I am back from MN!~
It was hotter than hell's kitchen....but thanks to my aunt who has a pool at her house (and lives on the water front with a dock and a boat) we were able to cool off in between errands and jaunts and other fun stuff.
On the way home from the airport, we stopped at the assisted living place to visit my grandfather who is turning 90. We had 4 generations in that room! That was really pretty neat, and he remembered things from when I was younger. It was fun to have Jeff hear about when his mama was little.
We were also very near Minnetonka, where I lived as a child, so we had to give Jeff the scenic tour of the house I lived in, some of the memories there, my mom pointing out which trees she planted and look how big they are now, etc....we drove past my elementary school, and I had to point out the graveyard that was next door. I remember looking out the window and seeing those headstones (I was about 6 or 7) and they did use to freak me a bit. The name of my school was GROVELAND, but I always thought it was GRAVELAND because of the headstones...I guess from a 6 yr old point of view, it made sense :c)
We had a lot of fun hitting some yardsales (they go thurs, fri, sat there) and finding stuff for Jason and Shanon's apt. I found them a brand new microwave for $20.00! Assorted kitchen/bathroom items and some other stuff to make their house a home on a very shoe-string budget.
My aunt (who is only 5 years older than me..my mom's youngest sister) just recently moved into this new house, and we pitched in with some gardening for her since she has lupus AND fibromyalgia. Many hands make light work? It was still hard work! But we were able to dip in the pool and worked where the shade was. My mom is a master gardener, she has green thumbs and green knees! I guess I didn't inherit that ability from her, she amazes me with what she can do. But she says the same thing about my quilting...she doesn't know where I got that from, and can't imagine ever doing it either.
The family reunion was on Saturday. It was held at the home of my 2nd cousin Cindy. Cindy's dad is my mom's 1st cousin, so I think that is how it works. Anyway..her home is large, lovely, built to look like an old farm house! They are out on several acres of land and have a beautiful inground pool. We needed it because it was so hot! The boys also had fun riding 4-wheelers around the farm...and yes, the corn was as high as an elephant's eye, as the song goes.
I met Shanon's parents, and we had a lovely time. I stayed at their house one night, the night before we moved Shanon and Jason in. We played the most fun dice game! I don't know what it is called, it is a made up game according to them, and they wrote me down the rules, but I don't know if I can remember exactly how it goes. It was sure fun and had us laughing for quite a while. Jeff was the first one at 10,000 points exactly and we were glad he won because it went on for hours :c)
I walked every morning except the morning we were coming home. I did about 5 miles each day.....near my aunt Joy's house is this green belt arboretum area with paved hiking/biking/rollerblading trails. It was great! I got out as early as I could, but it was still hot and sweaty.
The morning I was at Shanon's parents I went walking the farm roads. Imagine fields of corn and beans as far as your eye can see...dirt roads, no cars, no sounds other than birds and the farm houses spread so far apart....wide open! It had been a long time since I'd been in a farming community like that and I really enjoyed the peace. I was the first one up (the clock said 7:15..I thought it was 7:15....but turns out the clock had no battery in it, and it was permanantly 7:15....when it was only about 5:45am!!!) and enjoyed the world awakening....even sat on a garden swing and read a book while the morning was still cool while waiting for everyone else to wake up.
Monday was the "going home" day....only we never got there. :c( It started out fine. We dropped Shanon's little sister back to the farm, and headed in to Minneapolis. We had some lunch, and then proceeded to Maul of America (oh man...I so do NOT do malls!) to kill some time before our flight had to leave. That place is too huge, but Jeff as a teenager, really wanted to see it. So we did. Fast forward a few hours and we were at the airport to catch our flight. We waited. We waited. We waited....we panicked. Our flight from Mpls to Washington DC was late, and we were only supposed to have an hour layover which was going to be tight anyway.
Needless to say, we were late getting to DC, our flight had left us. We stood in line for hours and finally were given food and hotel vouchers. The time was 11pm. We were told to go to the curb to wait for the Hyatt shuttle.....and we waited 1/2 hour. Nothing came. One of the gals in our group (yes, we bonded, you know how misery loves company!) called the hyatt and we were informed that the shuttle stops operation at 10pm. (*&@#&(*! WHHHAA! So back into the airport we went....we had to traipse all over to find someone who could issue us a taxi voucher as well so we could get to the hotel.
12pm.....finally checking into the hyatt, which was GORGEOUS....but we didn't get to enjoy it much because we had a 6am wake up call, to catch the 6:45am shuttle back to Dulles to catch our 8:20am flight.
8:20 comes....and we are still waiting at Gate A-2. Over the loudspeaker comes this message: Our flight has had a gate change and we now need to run helter skelter to D-14!! This involves taking a shuttle from terminal to terminal....
We get there and there are NO counter people, no flight crew, no ticket agent, no NOTHING. Finally they show up and we are told the plane is having maintenance issues. I swear..we are all so tired with all this by this time..but what can you do? about 2 1/2 hours later we finally get to board the plane after the plane gets new tires and new brakes and who knows what else. We get into Columbia at 12:00noon. After getting baggage it is about 12:45pm.
I have a 3pm client!! So I rush home with Jeff, drop him off, grab a shower, and run out the door to work, getting there about 10 minutes ahead of my client. I am so beat, and not even a chance to catch a breath before I'm thrown right back into life.
I really did have a great time. It was wonderful seeing Jeff and Jason getting along so well as brothers. I can really see some growth there. I'm happy I went, but I'm even happier to be home!