Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Visit and a Letter

On July 22, my parents (known to Charis as Grandma and Poppa) visited us. It was incredibly hot when they arrived. They flew into Sacramento, CA, and drove up to Redding. Charis and I met them at their hotel on the first night. I was a little concerned that Charis would be apprehensive around my parents. After all, it had been close to a year since she last saw them. However, she warmed up to them right away. Within minutes she was asking Grandma to take her to see the "wa" (i.e., the hotel pool).  

Poppa stayed for about a week before returning to the East Coast - Grandma stayed for a little longer. While they were in Redding we took the girls on several trips to Turtle Bay (a discovery museum near the Sundial Bridge). We also took a trip to Whiskey Lake, a nearby national park. Poppa was kind enough to do some handyman projects around the house, and Grandma spent plenty of time holding Aletheia. Charis got Poppa to dance with her at least once - we suspect that might not happen again until her wedding (assuming Charis' father ever allows her to get married).

We were grateful for their visit, and sorry to see them go.

A few weeks after Poppa returned to Philadelphia, he wrote the girls a letter...

Dear Charis and Aletheia, 
Thanks so much for letting Grandma and me visit you at your new house in California. It is very nice. It’s a bit hot and dry outside, but the mountains and the lakes and the rivers are beautiful, so that makes up for it. California is far away but much closer than Jakarta, so we count our blessings. It was very good to see you again; a year apart is such a long time. Of course, Aletheia, it was our first time seeing you, so that was extra special. 
I picked out this card because it reminds me of your “happy dance,” Charis. (Everyone should have such a happy dance.) 

I’ve enclosed an article that was in the paper this week. It’s a feature about the building where your uncle Aaron is going to get married in a few months. Charis, I thought you might appreciate a little introduction to help you prepare for your part in the wedding. 

Thanks for calling on Saturday. It was fun for J.D. and me to talk with you, even if it was only briefly. (J.D. & I have short attention spans, generally.)
I have a film recommendation for your parents. It’s called Paddington and it is quite good….almost as good as the Incredibles and Wall-E. Also pretty good….the BoxTrolls. These are a bit beyond you but you’ll grow into them. J.D. and I have watched some of Paddington but he doesn’t like Nicole Kidman (kind of a Cruella De Vil Character), and he tells me to stop the show. Maybe it would help if I let him know she gets her (non-violent) comeuppance in the end.

I am sad to be apart from you and your parents but it is a comfort to know you will be here with us in October. Looking forward to that time together.



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