Tomorrow afternoon, Friday, July 25, Aaron and I begin our drive to visit with his parents for eight days. We do this the last week of July, every year, so that our time coincides with that of his oldest brother. He’s the sibling that Aaron feels closest. He’s also the only one in their family who knows that we’re nudists and has actually accompanied us to a nude beach on several occasions (yes, he got naked every time).
The purpose of this pilgrimage to Aaron’s parents isn’t about social nudity opportunities. It’s to spend quality time with his family, especially his folks. Free from any holiday distractions or family events, this trip affords us a chance to connect and share together. Basically, to be a family.
Sunday, following church service (they’re Roman Catholic), his parents host a brunch for their local extended family. A chance for us all to be together, greet and eat. This is where Aaron serves the blueberry lemon frognarde (click on Cooking Duty to view). Having this reunion frees us from the responsibility of individual visits to aunts, uncles and cousins.
We don’t spend the entire week just sitting around the house. With his brother, there’s either basketball or tennis in a local park, weather permitting. These daily activities allow the three of us to become closer, exercise and to discuss topics relevant to our generation. Over the years that we’ve been a couple, this particular brother has taken several classes and is able to converse using ASL (American Sign Language).
Aaron’s father is a golfer. Since his retirement, he plays at least once a week. Although none of us are enthusiastic about the game, there’s one day when we (father, brother, Aaron and yours truly), as a foursome, play eighteen holes on a nearby golf course. Another chance for familial male bonding which delights Aaron’s dad as he, being the experienced player, always emerges as the winner.
Of course, the week isn’t all about sports and male companionship. Aaron’s mother does take us out for an afternoon shopping expedition. She likes to give us and his brother a set of bed linens. This is her excuse to get us into her car. After the bed sheets, she manages to have several other places for us to see and shop. We always end up at a booksellers. Typical mothering moments.
This year, a day excursion is planned to the National D-Day Memorial, in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Normandy landings during World War II. The memorial is a 90 minute drive, one way, so this is an all-day outing. Both of Aaron’s grandfathers fought in the war, although neither one were directly involved in the actual D-Day fighting. As African-Americans, their wartime role was restricted to supportive duties.
The night before we depart, I treat the family to dinner at a restaurant of their choosing. They try to discourage this but I insist as I feel the need to demonstrate my appreciation for their hospitality, particularly in light of my culinary disabilities. It also eliminates any clean-up after an evening meal, which gives us extra time without distractions our last night together. Besides, Aaron’s parents confided to his brother several years ago that they really enjoy the chance to go out and “show off” their family in public.
By the time that you’re reading this, we’re likely on the road, our trip underway. Legally (Virginia prohibits same gender marriage), Aaron’s family may not be mine. In reality, they feel as though we’re family. Perhaps, that’s because we are a family. After all, isn’t family what you hold dear inside your heart? That’s what is most important.
Peace! Get naked. Enjoy!
Author’s Note: Although away for the week, I’ve scheduled postings for both next Monday and Thursday. For blogs that I regularly visit, I’ll catch up on what I missed when we return. Have a great week, I’m sure we’ll do the same.