The Big Plan is feeling a little more genuine these days for a few reasons. We bought our plane tickets last week. July 5th is our date of departure – I figured I’d like to go out with a bang! We’ll celebrate Independence Day and then skip the country. We got a pretty good deal on the tickets for the summertime, but I still can’t help it: every time we buy tickets for all four, no…five, no, now six! of us to travel to Switzerland, visions appear unsummoned of all the things that that much money could have purchased: a new family room couch, for instance; a semester of college tuition; new clothes for everyone; a nice chunk of mortgage; new dishes; a LOT of cookies. Ah, well! Then I remember that for us, visiting family and maintaining those long-distance relationships as best we can has always been a big priority, and a corresponding big chunk of our budget. Which leads me to thinking that this is why we’re doing this in the first place. Some day my kids probably won’t remember (too much) that we watched movies in the family room sitting mostly on the carpeted floor, jostling for the coveted soft spots in the rocking chair and on the ottoman, but they will remember that they knew both sets of grandparents. And they will remember (hopefully Hermes will too) this upcoming year that we will spend with them, not vacationing and stressfully having to make every minute, every second “quality time”, but just living, everyday, through the seasons of the year. And that, I need to remember, will be priceless.