This last weekend, we got together with my dad and my brother, and their family. It's the first time since November of 2012 that we got all of my dad's granddaughters in one place.
It shouldn't have been that long...but, well...family. My dad lives about 4 hours from us...the same general distance as my mom, whom we see every 8-10 weeks...but, even when we lived on the other side of the mountains, and we were less than 2 hours from each parent, we still saw my dad 33% as often as my mom.
Many reasons, and none of them good. Just...my dad is different than my mom, and his situation is different. For the last few years, he has been fighting to get official custody of my step-brothers kids, something that finally happened earlier this year...so, he is not a gentleman in his mid-60s raising an 15 year old and an 11 year old. He is retired from the Navy, but still runs his own flooring business. He is busier than he should have to be at his age with work, and dancing classes/girl scouts for the girls. When he does get a day off, he feels he has earned the right to spend some of his remaining time on himself golfing, instead of driving 4 hours in a car with kids to visit us, I guess.
It's also tough because, for some other reason, there is 'no room for us at the inn'. Despite the fact that my mom has been able to find room for my wife and I, and our daughters to crash at her two bedroom place for a night, there is not enough room for that at my dads 2400sf place, so visiting him would involve having to rent a hotel room...an added expense we can't always swing, and frankly, I get pouty at the idea of having to do that...so we don't(I never said I wasn't at least partway to blame for the state of things).
Even this weekend, we didn't go to their place...we met in the tiny town of Elbe(1 hour drive for them, 3.5 for us) to ride the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad.
It was a nice get together...a chance to visit, and catch up...even if it wasn't the chance to show off the life I am building for myself with my family(bitter much?). True to it's name, there were even some scenic views of Mount Rainier(although, you also could have called it ''Rusted out Singlewide Scenic Railroad...there more than a few of those on lots lining the tracks).
It's not a perfect family...we don't see each other as much as we should...but we do still talk to each other regularly...which is better than some families do.
I also got a chance to get an updated picture with me and my dad...which is going to mean more to me someday than it does now.