We had an incredibly busy weekend. There were many wonderful things about it but I was, unbelievably, ready for it to be over. For things to slow down. For our routine to be back.
Thank God it's Monday!
Saturday was Z's first Cub Scout outing. They all built model rockets and met at the den leader's house for a BBQ and a rocket launching party. Unfortunately I was not able to attend. Instead, Kirby took both boys (which he seriously deserves a merit badge for). I hear they had a great time (until Z shot his rocket a second time and lost it in the woods) and the pictures came out great.
I, on the other hand, spent Saturday in the car. Well, not entirely in the car, but about 10 hours of my day were spent in the car. Monica, Loren and I went down to CT for Andrea's father's funeral.
It was heartbreaking and sad and awful and every other thing you can imagine when a man dies too young. He was only 58 but from what I understand (and I did not know him) he lived a very full life. He loved his family more than anything, loved his job and loved my brother (but, of course, who wouldn't).
We felt it was important that we go down and support Alex and Andrea through this time. So I left at 6:30 am to meet them at Monica's house (nearly an hour from mine) and we traveled another 3 to meet up with Kolbe and Dana at Kolbe's house in CT (I don't know what it is with my younger siblings falling in love CT folk) where Kolbe then chauffeured us to the funeral, burial and "reception". I arrived back at my home around 9:30 pm...exhausted.
I am glad we went. It was hard and long and tiring but I am glad that we were there. And all considered, it could have been an awful trip but it wasn't. Monica only nearly killed us once (but really it was only me, she and Loren would have survived the crash).
Sunday was a very busy family day.
We started the afternoon by going hiking. The last time we hiked as a family A was still in a stroller. Not so much anymore.
Blue Job is a quick mountain (I was told 15 minutes, but it probably took us closer to 30 - little legs and little attention spans). The view is incredible and well worth the effort.
After the hike we went to visit with my grandfather for a bit. He and his girlfriend will be heading down to Florida on Saturday for 6 months. I wanted to say goodbye.
Every year it gets a little harder to say goodbye.
My grandfather will be 81 at the end of this month. He was diagnosed with Parkinson's disease maybe 10 years ago and each year it gets a little worse. I know that one year he will leave and he won't come back. That kills me.
For as long as I can remember we have had Saturday night beans with my mother's family. Every Saturday (except when they were in Florida) we would meet at my grandparent's house for baked beans and hot dogs. My grandmother use to spoil me rotten because I hate baked beans. She would make me a tuna fish sandwich every week instead.
The tradition has continued even since my grandmother passed away over 8 years ago. Instead of meeting at Gramp's every week we rotate. I live too far to be in the rotation (thank GOD) but my sister Monica and Mom don't. So each week the family gathers at someone's home.
Because of the medication that my grandfather is on he has a low tolerance for loud noises. He has never been an incredibly patient man but he has gotten much worse over the years. He would never yell at anyone but we can certainly see when his stress level hits. Therefore, my family doesn't spend a lot of time with him while he is home. A doesn't understand what it means to be quiet or slow down...then I get stressed out and then nobody is having a good time. I try to see them every other weekend or so when beans are at Monica's or Mom's - where Gramp can leave if it gets to be too much.
Though Gramp has gotten older he has certainly not lost any of his wit. He promised me that we would not get a good picture. He told me flat out that he would stick his tongue out. I told him he would fit in with the rest of the family. And his daughter did the same damn thing.
My grandfather is a huge part of the reason I will vote democrat in the upcoming election. Without stem cell research I do not believe a cure will be found for Parkinson's. While it will not save MY grandfather's life it will save someone else's. I can't begin to explain how awful it has been to watch the man I have always looked at as so strong wither away. His brain is there, his body is not. He gets embarrassed, he is easily frustrated and it breaks my heart.
After visiting with Gramp and Lorraine and Aunt Deb for a bit we went to my father's house for the last Movie in the Barn of the season. We watched The Wizard of Oz - a family favorite. It ended way too late, it was long, it was FREEZING in the barn - but we all had a great time.
We got the kids home around 9:30, threw them in bed and I fell asleep on the couch...
I love Mondays! Now I am off to clean my carpets (YES, again, this potty training thing isn't working out like I had hoped)...