July was a super busy month! Back in June my Uncle Wayne was in poor health and at different times I thought he was going to pass and then he would recover. My dad stayed most of June with him in California. It looked as if he was getting better and the medical team decided he was ready for a rehab center and shortly after he got there, his body gave up.
My little family was planning on going to WA for the majority of July anyway, so we were busy getting ready for our trip, but instead our trip took us to California first to meet with other family members for the funeral of Uncle Wayne.
I know it sounds odd that a funeral was a fun thing or a fun place to go to, but it seems the family I was born into has parties no matter what the occasion is. They know how to have fun and live life. It was a very emotional strain as well, I felt much sadness for my dad, losing his sibling and also Uncle Wayne's wife (Phyllis) left to pick up the pieces and move on. Don't get me wrong, there were many tears shed! I seemed to have been sitting in the sobbing section, or was that just me sobbing?
I met my parents and most of my siblings in California. I was the only one there with kids so it made it kind of tricky figuring out what to do with that and how to entertain them and yet still get family time in too. Robert was wonderful! One evening as we were at Phyllis' home, Robert took the kids to see a movie so I could visit and spend time with family. Many of my aunts and uncles were there along with several cousins. It was great to sit around such wonderful people and enjoy the moment. I wouldn't have been able to do that if Robert hadn't taken the kids or entertained them for me.
I am not sure why crazy things happen to us when we get together as a family but they do. "The Boys" (my dad and his brothers) had car races with little cars, then others were able to race their own cars too. My aunt Margie who wasn't able to attend sent a care package with all the goodies in it, the cars, dum dum suckers for the "dum dums" who didn't want to race, and a book to record the events of the race and other messages too.
Following the funeral (the funeral was held on a Friday I think and then because of 4th of July, the graveside wasn't until Tuesday) as the weekend ended most of us all headed back home, or for us Utah Girls that meant starting our trip to WA but now we were making the drive from California up to WA. My parents and Kelly (brother) stayed for the Graveside services and then would drive back to WA.
We decided to make a fun trip out of it, and take the scenic route along the coast on highway 1, go through the redwoods, see the ocean, stay a few nights and then drop Robert off at the airport in Portland on my way to my parents house. Unfortately for me, I missed many of the cool scenic things because all those windy roads equals car sickness to me. I ended up trying to sleep off the nausia and the head ache of it all. I'm not good at those scenic drives unless I am driving. I thought I would be okay, but I always think that and I never am.
Because we were on the road for 4th of July, we really didn't do anything. No fireworks, no celebration. I think we might have seen a few fireworks on the beach but instead we polled the girls and a movie and popcorn won the vote. Kind of boring, but it was so cold and windy that I was okay with staying inside instead of trying to brave the crowds and the winds in a town we were unfamiliar with.
With all the driving and stopping we did, somehow we ended up with some car problems. I am normally pretty laid back about things, I figure it will all work itself out, it won't really matter much in the end and it will end up being no big deal. Robert on the other hand gets a little more upset or worried about it. It first manifested itself as we were waiting in line at a drive through redwood tree park. We smelled something really bad like melting rubber and then heard a funny squealing noise too. We shortly discovered the car heating up but we couldn't really pin point what was happening with things, the cause of it, only that it was happening. We thought we would get it looked at down the road, but then it was 4th of July. We decided to say a prayer and chance it and keep going.
It didn't seem to be much of a problem except for when we were stopped and idling. As we were driving especially at higher speeds it seemed to cool the engine off naturally and it was no problem. The problem was that the whole way back from the coast to the airport we were in stop and go traffic the whole time. The car would over heat, then it would cool off, then it got scary HOT and then we would go and it would cool a bit down. We even got off a different exit because we saw our exit was backed up and we couldn't sit there at that high of engine tempatures.
Poor Robert, he was so stressed! About the car acting up, getting to the airport on time, the traffic we were in, leaving me with a car that was having problems to get up to my parents house. He was so stressed about it all. I kept telling him we would be fine and that all would be okay, it would all work out okay.
We all made it, we got Robert to the airport, he caught his plane on time, I made it to my parents, and all was good. Well except for the large repair bill we paid as we were on vacation. All in all, our car did good! Funny thing, well not really, my sister Lorri, had car trouble coming home from CA too, and I think my parents' did as well. Lorri's car lost the A/C and my parents' lost OD in the automatic transmission.
We stayed at my parents house then for a few weeks and then Robert came up and ran yet another Ragnar Race. I was able to hang out with lots of my siblings during the time I spent there. It was so nice! My sister Lorri took several days off work to come hang out with me and my girls. Along with my other sisters who spent lots of time at my parents house.
It was kind of odd and sad at the same time. My parents are putting their papers in to go on a mission. In doing that, they will be selling the house and Pony Poop Farm will no longer exist. It seemed kind of weird and strange as I looked around at things. I thought, this will be the last time we do this, or this or go here.
One day I went out to my dad's shop.... I was immediately overcome with tears and emotions of sadness. My dad has wanted a shop for as long as I can remember, he finally has one. As I looked around inside at all the tools and things hung around, I wondered what would it take to keep the house. What would it take to keep this shop. My dad's dream was now going to be lost. I couldn't take it. I sat in the
I later talked to some of my sisters about it. They had all thought about different things too, but nothing really would do it. Nothing would really make things better or keep the place for my parents. I couldn't handle it emotionally, how could this happen? No matter what we could all do within our means, none of us combined could make it work out. I have since dealt with the idea of it, and am okay with it. Not that if I wasn't they would change anything. It is just a house, it is just a place, it is a place where many memories have been made, but those memories are with each of us. They do not stay there. They will not fade away as PPF disolves and becomes someone else home.
I don't mean to make it sound like my parents mission is a bad thing. It is a wonderful oppurtunity and I am so grateful for their example to me... and especially to my children. They are trully sacrificing EVERYTHING! All the things they love, all the things that they have worked hard for, and the things that they have dreamed of, they are giving up or setting aside for 18 months. From the house that they have lived in for nearly 40 years, the horses, the farm animals, the playground area my Grandpa made, the shop my dad and his brothers built one summer, my mom's dog, her bird, the roses, and not to mention my mom's whole family lives all right there too. This is a sacrifice for them! What an example, all the things they are giving up to serve our Heavenly Father. It seems like such a huge deal, but then when you really think of it, it is just stuff. (Stuff I am very attached to though.)
I think as this chapter of the book ends, with my parents' place gone, all of us kids are aware of it. We are aware of what matters most. Family. It seems that each of us are a little more aware of each other, a little more motivated to stay in touch and stay close. My parents will be leaving, and it brings up questions in my mind. What does that mean to me and our summer vacations for next year? Will we all still gather at their house when they return? Will our WA trips be over? I guess many of these questions have no answers now, but in time they will. It is kind of the unknown and it is scary. I think of when my Grandparents left their home in CA, their house was the big gathering place. When they were gone that was the end of gathering together really. With the exceptions of funerals, we don't get together. Our families get bigger and we focus on our own. It seems strange to me, it seems like I won't be able to lose those bonds with my family, but will I? As I departed then, it was a little harder to leave, not knowing when I will be back, things feel uncertain, and I get more teary eyed when I leave, it is getting harder to leave my family as this transition is getting closer. I wonder if my siblings and I will lose touch or have long periods of not seeing each other.
Our journey took us 29 days and 3600+ miles, and many thoughts to think through. We finally made it home. I wonder if that will be the last time my children will experience Pony Poop Farm. I know there will be other adventures in other places, but it makes me a little sad too having our last visit at Pony Poop Farm, or was it?