My dad and Step-mom came to visit us in Minnesota last weekend. Felt kind of weird that I was hosting them. For the first 18 years of my life that was the other way around.
For about a week before they arrived, (when I wasn’t dodging Republican National Convention traffic and road closures) I started to think about what we might want to do with them in the twin cities – what cool touristy things we could bring them to to show off our new digs. I really couldn’t come up with much, so I asked my parents to do the research for me, “Let me know if there are any sites around here you’d want to see!”. My dad responded that they just want to see me and see our life out here.
That was all the invitation I needed.
I told my dad that “seeing our life” meant house projects. So my father installed another branch of the forced air system (with Dan’s help). My step mom and I went to Menard’s and bought a fire and water-proof safe, for all those important papers that it would suck to lose. Later that afternoon we cut down some branches of the apple tree in our backyard that were interfering with the power chords, then promptly made a ton of apple sauce out of the apples. No, seriously, at least a gallon of apple sauce. Then in the evening we went to a Color Me Mine pottery glazing studio and “painted” a large popcorn bowl – a house warming gift from my Dad and Debby (that’s an “O” for Olfelt in the middle there).
The other part of seeing our life out East (in the Midwest. It’s East of the West. But it’s not the East) is seeing Dan’s family – a major part of why we live here. So, on Sunday the whole family (with the exception of the 9 who live in the East, not the midwest) came over to our house for a pot-luck. There were 18 of us cousins, aunts, uncles and grandparents. The younger cousins played on our garage sale foosball table while the adults got tours of the house and talked about our renovation projects and plans. It was so much fun and I feel like it was such a good reflection of how warm and loving the Olfelt family is.
It wasn’t anything glamorous, but it was wonderful to have my dad and Debby literally experiece our life out here. I think it was a much better way to spend the weekend than traipsing around the largest mall in America or taking a tour of Target’s global headquarters.