One of the reasons that Steve and I decided to initiate Operation Relocation was to be closer to family. Since Jack was born, that's been more and more important to us. So far, this change has manifested itself in small ways. We tend to have a big Sunday dinner as a family, which has been nice. I loved having cause to buy a 10 pound ham for Easter. And Yoda knows it's been great having built-in babysitters so Steve and I can go on the occasional date.
Yesterday, though, was extra nice. It was my stepdad Doug's last official day at work before retiring, and his co-workers had a coffee to honor/roast him. Ordinarily, it'd be the kind of thing that I'd think, "Oh, that would have been nice to go to." But since we live here now, we were actually able to be there.
The staff at John Deere, where Doug worked, really went all out. Doug has, for reasons not worth explaining, dubbed himself Lord of the Crystal Swamp. The room where they had the part was decorated to look very swampy, down to the plastic frogs on the tables that Jack gleefully gathered up. Mom and Doug sat on matching thrones at the front of the room, and Steve, Jack, and I got to sit at a table with a sign on it proclaming, "Reserved for Family."
There were several very funny speeches from Doug's co-workers, and Steve and I both also spoke about Doug and his retirement. It was obvious that Doug was really well-regarded and respected. I was really happy to be able to see that for myself and to help Doug give the send-off that he deserves.