Friday, October 1, 2010

Family Time and Cooper's Rock State Forest

We returned last evening from a wonderful trip back east to see some of my family. Nearly each waking moment was shared with those we love and lots of them. My brother said he was not going to leave our side the entire time we were there, and except for going back to his home to sleep, he kept his promise. (smile)

The day after our arrival, my sister Theresa and brother-in-law asked that we come for lunch at their home in Pennsylvania, and to our surprise and joy, she had invited my nephew, his wife and two sons, one of whom is married and expecting my nephew's first grandchild; I had not seen my nephew and his family in over 20 years! Steve, you are as handsome and as funny as ever. Ro (my niece), we missed you, but know you could not get off work.

Late afternoon we arrived back at our hotel and in time to visit with one of our sons, his wife and our grandson and take them to dinner. The following morning my husband, brother and I drove to Tunnelton, West Virginia, the childhood home of my father, to pay our respects and visit his grave site.

We stopped for lunch in Kingwood, WV (Preston County), home of the Buckwheat Festival. What would I have for lunch? Yes, they have the real (sour) buckwheat cakes and sausage. We would miss the 69th annual opening by a few days, but not the cakes. And they were just as good, if not better, than I had remembered.

Our next stop was Cooper's Rock State Forest, an extraordinary park, and one that my mother loved to visit when she was alive. We listened to the silence, relished in the beauty, paid our respects, and my brother and I stood next to the oak that knew a little of her.

leaving the park

Thank you cousin Ellie for bringing us together at your home so we could enjoy you, your sister Cil and daughter Jess, and your mom, my 88-year old aunt... soon to be 89. Since her knee surgery she says she feels great and cannot understand why some of the women in the apartment complex in which she lives won't walk with her. It's all in your head... one foot in front of the other, she says. Then she asked my brother, "wanna dance"?

We traded several phone calls with our oldest son who was going to drive up from Nashville (and almost immediately return) in order to see us. We finally agreed that driving that distance was not in his best interest. Hopefully, we will get to see him in the not-too-distant future.

The day before we drove to the airport to catch our flight back home, we invited ourselves to go to the allergist's while our grandson had his testing. What a brave and "advanced" young fella... see him checking his own blood pressure while giving his grandma a wink.

Son Aaron and daughter (in-law) Jocelyn (she calls me Ma), thank you for the fun we shared in your lovely home. We laughed and sang and danced and dined... and they sent this photo (left) yesterday while we were en-route to say their "kids" missed us.

What a trip! We had a wonderful time with family, good hard working people with big hearts and whom I find difficult to leave. Indeed we are blessed.