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Busy, busy, all the time | Home Again


Last updated 5/9/2019 at Noon

My daughter-in-law Debbie, in northern Idaho, seems to be managing many regular activities three weeks past her knee replacement surgery. I have never known an individual more capable of handling multiple responsibilities and events than Debbie.

She’s been in my life for close to 20 years, and continues to amaze me. Whether she’s putting up fencing, rewiring a light fixture, administering shots to farm animals, designing and sewing tote bags, volunteering with 4-H, redecorating a bedroom, reupholstering or snow-plowing – she’s busy All The Time.

Amazingly, she doesn’t seem harried. She is living the life she enjoys.

Does a real estate friend need help staging a house? She calls Debbie. Does the school district need extra classroom help? Call Debbie. Do Annika and her teen-age friends want a “Friendsgiving” the week before Thanksgiving?

Of course they are welcome at Annika’s house – her mom loves to have them there. Debbie supports Annika’s 4-H activities, including hitching up the horse trailer and driving livestock to shows. My son participates when he’s available. He no doubt fantasizes about an 8-5 job. When he was in his 20s, he didn't consider how a train engineer's schedule would impact family life.

Brad took time off from the railroad to stay with Debbie when she came home from the hospital following her knee surgery. He appreciated the rare opportunity to take care of her – and I'm sure he appreciated the family-friendly pace of those days and nights.

While my son and daughter-in-law live the country life on five acres in Idaho, my daughter Lisa and husband Eric experience a very different life in West Seattle. Adam is 10 and Abby is 8 now, and their world is full of biking, sleepovers, gymnastics, parties, family outings, spectator events – and soccer.

Last Sunday, I attended three soccer games, one of Adam's in Tukwila and one each for Adam and Abby in West Seattle. Leaving game No. 1, I drove almost all the way to the wrong field for game No. 2 –so many playfields during each season that surely I'm not the only one who loses track. When I arrived home again in Edmonds from playfield No. 3, I promptly fell asleep on the couch.

My observation is that Lisa and husband Eric on a daily basis effectively juggle who’s picking up the kids and where and when and whether they are then to take them home or drive through traffic to drop them off somewhere else!

Surely, it's not as frantic as it seems. Lisa says right now Monday is the only weeknight everyone is home all evening. It certainly appears that there's always something scheduled that requires a dash through the house for shoes, swimsuits, birthday gifts, sleeping bags or, not infrequently, snacks for entire teams.

In between activities, Lisa makes time to sit and play cards with Adam or mix up a fresh recipe of Slime with Abby. (Slime is a gooey play substance, not edible!) She bakes with her children, decorates great kid-theme birthday cakes, cooks actual meals, grows beds of lovely perennials and runs on her treadmill every day after work.

The family rides bikes together, travels and camps.

For me, here’s the bottom line: I am blessed to have two adult children and to have their families to love. I am dazzled by the differences in their lifestyles. I only want them to feel happy and fulfilled, wherever they live.

I think I’m about due for some time in the beautiful stillness of northern Idaho, but when I return, something exciting will be happening in busy West Seattle. It's all good.


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