One phone call was all it took for us to change our plans last weekend. We packed the car and off we went on a 1400 mile round-trip visit to the In-laws. HoneyBunch’s mom was turning 86 and we wanted to celebrate with her.
For the last thirty-something years since HB left the state of Missouri, he has made very few trips “home,” so his parents made two or three car trips down every year to see him and his sons in Texas. They would come for his birthday, summertime, and over one of the winter holidays. They would stay for weeks at a time when he was a bachelor. My father-in-law would help in the wood shop and clean up the yard. My mother-in-law would clean his house and bake and freeze food for him.
Very few of those trips were ever by plane because my in-laws do not like to fly and because they needed a car for all the “stuff” and gifts they would bring to HB and all the stuff he would send back home with them.
Seven years ago, he married me, and I nosed around about his childhood. I wanted to meet his extended family. He talked about them with such love and such humor. I wanted to put a face to the person. I wanted to see where he grew up. I wanted to see his grandmother’s farm where he chased chickens and climbed trees. I wanted to see his father’s land where he and Ed went hunting and fishing, and where they ate frogs for dinner they cooked over a campfire.
I have never lived any further than 300 miles from the very spot where I was born, so it intrigued me why my husband would leave his birthplace and why he refused to visit? It sounded like a wonderful place.
According to my MIL, HB has made more visits home in the last seven years than in the 35 since he moved away. She is counting on this now that her age and her health impede any more visits south and especially when she announced last November she can no longer make the trip.
We went home for her birthday. Maybe we will make it up there for one of the winter holidays, then there is always next summer. HB can do the yard and I can bake and freeze for my dear in-laws.