Distant Visit

Son 1 and DIL asked me a bit ago if I could make them 60 bars of soap to use as office and neighbor gifts and I was glad to oblige. They have membership at Costco and we don’t have one near us, so they keep me supplied in the oils I need to make it. We worked out a plan to have a socially distanced meet up that worked around his end of semester grading at the University, DIL’s work schedule and the weather that dumped a foot of snow on them early in the week. This is the second meet up we have done, one in the fall, and today. Our initial plan was to meet up about 5 or 6 miles south of Afton Pass on the Blue Ridge Parkway, but it was still closed as of yesterday from the snow and ice. Son 1 suggested Natural Bridge State Park, less than an hour and a half drive for us, a bit more than 2 1/2 hours for them and it seemed like a good plan. I hadn’t been there in years and the last time it was still a private park. We again planned a picnic, each contributing to it and we grabbed a couple of picnic tables in the sun on the edge of the creek and had lunch. Then took a hike along the creek to the end of the trail at a waterfall.

Except for eating and taking a couple distanced photos of them, we all remained masked. It was great to see them and be able to exchange gifts for Christmas.

The young one, our oldest grand child is now 15 1/2 and it looks like he has grown at least another inch since we saw him in the fall.

He isn’t as tall as his dad yet, but he passed Granddad and he is 6’1+”. It is so good to see our kids off and on for short stints, safely distanced and masked. I can’t wait to give them hugs again. The picnics are icing. It was a nice winter day, sunny and it got up to or near 50f so to take our walk, Son1 and I shed our coats and left them in our cars when we carried the picnic goods back up. It wasn’t a long walk, only about .8 miles each way and not taken quickly as we walked and talked and the trail was quite wet and muddy in spots.

We got to spend about 3 hours with them and exchange gifts to open on Christmas. On Christmas Eve, if it isn’t raining, we will meet up with Daughter and her kids on her back patio to give them their gifts and for Granddad to do his traditional reading of “The Night Before Christmas” still requested by Daughter and Granddaughter.

Here’s to a hope that by next Christmas, we can again be with our families.

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