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In mid-August our daughter, Darlene (and her husband Victor), asked Carol and me to join them for a five-day vacation in Pagosa Springs, Colo. Our other daughter, Rebecca (and her husband Timothy, and children), came up from Texas, and our dear friends Charles and Cathy Knoop trekked from New Mexico.

What's going on? We found out.

They all gave Carol and me a surprise 53rd wedding anniversary party! Darlene and Victor even gave me my favorite party-food: chocolate cake with chocolate icing, and vanilla ice cream. That combo became my favorite at my 13th birthday party in San Diego, Calif.

We had a great time in Pagosa Springs. Breakfast was on our own; Rebecca, a certified health coach for Dr. Sears Wellness Institute, gave us ground-breaking ideas of how to enjoy our retirement years -- beginning with proper eating-habits (we began our new eating plan after the ice cream & cake); and nightly dinner was in Charles and Cathy's condo. What a time we had!

I enjoyed Rebecca's teaching as a health coach. Implementing her information helped me to get down to my target weight. Starting at 183 pounds, I am now down to 164, and there's no special diet. I eat plenty of food, I have more energy, and my clothes fit better. If you would like to hear more about this, email me your interest, and I'll get you in touch with Rebecca.

Charles and I did what we always did in Pagosa -- we went fishing! I kept two of the three catfish and all six rainbow trout I caught. I should tell you: I like to eat catfish, but in the future, I'll leave the catfish catching & cleaning business to the restaurants. Those critters are difficult to clean! The restaurants also cook them better than I did.

The smallest trout we caught was 14 inches, and the largest was 19. The trout are easy to clean and wonderful to eat; and Carol makes trout fish sandwiches with the leftovers. I like that better than tuna fish sandwiches.

One daughter and family lives in Colorado, and the other daughter and family lives in Texas. One son and family moved to California, and another son and family are preparing to move to Indiana. But Carol and I don't plan on moving, so one son here in Arkansas will visit with us often. We play racquetball, and he beats me 95 percent of the time; but I enjoy the game. Maybe I should mention: the five percent of the times I win are a gift: he humors me by letting me win.

When it was time to part ways in Pagosa, we asked if Serena, Rebecca's third daughter, could spend a couple of weeks with us. The request was granted.

Carol and I haven't had small children staying with us for quite a while, and this was a treat for us.

Seven-year-old kids are smart. They know what they want and endeavor to get it. But Serena is polite and learned my house-rules quickly. She learned to clean her plate, make her bed, and pick up the toys before bed-time. And it didn't take long for her to learn to like my Honey Bunches of Oats cereal and my Braum's vanilla ice cream. I had to make sure I got my fair share of it.

My name for Serena is Bunny, and she calls me the Old Goat. Bunny and I hopped around and had a good time. In fact, we had such a good time that Grandma (Carol) had to settle us down several times.

Bunny likes animals, and surprised Grandma with a palm-sized Anura. That word in Ancient Greek means without tail, and is a frog. There are over 6,300 recorded species of Anurans which amount to about 88 percent of amphibians today. But even one frog was enough for Grandma. "Keep it out of the house."

Bunny didn't talk much around people whom she didn't know, but she was a talking machine around the house. Bunny also put puzzles together with Grandma.

The day after we returned Bunny to her parents, the house felt almost empty. In fact, after breakfast, I turned to see if Bunny had picked up her plate -- but no Bunny. Carol said, "I miss her, too."

The joy of family is one of the greatest pleasures I know, and is one of the greatest gifts of God to us. Spend time with family, and cultivate that loving friendship. You'll be glad you did.

--GENE LINZEY IS A SPEAKER, AUTHOR, AND MENTOR. SEND COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS TO MASTERS.SERVANT@COX.NET. VISIT HIS WEBSITE AT WWW.GENELINZEY.COM. THE OPINIONS EXPRESSED ARE THOSE OF THE AUTHOR.

Editorial on 10/02/2019

Print Headline: The Joy Of Family Time

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