To use a cliché, it was short but sweet. From the time Sidney, Sloan, and I landed in Spokane to the moment our plane left the city on New Year’s Eve, we had spent less than 100 hours in my hometown. The minimal amount of time we had at our disposal just meant we had to make every second count – and we did.
We arrived in darkness at 1 a.m. on Thursday and left my parents’ house in darkness at 3 a.m. on Monday. But this was a trip that was punctuated by light. I am talking vibrant, joyful light – the type that can only be produced by love. Throughout our time in Spokane, the true Christmas spirit filled up my childhood home as my parents and siblings embraced us.
It wasn’t a trip that was spent cramming as many things into a short period of time as possible. Instead, most of our 98 hours were spent inside my mom and dad’s living room, the exact same place my siblings and I grew up. It was in that space where the grandchildren took center stage. Sloan joined her cousins, Mikayla and Johnny, as they played hard together (sometimes nicely, sometimes not). As the babies played, the adults talked. Our Reser Pride text message group came alive. No longer did we need iPhones to communicate with each other from thousands of miles away. Rather, the common roof over our heads allowed for simply our voices (not thumbs) to do the talking.
The living room also hosted our special Reser family Christmas, games of Heads Up, and plenty of delicious snacking/drinking. It was our hub for the vacation and I wouldn’t have had it any other way.
Not to say that we didn’t leave the house entirely. We hit a couple of our favorite spots, attended mass at St. Thomas More, enjoyed a family dinner at a popular restaurant, and capitalized on a couple of post-Christmas sales at the mall.
But for the most part, we stayed home. If we weren’t all gathered in the living room, you could have found us…
– Eating a prime rib dinner and other meals in the dining room.
– Watching Washington State’s Alamo Bowl victory over Iowa State in the basement.
– Playing in the snow in the front yard.
– Stealing Christmas candy out of the freezer in the kitchen.
Of course the best part was watching relationships continue to strengthen. Sloan loves her grandparents so much and would constantly say Grandma hold you (“hold you” being her phrase for wanting to be held) and Love you, Papa. The bond that my sister and brother have with Sidney is special and they picked up from where they left off in the summer. I continued to get to know Glen’s girlfriend, Carrie, and I had a nice time getting drinks with my brother-in-law, Jay. Everyone got along so well and it was such a warm and welcoming environment to be in – one that makes it tough to leave.
But we are back in Myrtle Beach now and are left to reflect on our time in Spokane. It was another special trip that exemplified how much my parents and siblings love and support our little family. At the same time, it allowed us to reciprocate the same sentiments as well. Until next time, Spokane! Don’t Blink.