Moving Mountains

I stared at the screen in frustration.  It would have to be me, again.  It seemed like it was always me.

My father had booked a trip up North for the summer.  Normally, my father’s visits to any of his children were fairly short and to the point; he would fly in for a few days for this event or that event and high tail it back to his life in Florida.  He had a second career there after his retirement from his government job, and was busy despite being over 70.  But he’d recently retired from his second career, and seemed actually not willing to take on a third.  So he booked an open ended vacation, deciding to come up North via the Auto Train.

The Auto Train allowed passengers to not only bring themselves to their destination, but their cars too.  Like a ferry, but a train.  We’d actually looked into it when our plane had been snowed out going to Florida a few years ago, but it was expensive for five people.  But for my dad, traveling alone and wanting a large block of time up north, it was ideal.

So he’d travel up to DC on the train, drive from there to Wilmington, DE to stay with his parents.  He planned on coming the few hours north to my house too.  I looked forward to having him; the kids loved seeing him and it would be nice for him to not have to race out after a short visit. We talked about going into the city for a day to look for places people in the family had once lived; it was going to be a great trip.

He’d sent an email to my brother and sister asking if they could come out east during his trip.  And one by one, they’d both sent their denials; they couldn’t afford it, they couldn’t get time away from work, their cars were too old to make the journey.  I probably would have had a lot more sympathy for their communal gripes if they weren’t the same gripes year after year.  My brother had never been to visit my home in CT, and I’d been here six years now.  My sister had been twice in the time we’d lived here.  Neither of them had seen my grandparents for five years.

I knew what it was going to take.  If the mountain couldn’t come to Mohammed, I was going to have to bring Mohammed to the mountain.  I started typing:

“Well, if Dad drives up to our place, we could then drive out to MI and see all of you.  I can do the driving and we can even pick up Z on the way in PA if he can get the time off of his summer research job. I’m not working this summer and have the time; so if it isn’t possible for all of you to come out here, maybe we could come out there.  What does everyone think?”

Sometimes I felt like the oldest sibling, and not the youngest.

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