Family - backwards and forward

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?

Laundry again. 

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. 


Chatty Crone said...

I love Russell Stover's! So where are you from in Indiana? My family was from Indianapolis. Been there many times. Happy birthday to your dad at 90! Glad you had such a great time. sandie

Unknown said...

Thanks for letting me visit with your family Mare, It's always nice to see the faces or bellies with the names :)

What a great group and what a blessing to be able to celebrate Dad's 90th. God Bless!

Cranberry Morning said...

It looks like you have a great family. Love the photos, and you're so blessed to have your dad with you at 90. I know what that's like, and it's wonderful!

Karen Lange said...

So glad you all had a wonderful time! The cabin looks great! Thanks for sharing your adventures and blessings.

Happy Thanksgiving! :)

Elizabeth said...

How terrific. It sounds like you had such a special time with your family. I enjoyed seeing all the pictures and hearing about the special times.

Marianne said...

It looks like you've got a lot of fun family members! And building one's OWN cabin...IMPRESSIVE!

Juli said...

You totally had me at...

Russell Stover's dark chocolate raspberry creme Santas.


Tamera Brose said...

Every time I think about Thanksgiving being next week, I get all twitchy. Where did the time go this past year? I'm so glad you made the effort to get everyone to the reunion. You will have wonderful memories forever.

Kenya G. Johnson said...

I LOVE the cabin's front porch and what a sweet four generations photo ;-) Glad your dad was able to make the trip and have such a wonderful time. He is beaming.

Dana said...

What wonderful photos! Family is so important. I'm glad your dad was able to make the trip.

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I thoroughly enjoyed the vicarious visit with your family. Our parents, aunts, and uncles are all gone, and now we're starting to lose our cousins. You're right. Even at ninety, life is too short. Cherish your time together. (As it looks like you do!)

Jo-Anne's Ramblings said...

Great photos and I know what you mean about not getting everyone to look at the same camera when taking a group photo..........

Yes life is short no matter how old we live to be it will seem to short......lol

Rita said...

What an absolutely wonderful time with family! My dad just turned 92 in November, too. Our family pictures are like that, too. Have to take a lot of them and then sift through to find the one with the most people looking good with eyes open--LOL!
Babies are the best!! New life for the family. :)

Joyce said...

I don't understand how Thanksgiving arrived-I am totally unprepared!! Looks like a wonderful time with family. How
Iucky you are to have your dad!

Marie said...

Looks like you had a lovely visit. :) I can't believe Thanksgiving is next week!
Happy 90th birthday to your dad!

Lynn Proctor said...

what a lovely cabin and time with family--and juliet is such a great name!!