The last time we saw Molly in person was the summer of 2012, when Zach, the boys, and I flew to the States for a family visit. Nati was 5, Elchanan was 3. Neither were toilet trained... oh, that was fun. So the last time Molly saw my boys, they were barely out of toddlerhood. And it had been even longer since Molly saw my daughters, and she'd never met my son-in-law or my grandsons.
Needless to say, I wanted to arrange a family get together, despite Molly's tight schedule.
My original idea was everyone come to Jerusalem, where Molly was based, and we'd go to a restaurant. But then I started picturing the get together.
First of all, it would mean that my daughter and her family would have to travel by bus, minimum of 90 minutes, just to get to Jerusalem, and then depending on where the restaurant was, would have to get there as well.
Five minutes after arriving, Nati would start complaining that he wants to go home.
Ten minutes after that, Elchanan would start complaining that he's bored. And when he gets bored, he starts picking on... well, everyone.
We'd have to make sure that my grandsons (ages 6 and 3) would sit at the table for the meal, and the schmoozing.
Yeah, none of that seemed appealing.
But then I realized that this get together wasn't going to be about the food, it was about the family. The people, gathering together for the company and the conversation, reconnecting.
So then I suggested having a BBQ at my daughter's house. We'd pick up Molly in Jerusalem and then drive further north to where my daughter lives. By car, it's about 45 minutes. I made cole slaw, potato salad, a batch of chocolate chip cookies, brought burger and hot dog buns, and bag of chicken wings marinading in a home made sauce. I told my daughter to buy the burgers and hot dogs, and I'd reimburse her. The reason behind that was so those items would be cooked and ready (especially for the kids) when we got there. See, sometimes I have a good idea.
And it was amazing. The kids all got to eat and run, play as they wished, where they wished. The grown ups got to have pleasant conversation. And as a bonus, Molly got to see a part of the country that she'd otherwise not have had an opportunity to visit. And we took a 5 minute pause to do some amazing star gazing in mostly dark skies.