October is gone, and Thanksgiving is next week. I swear, I wake up and two weeks have passed. My life feels busy, but when I get right down to it...what have I been doing?
I have to think about it.
Regular homemaker stuff. Packing lunches and laundry. Loading the dishwasher and then, unloading it. Running to Walmart for band-aids and pillow cases and to Kohls for anything 30% off. Eye doctor and foot doctor appointments. Numerous trips to CVS for my folks' prescriptions.
Watching the news about David Petraeus and his shenanigans. Oh my. Where will it all lead?
A weekend trip to Indiana for my dad's family reunion. That was cool. My dad will be 90 in May. Here he is with his two remaining siblings (out of eight.)
We partied in my cousin's "garage" of sorts that had a toasty wood-burning stove, and we ate non-stop for 48 hours. Yummy things like grilled fillet Mignon and green bean/potato soup. Various salads and homemade cookies.
My cousin Jennifer welcomed a full house with warmth and and ice cream cake and a watchful eye for everyone's needs. She and her husband live in a charming log cabin they built themselves filled with mementos and heirlooms and awesome quilts made by my Aunt Betty, above.
It was a cozy setting for catching up with family and taking walks in the brisk autumn air. We don't get "brisk" air here in Florida, so I totally enjoyed the fall weather.
We took fifteen shots of this picture, trying to get one that was not blurry, where people were open-eyed and looking at the same camera.
Maybe next time. Everybody's not even in this picture. We couldn't get the dog to hold the camera, so everybody is not in anything.
Dad was so happy to be surrounded by his family. It exhausted him to make the trip, but he laughed all weekend. It was a challenge traveling with a partially disabled senior citizen who has the heart of a rambunctious five-year old, but the laughs were worth the effort. Life is short, even if you get 90 years.
This is three generations of Hoosier blood - bookends Dad and Betty, cousin Jennifer, and our daughter relaxing on the cabin front porch, Andy Griffith style. Priceless.
We came home with great memories, an Easter bunny M&M dispenser, some Halloween pumpkin figurines, and a gorgeous quilt that Betty made for Dad. Hoosiers know how to party.
Once home, we had a visit from my brother, the ex-clown, and his family. He is expecting his second grandchild, so we snapped another priceless picture - four generations.
The ex-clown is on the left. He's always wearing U of Maryland attire, even though their mascot is a lowly turtle. His daughter, a PhD in English, is carrying baby Juliet, due just before Christmas. We can't see Juliet directly, but we know she's in there.
Thanksgiving is nine days away. I'm grateful for so many things this year. Seasoned parents that are still with us, and fresh babies that are on their way (a nephew's wife is pregnant as well.) Teachers. A car that runs. Our local pie shop. Russell Stover's dark chocolate raspberry creme Santas.
Oh, and running water and sunny days, so I can keep up with the laundry.