It’s Friday morning and it’s the first of the month, the day on which I always have to do some work. Administration to do and bills to pay. I wake up five minutes before the alarm clock and start working straight away at six o’clock in the morning. I work for two hours and then my grandma comes into the living room and tells me we leave for garage sales in half an hour. I quickly finish my work and then jump into the car and we drive to town.
First we pick up her friend Sharon and then we drive to the houses that have sales. Grandma and Sharon seem to be professional garage sales buyers. They have a whole route planned out and in just an hour we visit several sales. At one of the places everything in the house is for sale. It’s a bit strange to walk in someone’s house and that you can buy everything you see. I buy a few small card games. We go back home and there I have another project waiting for me. I need to clean out my car and start packing my bags. While I’m wondering how I’d fit all the camping stuff in my backpack, we get the great idea that you can return everything to Walmart. Becky, grandma’s daughter does it all the time so I hand her my stuff to take care of. In the mean time I collect all the patches of the National Parks I bought and iron them on my backpack. That’s a great souvenir and my backpack now looks like it’s been on a great adventure, which is has been of course.
In the afternoon Becky comes back with the good news that Walmart took all the stuff back. That’s great, because I definitely couldn’t have fit it in my bags and now I can use the money for gas and a hotel before I fly back home. The rest of the afternoon I spend hanging out with people, folding the laundry and packing my bags. In the evening we watch a few more episodes of Last Man Standing until it’s bedtime. When I go to bed I realize that this is the last night here and it makes me sad. That’s the hard thing about leaving, I don’t know when I come back. I’m not looking forward to tomorrow, saying goodbye to my grandparents and having to drive many hours in the direction of Denver Airport. The thing is that I get used to being here so quickly that it turns into normal and only when I have to leave again that I realize that I don’t know when I’ll see them again. I invited my grandparents again to the Netherlands, would be great if they’d come one day. Grandma on her turn invited me to Hawaii where they go on vacation each year. We’ll see. I think traveling also makes you appreciate people more. You take it less for granted that you can visit and spend time with the people you love. And in the end I believe that’s what it’s all about, being with the people you love. I’m grateful that I got to be with grandparents again for about ten days.