We put together an entire 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle whose pieces were spread out on the kitchen table when we arrived at my sister-in-law's house, inviting us to accept a challenge. (Well, actually, it was Matt, with his patience and calm, steadfast nature, who put together most of the puzzle; the rest of us helped here and there, adding pieces sporadically while we all chatted animatedly together.) We all went to cheer on my nephew at a hockey game he was playing in one morning, and I spent some time making Shrinky Dink jewellery with my niece and reading her bedtime stories, a favourite activity that I hadn't even realized how much I'd missed since our boys outgrew it. The kids played a lively game of baseball in a park one sunny afternoon, and we adults shared details about the worries and glad moments of our separate day-to-day lives. We helped the kids colour real Easter eggs, and watched them race around the house finding filled plastic ones and baskets stuffed with cheerful surprises. There was delicious chocolate, and scrumptious shared meals, and we spent a beautiful Easter Sunday afternoon walking on a trail in the woods, where the chickadees came and ate birdseed right out of the kids' hands.
As we rolled down the highway back towards Waterloo yesterday, Matt and the boys and I all agreed we were very glad we had made the long trip. It was a wonderful weekend. There are few things better than driving for hours and landing in a place where you still feel so much at home.