Monday, May 28, 2012

When Family Comes to Town

Lori, Dave, Robin, Paul

On Friday, my sister Lori drove up from Morgantown, West Virginia, to spend the weekend with us. On Saturday, my brothers Dave & Paul joined us - Dave from Chicago, and Paul from Plymouth, Michigan.

We wanted a picture of us four siblings - we hadn't all been together since Dad's funeral in 2008 - and Jim obliged us. It was not easy. He took nearly two dozen photos, in an effort to create one where we were all paying attention, without eyes shut or mouths open.

I like the photo above - even though my initial reaction was to cry "I look so short!" Everyone in the room burst out laughing, wondering that I had not previously realized that I am, in fact, Short. I like that we are laughing, which is what relatives ought to do.

We didn't do anything earth shattering. After Lori got here on Friday, I dragged her to the store, so we could buy enough food for a small army, thereby ensuring we wouldn't run out of food on Saturday. (We didn't; I'm taking the leftovers to a Memorial Day get-together later on.) We picked up local produce at the market on Saturday, and spent time cleaning and chopping and washing and spinning.

Once everyone was here, we sat around eating and talking, and trying to take photos and to catch up on our lives. Jon and Laura had their little guys - the toddler and the baby - and I was delighted to spend some time with each of them. The toddler headed straight for our Noah's Ark toy, showing us the animals (and labeling most of them 'dog').

Jon and Laura's delightful toddler

I look ridiculous, but the baby is adorable!
The toddler thought Bonnie was wonderful, and both of them - toddler and dog - behaved appropriately (gentle petting and tolerant patience). But Bonnie really was more interested in the goings-on in the kitchen, and did her best to employ Jedi mind tricks.

You WILL drop some ham...
We gave Joyce the dog mug, which she accepted with good humor (better the mug than the dog).

We had flower pot dessert. We claim we make this because it is Jon's favorite. I don't know if this is still true (it definitely was true when he was growing up), but it is a good excuse to make a decadent treat. (Something else I persuaded Lori to help with...) We also had caramels from the farmers' market - another decadent treat...!

Jon with his baby, and Paul's youngest boy
The picture of Laura, alas, didn't turn out
Paul's kids were very patient with us. I think sitting around talking must be very boring at that age, but they stuck it out, and even consented to be photographed with their dad. (Rachelle and the older girls were visiting NYC.)

Before the Chicago crew left, we took flowers to Mom & Dad's grave site. These are Sweet Williams, that we picked up at the farmers market. (The vendor told us they were perfect for cemetery flowers, because they have a long vase life.)

Lori & Jim & I chilled for the rest of the weekend. We played with electronics (I tried out Lori's headphones, they are much nicer than my ear buds) and walked Bonnie (aiming for the cooler parts of the day). On those walks, I was impressed that Lori knew the names of so many flowers and plants; she says she has always been obsessed with naming things - maybe I should make an effort to learn at least a few names...!

We played Scrabble (I "let" Lori win - ha!). We watched the Masterpiece Classic movie, Birdsong (which pointed my thoughts toward Memorial Day). There was knitting (of course) and more eating (of course).

And now Lori is en route home (or there already), and we are headed back to our daily routine - not nearly as much fun as visiting with family.

On a totally unrelated note... I was reading our Sunday paper, and the travel section included this link to webcams at Yosemite National Park - kind of cool!


  1. I love the flowers you chose to put on Grandma and Grandpa's grave. I also love that your brothers and sister were able to be together. What fun!

  2. I love the pictures, too. And the flowers. And the cute nephews.

  3. Thanks for sharing the photos (and your home!). :-)

    A good time was had by all...

  4. Looks like you all had a good time! And those are great pictures! I like to see the four of you together. :)

  5. Flowerpot dessert is still a favorite, thank you for making it.