"Yeah, well, you know, that's just like, uh, your opinion, man."

And We're Back...

16:33 Monday, 25 September 2023
Current Wx: Temp: 84.51°F Pressure: 1016hPa Humidity: 69% Wind: 9.22mph
Words: 576

Home again, that is. I could complain about travel, but I'm not. It is what it is, and it's not fun, nor cheap. But it's nice to be home.

Mom's birthday was also very nice. My son and daughter-in-law had a scare on the drive up on rain-slick roads with their 3-year-old onboard. Spun out, but fortunately there were no other cars nearby, and they didn't strike anything on either side of the road. The older I get, the more I pray for my kids. Don't know if it works, but episodes like this tend to make me want to keep doing it.

All my siblings and nearly all of my nieces and nephews made it in. One nephew FaceTimed in from Utah. I got to see my sister's reaction when her oldest surprised her by showing up unannounced. He lives in Mountain View and had told her he wouldn't make it since they were planning to be in New York in three weeks anyway. It was sweet watching her run to him, and hear the catch in her voice when she called out his name.

Aunt Carol made it out with two of her three daughters, Debbie and Elaine, cousins I played and did farm chores with growing up. Mom's brother, Uncle Tony, and Aunt Carol ran Grampa's dairy farm. Debbie's older than I am, and she drove the tractor while her brother and I stacked hay from the baler. Elaine and I were classmates in high school. She still lives in Canastota, but she doesn't see many of our classmates very often, and I'd just seen a few so I caught her up. Debbie brought along her daughter, Susan, who's the genealogist in the family, so we exchanged contact info.

Mom's fraternal twin sister Mary Ann and her baby sister Emily are the only remaining siblings of 13 in the family. Emily is something of a recluse now, and Mary Ann lives in assisted living in Colorado, so it was great seeing Aunt Carol. She was always a "fun" aunt, ready with a wise-crack and something good to eat. She's 88 now and the years are beginning to catch up with her, but her voice still sounds the same.

Chris and Caitie enjoyed seeing all their cousins and a couple of them brought their fiancés along to get acquainted with the family. Jackson was well behaved and enjoyed a great deal of attention.

The get-together was held at my sister's place. We were worried about rain, but it held off. She had two fairly large tent canopies with walls, and it was enough to keep the chill out from the 60-something degree weather.

Mom seemed thrilled with it all. As much as I dislike and dread travel, I'm glad I did it. We used to do stuff like this far more often back when nearly all Mom's siblings were alive. Getting together up at Gramma's with thirty-some cousins, all the aunts and uncles, having pot luck picnic dinner. Everyone lived within a few hours' drive at most, most of them within a few miles! It's not like that today, and I suppose we're the poorer for it.

Anyway, I'm home. I have a lot of photos to go through and share. But it'll be quiet around here for a few days until Mitzi gets home from Greece, so I should get everything squared away soon.