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OHHHHHHHHHHklahoma is the Place to Be!

So my parents moved to Oklahoma last week. Hope and I road tripped on down to meet them in Stillwater and help them with their move. We spent 3 days there cleaning, unpacking, and helping Mom and Dad settle in to their new house. It was a lot of hard work…but a true labor of love. I know I’ve written it here before…but it seems a good opportunity to say again just how much I truly love my family. It goes without saying that I believe my parents are just about the best parents a girl could have. Of course we all have our faults and we didn’t always see eye to eye on things…but as I grow older I find myself cherishing them more and more. It was funny, watching the foreign house in Oklahoma slowly transition into my parents’ house. It was almost as though I could see the Boston’s emerging slowly from this strange new house.

There is a room in the new house which we were trying to find a name for…Dad’s room…the gun room…the den…the exercise room. It is a room that is distinctly Dad’s. I went to put a book out there and paused for a moment to look around. Lining the shelves were neatly organized groupings of things; magazines, a few trinkets we had made or bought for him over the years, coolers, old fishing photos, even old records (for which I’m sure he no longer has a player)…things were slowly finding a new place in the room. Each thing placed there purposefully by Dad. For some reason, standing in that room, surrounded by things which represented so much of who Dad is and what he enjoys…I couldn’t help but get a little choked up. It just hit me hard in that moment…how much I love my Dad.

Hope and I gingerly unwrapped all of Mom’s china and pottery…of which there is a LOT. Over the years she has collected all sorts of things and we knew she’d have to take some time to figure out where to display it all, so we set them out on shelves in the dining room so she could survey and ponder where to put them over the coming weeks. As we unwrapped them she’d tell stories about where certain pieces came from and certain eBay deals she just couldn’t resist. We’d smile as we remembered certain dishes she’d use for special occasions. There in the new dining room, we were completely surrounded by the presence of Mom. And I realized that no matter where my parents live…their house will always be home to me. No matter the house, I will always find a room within it, where their presence overflows. And that thought comforts me when I think of them living states away from me and I’m missing them dearly. I can picture Dad dinking around in his ‘room’ or picture Mom working in the kitchen and smile.

Saturday evening, after a long day of unpacking and settling in, we gathered around the dining room table for a game of Mexican Train Dominos. I’m sure most of you are not familiar with the game…but it is one us Boston’s used to play…A LOT! Chad and Matt can attest to the many nights they were all but forced to join us around the table and play with us. My parents and I have always loved to play games…but since the kids came along…and we’ve gotten older and busier…and more tired…it’s hard to get everyone to sit down and play. But this time I insisted…why not play a game? And oh, the fun we had. We laughed until we cried…we teased each other…we hooted and hollered…and it was just what the doctor ordered. Mom and Dad have been under so much stress this past year as he searched for a new job and the transition to Oklahoma hasn’t been a quick or easy one. Hope has had her fair share of stress managing the Kepler household…and of course I carry my own burdens. It was really something to sit down and spend some time playing games and laughing as a family. I felt like a kid again. All the troubles and stresses in our lives just melted away and for a while we relished in the joy of being together and having fun. I felt the love for them all so concretely I just had to blurt out to them all how much I loved my family. I know they think I’m a sap…but I meant it with all the sincerity I could muster. I was acutely aware in that moment how blessed I am.

Being able to spend Father’s Day with my parents was also a blessing. It has been years! And though Dad spent much of the day working on unpacking the shop and Mom, Hope and I worked in the house…we all cleaned up and went out for dinner together that evening. Before this weekend, I don’t think I can even remember the last time we went out to eat just the 4 of us. It was just like back when we were kids - special. I made a stranger stop and take a picture to document the moment because we just never do it…and well…look at that beautiful family.

I know I will always long for the day when my parents make the move back up to Iowa, but for now I can be satisfied knowing they are a whole lot closer than they were before and we can easily visit them more frequently. And I know that when we do…I’ll find Mom working in the kitchen over some family favorite meal and Dad puttering around the shop or in his room…and their house will be home. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll all come together and play us some Mexican Train Dominos!!


Emily said…
I'm a big old sap, too. At my grandparent's house, games are often gender-divided. My aunts & Granny always go for Upwords, but Grandpa was a huge fan of Mexican Train Dominoes. So Brian knows how to play, but I do not. :)

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