We just spent a week in Ohio in such a flurry of activity that we felt like we'd been put into the midst of a whirlwind. So much for "vacation time" amounting to a vacation! We did have an enjoyable, if exhausting, time, though.
The reason for the visit was my grandmother's 95th birthday. Thrilled to no end that her four kids and most of her grandkids were in town, she basked in the glow of the limelight and, while she cringed every time someone mentioned the word "ninety-five", she clearly had a great time. She had recently attended a school reunion where she was the oldest graduate and received much fussing-over, and which garnered her a mention in the local newspaper.
On the other side of the family, my cousins, who I've not seen in years, happened to be in town at the same time, and this thrilled my soon-to-be 93-year old grandpa to no end. All six of his grandkids in town at the same time. We were able to reconnect and meet spouses and kids and catch up a bit. Grandpa sat beaming, taking it all in and just enjoying our presence.
It was gratifying to us that our mere presence could bring such joy to two people who are so important in our lives.
But the whirlwind didn't end there. We drove to Cleveland to spend a day with Bryan's brother and his family, a great time that started with lunch, and went on through dinner. (It's always "all about the food"!). Met up with my dearest high school friend. Took Grandpa to lunch. Visited Grams a couple more times. Made a quick run to Kelley's Island, placed in Lake Erie, which Bryan had never visited despite growing up in northern Ohio. Ate fresh lake perch. Got my Cameo pizza fix. Ate fresh Ohio sweet corn (rapturous!). And took my parents to a special restaurant in Cleveland's Little Italy section to tell them of our plans for an impending move to Italy.
My suitcase is more like a grocery bag these days. (Did I mention that it's "all about the food"?) I brought home bags of pasta, 2 pounds of cheeses, a bottle of Vin Santo, and Italian espresso, not to mention a dozen ears of sweet corn, all tucked not-so-neatly into my luggage. I was, thus, not surprised when I discovered a TSA inspection slip in my suitcase. Luckily, none of my goodies had been obsconded.
We returned home Friday night, and I had a Monday deadline on an article. Talk about a frantic weekend!
And we returned home tired. And a few pounds heavier.
In Cleveland's Murray Hill (Little Italy) with sister-in-law Brenda and niece, Leann.
Bryan's brother Wayne is visible in shadow taking the photo!
copyright 2005 Valerie Schneider