Friday, December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving, Part 2

Big Rapids is a small town. I never really thought so until growing up and moving away. Having gone to both Morley and Stanwood Elementary Schools, I always thought Big Rapids was at least a middle-sized town. Maybe it is. But after spending a lot more time in bigger cities like Indianapolis where I now live, my perspective has changed. Of course, I now know a lot of people who believe Indy is small, since they grew up in much larger cities. Perspective is subjective, I suppose.

Two Pink Monkeys
Even though I wear a blue Colts jersey and we’re establishing our family in Indy, I will probably always consider Big Rapids as my home. It’s where I spent most of my youth, where my parents and in-laws live, where I met my wife, and where I graduated college. There’s a lot of nostalgia, memories, and time invested in BR, and even though most people I know in Indy have never heard of it, it’s one of my favorite places to be.

Although I’m naturally a sentimental guy who looks more to the past than the future, I was looking forward to making new memories with Hannah and Abigail this Thanksgiving. The morning after we arrived in town, we piled into the car and drove a mile down the road from my parents’ house to spend the morning and early afternoon with the Walts. Hannah’s Aunt Janice had flown up from Florida to spend some time with Hannah’s mom, Sharon, and to see her great-niece Abigail.
Deborah, Hannah’s sister, couldn’t wait to see Abigail and had a hard time sharing her with anyone else while she was there. A friend of hers came up to me in church on Sunday and said even he had heard Deborah was savoring every minute with Abs. Deborah couldn’t come down when Abby was born, so she had to wait almost two months to see her. Since Debs was working a few days while we were up, no one seemed to mind that Abby could usually be found in her arms when she was around.
Tummy Time: All the girls were getting in on it.
One of the things I most enjoy doing at the Walt household is playing games. Normally we play Golf, Farkle, Sorry, or Phase Ten. I have my best winning streaks in the Walt home, so I don’t try to avoid playing Phase Ten, which I normally consider a sick and twisted game. You would too if the game ended and you were still on the third phase. That’s just wrong.

As Abs is growing bigger we give her more “tummy time” to allow her to strengthen her muscles and work on rolling over (she still a little young for that one yet). Sharon, Janice, and Deborah enjoyed playing with Abigail on a large blanked on the floor. Hannah’s noticed that Abigail likes to see people whenever she’s awake, so despite being a little fussy at first from a sensory overload, she got all the attention she needed over the break.

Abs and Gramps: Abigail and Mike having a good time.
Hannah’s dad, Mike, has been battling with Parkinson’s Disease for some time now and it often leaves him tired. Though he didn’t get to hold Abigail nearly as much as everyone else, he still had some precious moments with his granddaughter that we were able to record both on photos and film. We look forward to many more of these experiences and seeing smiles all around at the joy he and she get to share.

When it came time to leave Deborah didn’t want to say goodbye. Even though we’re coming back for Christmas, it was hard for her to meet Abigail and say goodbye in just a few short days. I’m glad Abigail had that effect on her. Sharon and Mike took it a little better, but I strongly suspect there were some teary eyes behind the windows as they waved goodbye.

Stay tuned for more on Thanksgiving with the Wencl family.

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