Here is a reality of choosing to have three young children: Traveling becomes a difficult-to-impossible endeavor. I mean, sure, you can pack up all your kids and all their junk and haul them anywhere you want theoretically, but the reality of that decision is going to involve a lot of crying, screaming, hyperactive, and otherwise whacked-out children. Also, a ton of money.
I choose not to subject myself to that sort of unpleasantness if it can be avoided, so at this stage in my life, if it's not within a few hours in the car, it's not happening.
Unfortunately, my family does not live that close to me. They live in Arizona and Florida. As nice as those places are to visit to escape a brutal upstate New York winter, the truth is that barring a really big event like a wedding or a funeral*, I will probably not be in Arizona or Florida anytime in the near future.
But my brother sent me a little bit of Arizona for my birthday. He was traveling a lot for the holidays--which is, woe is me, when my birthday happens to be--so he didn't get home to pack up my present until last week. But yesterday, this arrived:
Hello, my pretties.
Those are oranges from his backyard orange tree. The fact that I cannot grow any significant citrus here is a great sadness to me, so this was an especially thoughtful present.
Cubby examined them and announced, "They look like cartoon oranges." Upon further questioning, he elaborated, "They're bright orange everywhere." A. explained that's because they were actually ripened on the tree, rather than picked green for better shipping.
They taste like it, too. So good. So, so good. And yes, I shared some.
So thank you to my brother for sending me a small ray of Arizona sunshine to brighten these dreary New York days. Hooray for family in warm places. And backyard orange trees.
* No funerals, Universe. Do you hear me? NO FUNERALS ANYTIME SOON. Weddings are okay.