396. My Family and Other Oddities

My family has been visiting for a little more than a week, which has been weird—the very best kind of weird. My parents live in Uruguay. My brother and his family moved to the Dominican Republic more than a year ago. It’s rare for my family all to be in the same hemisphere at the same time. At the moment, we’re all in roughly the same place. The wonders never cease.

During my family’s visit, I’ve been busy traveling, growing a patchy jaw-beard, making my dad watch Marvel’s Daredevil, and catching up with other things. With this and that, I’ve had hardly any time to work on this blog, so today’s post is just a few photos from the past week and my illuminating commentaries thereupon.


Rest stop

My family and I spent a few days visiting various friends and relatives. With only one car—the trusty, rusty vehicle I’ve christened Eliezer—it was a challenge to coordinate our individual plans. Fortunately, we still had time to stroll through pretty, sunshiny places.

Tom's Donuts

For the third consecutive year, my my parents, younger brother, and I stopped at a doughnut shop by a lake. (Despite the lens flare, this photo was not taken by J.J. Abrams, I swear.) The shop’s founder, Tom, was there fixing something. My parents struck up a conversation with him, because chatting with random strangers is what they do.

Passed out

After the doughnut shop, I threw myself onto a park bench, clutching an empty coffee bottle and soaking in the sunshine like an iguana on a cold day. My mum sat demurely beside me. She is one of the most fabulous people in the universe.


I come from a family of coffee drinkers. At one point, my dad kept his coffee cool by chilling it in a river. It’s a shame the bottled stuff is so flipping expensive.

Water shadows

Sunshine, shadows, and cool water.


My older brother and his wife gave presentations on Sunday about their work in the DR. They manage a school for troubled teens, living on faith, donations, and coconuts. If you want to support their work, you can donate here—just look for Stuck Family: Lead Teacher and Family.


My parents brought back all sorts of goodies from Uruguay and Ecuador, including the best chocolate bar in the known universe. MANICHO IS LIFE.

The Paw

My dad usually hides behind the camera, but every now and then he and his ever-present leather jacket are caught on film. He is known to my family variously as Dad, the Paw, the Dude, the Dude-Paw, or Old Man. He receives these names as he receives everything else: with good humor.


My older brother gave me a machete as an early Christmas gift. It’s great for shaving.


My family visited a zoo yesterday. (I would make a joke about my family belonging in a zoo, but they’re actually wonderful people.) I spent a few moments communing with this statue, and wondering whether the zoo would accept my typewriter monkeys as a donation.

My family will soon scatter like the autumn leaves. My parents will return to Uruguay in a few days, and my older brother will go back to the DR with his family. My younger brother and I will remain in Indiana, where we will do… whatever it is we do around here. I guess we mostly drink tea and argue about Steven Universe. (Greg is the best character; that’s all I’m saying.)

I thank God for my family. It has been nice to spend some time with them.

1 thought on “396. My Family and Other Oddities

  1. That sounds like a fantastic experience! 😀

    It sure is nice to be able to appreciate family when they’re around. I know so many people who have such dysfunctional families that I feel very sad for them. (Thankfully my family is so loving we unofficially adopt many of them, ha ha.)

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