Five days, five blogs, a new record of sorts! Thank you all for the thoughtful comments. They are appreciated! 🙂

Imagine a place where you can peel off your teacher skin, your “have to be good because I’m a member of the community” skin, and just peel things back until it is just an unfiltered you.  That’s where we are right now.

This weekend, we are in Iowa City, Iowa, visiting my wife’s aunt and uncle. My parent’s house is very similar to this, but with a country feel. The problem with staying with them, the house is very small and you can’t spread out.  Here in Iowa City, it’s different that way. I’ve never had a place where you can just be, not worry about saying the wrong thing about anything.  Sharon and Charlie have been surrogate grand parents for our daughters since they were born. They’ve welcomed them as they would their own grandchildren, spoiled them that way, and loved them that way too.

It’s been that way ever since I met them many years ago.  I’m not sure if Melissa and I had been dating that long, but when I met Sharon and Charlie, big hugs from Sharon. Whoa! At the time, not a big hugger, so that threw me for a loop (her son, daughter, and son-in-law, all the same way). But I’ve always felt welcomed and loved walking into their home.  We know we’ll be welcomed with a hug, a glass of wine, good food, good conversation, and chocolate cake. What more could a family, struggling with work and life want, if only for a weekend?

And Iowa City, a liberal college town, is a wonderful place to spend time. True, it’s not the jazz festival, but we’ll feel at ease.  Today, we’ll go to Prairie Lights Book Store (an awesome independent bookstore), New Pioneer Foods, we’ll walk around the ped-mall,  and hit a few other places (Sharon insists we go to Costco 🙂 ), but beyond that, we’ll just be.

And where we are in life right now, that’s sounds like a pretty good plan for the day.