My family and I have been so fortunate to have a couple relatives from Texas visit us during the past week. My aunt Kathy and cousin Katy have been here almost a week now and leave tomorrow morning.
We'll be sad to see them go, but I think we all could use a little rest from the non-stop family get togethers and fun.
While preparing for the trip, Kathy said they wanted to be kept busy; schedule all kinds of things for them to do.
Members of my family gather for a group shot at Coopers Rock State Forest.
We took her at her word and she probably wishes now she could have recalled that e-mail, but we all know that's impossible--the curse side of fast technology.
I was sort of the official tour guide for Friday when we visited Marble King, Presto Lunch, ThistleDew Farms, and the Lincoln Theater for a performance of The Sound of Music. (We were going to ride Sistersville's ferry across the river too, but it happened to be closed for about an hour right when we were there.)
My sister Karen was along for the daytour and kept saying she had never visited some of the sites or knew some of the tidbits I shared. On Saturday she did the same for me as we went to Morgantown and then Coopers Rock, a state forest I had curiously never visited.
Isn't it amazing what attractions in your own backyard you never visit until you have a reason to show them to a visitor? Kathy said she does the same thing; the Dallas dweller has never been to the Book Depository and toured the site of President John F. Kennedy's assassination. Her late husband took my parents and I there when we visited them once, but evidently she was busy that day.
We're all guilty of such things because life keeps us all busy and sometimes we don't take the time to "vacation" in our own area.
Katy had never been here to visit before and she took lots of pictures-of relatives and landscapes. She also asked lots of questions, just ask my brother-in-law, but we loved her interest in all things West Virginia and Westfall.
She loved the green trees. In her area of Texas, Dalhart, about 90 minutes north of Amarillo, the only trees are ones that were planted there. While she was taking one photo of a hillside view, I said, "It's too bad the hills aren't quite green enough yet for good photos."
"Oh trust me," she said, "These are green!"
She also had a good time noticing the similarities in her relatives she had barely ever met. She showed us a photo of her six-year-old daughter that looked a lot like my three-year-old daughter.
And it's interesting that the similarities are not only physical, but in interests and mannerism. For instance, she immediately wanted to get a West Virginia map so she could understand where all the locations were that we were visiting. I think all of my siblings would have done the very same thing.
Oh it's always so fun to visit with relatives. We'll miss them, but we'll cherish the memories and photos until we get together again.