"Umm," Grandpa says, "you forgot what?"
"My license," Grandma Jo cries.
Grandpa sighs and throws his bag on the floor, "Well that's that. We're not getting to Florida."
At that exact moment"Please step aside sir and mam. You might be a terrorist, so we need to ask you some questions. If you miss any of these questions, you are not getting to Florida today. Do you understand?"
Grandma Jo stands at attention. "Yes sir."
"What is your name?"
"Grandma Jo!" she says with a smile.
"What is your birthday?"
She spouts it off with speed and grace.
"What year was the car you owned before the one you currently own?"
"Umm," Grandma Jo glazes over like a donut, "I think it was 2000."
"Very close!" TSA says.
"What is the name of your neighbor's dog?"
"Sir Tubbington!" Grandma Jo smiles with pride.
"Wow you actually know your neighbor's dog? No one knows their neighbor's dog."
"I sometimes walk him."
"Well you can go right on through mam, but we'll have to check everything in your suitcase! You might be a terrorist after all."
After arriving safely in Florida and proving to not be a terrorist, we spent a fantastic weekend together chilling out and enjoying the beautiful weather. (Grandpa got to experience a true Valentine's Day Photo Shoot) It was such a great time of conversation and catching up. It's harder than you can imagine to be so far away from your family. It's especially hard for Rory's 7 Grandparents to not be close when there are so many fun moments to share.
On Sunday we dedicated Rory at church and it was quite the feat. We had literally 5 different people holding cameras with Skype and Face time running to have as many Grandparents there as we could via the internet. Of course the wifi decided to quit working that day and cause a few problems but we have the whole thing recorded on video and everyone will get a copy of it. It was kind of a surreal feeling standing up in the front of the church with and Kim and Pastor Tim again. We'd gotten married a year and three months ago and now we were standing before him again with a baby we want to dedicate to God. Maybe it's me, but it just was a little strange. Good. But strange.
Afterwards an older woman in our church came up to us with tears in her eyes.
"I didn't know you were going to do your dedication today, but God was telling me to do something and I have to do it. It's foolish. But the spirit is telling me to do this. I have to lay my hands on his head and let you know that as of today he is baptized in the Holy Spirit before he does anything right or anything wrong. He will grow to be a strong man of God. The Spirit will be strong in his life. I'm an old lady and I won't get to see it. But his mother will remember this."
It was a pretty heavy moment. Kind of ironic too, because when I was a young boy an older woman prophesied similarly over me. She'd said I was blessed and someday I'd speak God's truths and many people would hear my words."
The whole thing was just so awesome. I can't help but love our church family and the way God's intertwining my family with others!
The rest of the week went extremely quick. Grandpa and Grandma got to spend time with Rory, come to our weekly Bible Study, visit other family on the coast, come to school and meet our classes and interact with our kids (and let them cheat at centers. Oh wait, that was just Grandpa.), and drink as many homemade smoothies as they could down. (We may or may not have also hooked my dad on the television show Revolution. Does watching 3 episodes every night count? I played his old tricks on him. When I was little he'd always say "Oh just watch the first 5 minutes, and if you aren't intrigued we'll stop it. Needless to say, he didn't want to stop watching.)
At our Bible Study my Grandpa and Grandma got to meet the Von Trapp Davidson's, which they adored almost as much as Teeny and Tiny, their daughters. Grandpa talked a lot to Reid because let's face it they are both obsessed with motorcycles and if there is a way to bring up a motorcycle, a road, leather jackets, or Sturgis. It's going to come up.
"I sure did love talking to Stu," Grandpa said, "I might have to get a winter home down here and go bike riding all the time. You know, I asked Stu if he rode his motorcycle a lot and you know what he said? Everyday. MAN!!!! I'm jealous."
"Who is Stu?" I ask.
"Uh, your friend."
"No, his name is Reid."
"Oh, right, right," Grandpa says.
"It's so beautiful today. I think I'll call Stu and ask if he'll let me borrow his bike."
"His name's Reid."
"Okay! Sorry. I just have to associate it. So the first little pig bought straw and built his house out of fine reeds. Done. It's associated. I'll never forget it again!"
"Wow!" I say, "That's great."
"I remember your address now!" Grandpa says spouting it off.
"Yep!" I say.
"See I just needed to associate it. Now it's in my mind for good. I just have to associate things."
Of course we also enjoyed eating at the best restaurants Florida has to offer. So clearly we took Grandpa and Grandma to the Hibachi Grill which apparently is just what we do now. It was their first time at that type of restaurant and they were genuinely thrilled. They were snapping pictures at the chef, falling for all of his hibachi grill jokes and pranks and yucking it up like no other. Rory of course was enthralled as always. It wasn't his first hibachi grill rodeo. (Actually the waitress commented on how much he has grown!)
After Hibachi we got on the highway and were heading to Target to pick up some things for Gina Jo's baby shower when we came to a halt on the highway!
"Oh what's this?" Grandpa says annoyed. (He is less patient than I am, if that says anything.)
"Umm, look at those flames coming off that car," Kim says.
"You don't see that everyday!" I say.
"You sure don't," Grandma Jo says.
We watched as firefighters doused the car with their hoses and gray smoke billowed in the air.
"Now we're going to have to wait for all those GAWKERS!" Grandpa says. "They are going to drive by real slowly and just gawk!"
As we came closer to the wreckage it was amazingly intense. The front of the car was gone. Fire and smoke were erupting from the hood! The firefighters were spraying streams of water towards the inferno and losing.
"I'm going to shut the vents!" Kim says, "I don't want the baby to breathe in the smoke."
"Good idea," I say.
"JOANNE!" Grandpa screams, "JOANNE! QUICK! GET MY CAMERA!"
"I turn around to see my dad with his camera and head out the open window trying to get the perfect shot."
"We just closed the vents so Rory wouldn't breathe in the smoke. What are you doing?"
"I CAN'T MISS THIS SHOT! IT'S ONCE IN A LIFETIME!"
(He did resist taking the shot in lieu of baby lungs being safe- Thanks Dad)
"Gosh!" I say, "Sure can't stand those gawkers! Don't you just hate them Dad?"
All too soon, they were off (with Grandma's ID, that a friend was nice enough to send to Florida) and heading back to Wisconsin on a jet plane. I can't believe how fast it went, but it was magnificent. I enjoyed every moment, the fruit stands, the smoothies, Grandma snuggling with Rory by the campfire, Grandpa playing my guitar to Rory. How can you feel like you've grown closer to people you've known for so long already? You just can I guess.
Comic by Bitstrips