Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

British Family Vacation


Back during the summer I went on a rant about how I was having one problem after another and had a moment of…less than Ruth-likeness. I was burned out.

I took a much needed break. While TheBrit’s family was here I didn’t think about work, I didn’t think about bills, and I didn’t think about home and equipment repairs. In fact, the push mower and the power washer are still sitting in the shed – unrepaired(is that a word?).  They aren’t going anywhere and it’s turned fallwinter…ish here.

Not a one of them even noticed the window with the peeling paint.  Or if they did, they didn’t mention it.


We just had a fabulous time.  TheBrit and I were both concerned about having that many people in our house for that amount of time.  We worried for nothing.

The pool wasn’t quite ready when they got here.  They found something else to entertain themselves for a few days.  When it was ready it was lovely and our niece wore us all out swimming.


I think they had a really nice time.  Casa de Ruth e Brit was a huge success.  It got rave reviews from his sister:

Best family holiday EVER!!


When we first suggested that TheBrit’s family come here we thought it would only be his mother, his sister, and his niece. His step-dad(who he really looks at as his dad) and his brother-in-law were going to stay behind. Originally it was thought that TopBrit’s health would prevent him from taking such a long journey and B-I-L-Brit has an aversion to flying.

Just before we booked the flights(months in advance), however, TopBrit and B-I-L-Brit  decided they would make the trip as well.  TopBrit worked really hard on getting his diabetic legs in tip-top shape and B-I-L-Brit bit the bullet, so to speak, and faced his fear.

Truly it seemed foolish for them not to as this was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime.  They didn’t think they’d ever make the trip again.  They’ve decided otherwise now.  BritSis’ bunch is planning another trip in 2017.

Before they left his step-dad said that he’d had the time of his life.  He’d always dreamed of visiting the U.S. but didn’t, at his age and health, think it possible.

He’s not a terribly emotional man.  He doesn’t do mush.  But when we left them at the airport he had tears rolling down his cheeks.  I was fine until I saw that.  Then I teared up and had a little cry, myself.  It was hard to let them go.

I am so very glad that his health allowed him to make the trip and that he had such a lovely time.  Shortly after they arrived home TheBrit’s mum and TopBrit told us they were planning to come again next summer(2015).

Unfortunately TopBrit won’t be making that trip.  On Christmas Eve he had a massive heart attack and passed away.  His wry smile and his quick whit will be missed.


Rest in peace, TopBrit.  Rest in peace.

*This has been sitting in my draft folder for several months.  This seemed like a good time to finish it. TheBrit and I will be travelling to England within the next few weeks.

18 thoughts on “British Family Vacation

  1. Oh, Ruth. How very sad. BUT, he had the trip of his lifetime to think about all those months. . . what a wonderful opportunity for him that he might not have had if you weren’t in their lives.

    It will be a bittersweet visit for you and the Brit.

    xx Carmen

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Carmen. It is bittersweet. We’re looking forward to the trip, but it certainly won’t be the same without TopBrit. TheBrit and I have been reflecting on the fact that we are so very grateful that we could help facilitate and be a part of such a special trip for him. So, yes we’re definitely honored and thankful that he had some pleasant memories to cherish for his last time on earth.

      Hugs to you, too.


  2. Sorry to hear of the passing of TopBrit, but the upside is you and The Brit made his last year on earth very memorable for everyone. A job well done. You both will have many wonderful memories.

    Liked by 1 person

    • TheBrit and I have been sharing our memories of TopBrit’s time here. He was able to kind of let go and do things he wouldn’t do back home. For instance, he liked going to Wal-Mart and Target and tooling around in their electric carts. He wouldn’t do that back home because someone might see and think he was getting *gasp* old. But he really enjoyed that because it was something he could participate in. He also enjoyed the swede(rutabagas to us) at the buffet! As if he couldn’t get that back home. But most of all, I think, he was just really happy for us all to be together.


  3. hugs Ruth,

    limeyland is very wet at the moment, you might be needing those wellies!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry to hear that. Good, though, that he had the best family holiday ever, before.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree. He had several health conditions; diabetes, congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, etc. So we really weren’t sure if his doctor would even agree to his flying all that way much less if he could withstand the journey. We’re so glad he did, though. He had a blast!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Just met an old man today who’s going to Australia to see his daughter. He actually said, “I can see death, it’s not far off, it’s time to visit her.”


        • When we drove away from them at the airport TheBrit said, “Why is he crying? He doesn’t cry!”

          My response was that I thought he probably knew this was the last time he’d see TheBrit in person and that knowing that he could go at any moment this “trip of a lifetime” was probably a very emotional thing for him. Even if he wasn’t prone to displays of emotion he was most likely overcome with it.

          Liked by 2 people

  5. Some of our best times, most permanent memorable times are not as long or as many as we’d like… but that makes them all the more cherished and loved.

    My sincere sympathies for you and your family Ruth. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh my goodness Ruth. The picture of him on the diving board. Seriously. A great keepsake. His joy, his tears . . . I’m so glad he was able to travel. May you have a wonderful trip though I know it is sprinkled now with sadness. (((hugs)))

    Liked by 1 person

    • Isn’t that such a great picture? We got a few really good ones while they were here. The trip will be bittersweet. I’m looking forward to the trip but it won’t be the same without him there. Thanks for the hugs. Right back at you.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Heavy. Sorry, Ruth. That sucks. But he looks happy on the diving board and like the others have said, you have memories to cherish.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Thank you for sharing this as I was wondering how it all went, because after you came back to blogging you didn’t mention anything about how the visit went and I was like…Ruuuuuuuuuuuuuuuth…telllll ussss!!!! But I know you are busy and also tell things in your own time. I am sorry about the passing of the TopBrit. But I would agree with the sentiment of the others here, that you quite simply added joy to his life, and that’s all we can really do for others since we never know when their time will come. I’d raise a wine glass to you, but I have no wine or no glass currently, but the sentiment is the same. 🙂


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