My dad's cousin left for China this morning. This is her 17th visit, most of them mission trips. On this one, she'll be part of a team teaching English.
The Big Trip of my summer will be up north to Wisconsin to visit some of Tom's family. Our last visit was for his cousin's wedding in 1985 - I remember because I was pregnant with Tommy.
We had made at least two visits up there already, with and without Tom's parents. We loved hanging out with his Grandma and Grandpa in the house where his dad grew up... driving around while Grandpa pointed out the family farm, the pond where he skinny-dipped, the cemetery full of Shallue's...
We loved meeting all of the uncles, aunts, cousins, touring the Manitowoc Ice Machine company where one uncle worked, the submarine museum and the cheese factories, loved trekking up to Door County, loved the roasted corn and fish, the fresh-picked raspberries, the brats and beer. Lots of beer!
We never intended to wait this long to return, but you know how life can be, especially after you have kids! You get busy - and time doesn't wait.
We'll be going back for another wedding - his cousin's daughter's wedding! The cousin who got married on our last visit! Thanks to Facebook, we've all reconnected again.
We know it won't be the same. Grandma and Grandpa are both gone - the house belongs to someone else now. But we're looking forward to it, getting to see family we haven't seen in over twenty years, meeting some new ones who weren't even born the last time we were there, including the bride.
But let's face it, it's not an exotic trip to China like my dad's cousin's wife is taking.Please keep her and the rest of her group in your prayers. One of the team members has started a website to share photos and impressions of the trip. Click here if you want to follow along. I plan to. I'm sure it's the closest I'll ever get to the real thing!