

The Abraham Lincoln Museum is one of my favorite spots in this hemisphere. Thanks for stirring the memories of my own visit there back in 07.

11:24 PM  

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