Feast or famine: The plight of the long-distance grandma

My grandsons and I had a week-long visit the end of June, at my place. When they left for home, there were no plans in place for visiting again. No plans to visit before Halloween, nor for Thanksgiving, nor for Christmas. Even my annual week of care giving each January when Megan and Preston head off to one of Preston's conferences was off the books.

That is one long stretch—the longest yet in my four years of grandparenting—of having no contact with Bubby, no contact with Mac. Which broke my heart.

Well, my heart is now repaired. And full. And looking forward to not just one trip to see Bubby and Mac in the next couple months, but three. That's right, three!

You see, after being pretty darn bummed about having no plans in place for visiting and the famine we faced, Jim and I decided to just go for it. We booked tickets to visit the desert the first part of October.

Then, lo and behold, just days later I was offered an awesome opportunity with a popular maker of electronic toys, games, and learning gadgets for kiddos. I'd be given great products to share with my grandsons and their friends. I, of course, jumped at the chance. Thing is, my grandsons and their friends live more than 800 miles away. And the introduction of the products had to be done by the end of August.

So guess what? I booked another trip to see my grandsons. For the end of August. (And I'll share details of the affair soon after.)

And trip No. 3?

Well, as many of you know, Megan has gone back to work, back to teaching. Full time. Which can be a challenge at times. Turns out that works to my benefit. Her most pressing challenge is that near the end of October, Megan has school conferences. Which means Bubby, who attends the school at which Megan teaches, has no school that week. Which also means he'd have to join Mac at the daycare center each and every day of that conference week. Which, as you may have guessed, would cost a heck of a lot of money. More money, in fact, than flying Gramma—that'd be me, a freelancer who can take my work with me wherever I go!—down to the desert to care for the boys during conference week.

Megan asked if I'd be up to it. I answered yes. Preston booked tickets—for my third visit to see my grandsons in a two-month period.

A far different scenerio than what I'd imagined as Bubby and Mac and their parents flew away from the mountains and back to the desert at the end of June.

A feast or famine affair, for sure, when it comes to seeing my beloved boys.

Thing is, any time I'm with my grandsons, it's not only a feast of hugs, kisses, silliness, and fun, it's a feast of photos. I stock up on as many photos as I can, to get me through until the next visit. Photos to look at myself, photos to share with friends and family, photos to share here.

Now, as I anticipate another visit—another week-long photo shoot, as Megan says—in mere weeks, I realize I have literally thousands of photos left from our time together in June that I've not yet shared. So today I'm sharing some of my favorites. Okay, I'm sharing lots of my favorites, served up collage-style.

Enjoy this feast of photos! Leave room for seconds, though, as I'll surely be dishing out more soon, to ensure all leftovers are gone before the next round is ready.

Today's question:

What's the longest you've gone without seeing one of your grandchildren or children?