Sunday, July 6, 2014

Reflections on a family gathering in Idaho

My stepdaughter Melissa and her husband Scott put the gathering together. They decided on Schweitzer Mountain Resort in Sandpoint, Idaho, because of the variety of activities available and the proximity to Seattle, where a number of the family members live. It took several months for attendees to sign up. The final list was Scott and his mother Marcia and her husband Jack; Melissa and her mother Nancy, Nancy's husband Clete and their son CJ (18); Melissa's brother Jason, his wife Kalei and sons Kyle (14) and Kaleb (5); Melissa's brothers Pete and Greg; and Melissa's dad (my husband Art) and me. A blend of blended families! 

In four days various members of this gathering went on a bicycle ride on Lake Pend Oreille in Sandpoint, wakeboarded and innertubed behind a ski boat (or watched from the boat), played disc golf, hiked, zip lined, and experienced a climbing wall. Plus shared dinners. And talked and laughed and reminisced.

My reflections:
  • I like how divorced parents (Art and Nancy) can spend four days at a gathering with their children and their current spouses and have everyone get along. I do that sometimes with my ex-husband and my children and my husband Art. I know our grown offspring really like it.
  • I have been afraid of heights for as long as I can remember. I have asked the Universe to remove that fear for years. For some reason, I was unafraid of trying the zip line this weekend. I suited up, got strapped in, and zipped. I also hiked 2.5 miles from the top of the mountain to the village, in a series of switchbacks with steep sides overlooking the village, without freezing with fear. I am very grateful. I want to try another zip line.
  • If you do a hike down a mountain, your quads and your calves will be very angry and you will hurt for two days. You may even wobble a little - especially if you have a gardening injury and your piriformus muscle is cranky even before the hike.
  • I was the oldest female in the group. How did that happen?
  • It's about a seven-hour drive from where I live to Sandpoint. We drove clear across Washington. It is a beautiful state.
  • If you have eliminated refined sugar from your diet, you can choose to have pie and cookies and ice cream anyway, just because you're on vacation. I chose pie and said no to the other sweets. I'm glad I'm home where pie and cookies and ice cream are not on the shopping list.
  • Fresh cherries bought at the roadside stand taste way better, and are much cheaper, than what you get at the grocery store.


Grandmother Mary said...

Lots of wisdom here and hooray for the zip line stretch- good for you!

DJan said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all. And you're getting rather adventurous in your old age, Linda. You might actually jump out of an airplane with me one day. :-)

Lester said...

My blended family may be a bit bizzare. Jan and are married - each for the second time. Our first spouses - her first husband and my first wife - got married. All four of us get along fine and we each have two children from out first marriage. All 4 adults participated in the parenting of the 4 fantastic children and they view themselves as siblings. You CAN make these blends work.

Olga said...

I think that it is wonderful and a testament to the human spirit that blended families can function in harmony. It doesn't always happen--even with non-blended families--but it certainly shows the possibilities. Sounds as though the whole expereince was a success.

Travels with Emma said...

I liked the fresh Washington cherries part best. :)

#1Nana said...

So glad for you that the height fear seems to be behind you. I thought the zip line was fun, but now that I've done it, I have no need to do it again. I think it's wonderful that you have created such a good relationships with your exes.

Tom said...

Kudos to you and the divorced parents and their spouses. We're in a [somewhat] similar situation, and I think it's important that everyone is mature and responsible about these things.

As for being scared of heights -- well, it sounds like you're getting over it. But if that doesn't work, then next time meet . . at the beach!

Sally Wessely said...

There is much to respond to on this post of great adventures and new insights. You are very brave to do the zip line. Was it fun? I also am afraid of heights. I think it would be fun to try though.

Congrats on the hike and on giving sugar the boot from your diet. You are inspirational.

As for the blended families, well, I think you know what I think about that. I think it is AWESOME.

Perpetua said...

That sounds like a super family get-together and a testimony to the adult way the divorced parents relate to each other and the rest of the family. Enjoy your normally forbidden goodies.

Anonymous said...

So glad you were able to maneuver the zip line. Our church camp has a high-ropes course with a zip line. I've never had any desire to climb through the trees and zip down.

Also glad to hear you've given up sugar. You are a better woman than I am. Although I eat little of the stuff, there is plenty still in lots of the things I eat. Fresh fruit is so much better for us instead of the pies and cakes. That said as I just put a pan of brownies in the oven that my granddaughter mixed up.