My family and I had a great weekend at my mom’s new home in Georgia for the Easter weekend.

I took Good Friday off work to make the five-hour drive. The weekend was crammed full of Easter activities for the adults and the children. We had two Easter egg hunts, dyed eggs, enjoyed a great meal after church and the children received plentiful Easter baskets with toys and candy.

I even got to play a game of pickleball with my uncle and threw Frisbee with my brother. For those who don’t know what pickleball is, it is like a combination of tennis and ping pong. I am a pretty experienced tennis player, so I caught on to pickleball rather quickly.

Chasing the children around the backyard reminded me that I need to get in better shape because I would become easily winded and need a break. I have an exercise bike at home that I need to start using. I used to ride the exercise bike every morning before work and would feel energized to start a new day.

My daughter enjoyed playing with her cousins, and we all played games such as dodge ball and tag in my mom’s backyard. After the children went to bed, the adults played a couple of games of Scrabble.

My mom recently moved to a new community for people ages 55 and above. There are many activities for the residents to take part in there, including exercise and arts and crafts. My mom used to live in downtown Atlanta but was looking for a change of pace. On the way to church she told me that she felt as though God moved her to her new home and opened the doors to make everything fall into place perfectly. It was nice to hear her say that.

This weekend my in-laws from Wyoming will be visiting us in New Albany. My father-in-law and I are going to do some fishing while they are here. That should be fun because he is a master fisherman. I enjoy seeing my in-laws because they are nice and interesting people. My father-in-law is a taxidermist and wildlife sculptor whose work is all over the United States. He has mounted grizzly bears and countless other types of wildlife. They live close to Yellowstone National Park.

If you have never been to Yellowstone, I highly encourage you to go because it is a place of absolute wonder and beauty. During the five years that I lived in Wyoming, I went to Yellowstone a few times and it never ceases to amaze.

When my in-laws visit us, I always enjoy making them a big fried catfish dinner. Hopefully, we can do that again during this visit.  Yes, I really enjoy spending time with all sides of my family. The older I get I understand more and more why family is so important. Family helps shape our identity.

As we were leaving my mom’s house I was sad to tell everyone goodbye because I don’t know when I will see everyone again. I even shed a few tears as we were leaving. I am not ashamed to cry. U.S. Army Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf said, “Frankly, any man that doesn’t cry scares me a little bit.” So if “Stormin’ Norman” can cry a little, so can I.

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