Shared by Julie Hatfield
For forty some years now, whenever my sister and I have vacationed together, we've always had our children nearby, then grandchildren, and the vacations have, rightly, centered around the kids -- their activities, their interests, their bedtimes, their food. It seemed as if every time we saw each other, it was for one of the childrens' weddings, and for the family, those are not vacations. Now that we're up to a combined total of 10 children and 8 grandchildren, I thought it would be a novelty for my husband and I to ask my sister and her husband, a retired Lutheran minister, to share our condo at the Aruba Ocean Club for a week...alone. Just the four of us spent a beautiful seven days enjoying the beaches, a tour of the island, a snorkeling trip, shopping for strange vegetables with strange money, cooking small dinners in our little kitchen together, eating barefoot at a beach restaurant the last night, chatting, chatting, chatting, about everything from death to careers to retirement to the wonders of the island. In between eating and talking, we four played bridge, every night until we were too sleepy to bid any more, then again the next day, and the next, even at the airport as we left for the U.S. We adore all our children, and in fact prayed together for all of their job security in these difficult times. And we love our collective grandchildren and showed each other all of their latest pictures, but this was our time away, and my sister and I felt like just sisters again.