Thursday, August 13, 2009

Going Home

My week in Champaign is coming to a close. In just a few short hours I'll be on a plane heading west, and these days with my Illinois family will be just a memory.

We've had a great time: we've played, laughed, talked, reminisced, and have made lots of new memories. I never know just how long it will be till we're all together again, so leaving is always hard, even as I look forward to being back home with my dear ones in Oregon.

Jason and Lisa have made me feel at home - as they always do - and although I know they'll be glad to reclaim their sofa and their privacy, I know that they will miss our time together. I am so blessed.

My grandsons are all strong, intelligent, healthy - and gorgeous, I might add! - and I will miss their silliness and their hugs and kisses. The two older boys are back in school next week, so their days will soon be too full for missing me, but I know that all three boys have good memories of our time together.

Andrew (11-1/2), David (7-1/2), and Matthew (4) are boys that any grandparent would be proud to claim. I'm so thankful that I can call them mine.

And so, I am homeward bound. Leaving ones I love to return to ones I love. I'll see you on the West Coast!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

A birthday party and AGYG, redux

From Champaign, IL

I'm having a great time! Jason has been at performances each night, of course, but we've still managed to have lots of day time together since he took the week off from work.

Today we celebrated Matthew's 4th birthday with a party at home. His Godfather and Lisa's parents were here, making it a semi-quiet celebration. Matthew's actual birthday was last Tuesday, and he was quite upset when his daddy's special day arrived Thursday, complaining, "But what about MY birthday?!" We assured him that he was still four years old and that his party was coming up. He got lots of toy vehicles, with an emphasis on "Cars" (the movie) figures - still his all-time favorite.

After everyone left, I went with Jason to the theater, and Lisa and the boys followed after a stop at McDonald's for a quick bite of dinner.

The play was fun again, and I was lucky to enjoy it with Lisa and all three boys this time. Andrew, the oldest, sat mostly entranced throughout; David was good and seemed to enjoy it most of the time, although I think parts of it were boring for him. He was a trooper. Matthew was tired and not real interested, although popcorn at intermission helped Act 2 pass more quickly for him.

Jason and Lisa have gone out for a post-performance party, the boys are in bed, and I - well, I'm uploading pictures and writing!
I'm really enjoying being here, although the humidity is killer. I was never a fan of damp air, and fifteen years away from Miami haven't changed that. But I'll live through it and won't even remember how hot and humid it was once I'm back home.

In the meantime, this is a great vacation with my Midwest family!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

A marvelous day!

I'm in Champaign, Illinois, visiting my middle son, his wife, and my three oldest grandsons. I arrived Thursday morning, the 6th, and am enjoying being in the midst of my Midwest family.

I'm going to quickly note the horrendous flight here and get on to the good parts.

The very best part of my overnight flight from Portland was landing at the Atlanta airport. If you've ever had the misfortune to be routed through Atlanta, you'll know right away that the flight itself was truly awful. We were late leaving Portland because our plane was late arriving. That was the good news. We experienced turbulence for about 2,500 miles of the 2,700-mile flight. I don't mind turbulence, and ordinarly would have been able to sleep. Except for the 9-month-old baby who was flying with her grandma. She was cute as a button - when she wasn't crying. But she only stopped crying during the approximately 200 non-turbulent miles! We all felt so sorry for her and her grandma, but she would not be comforted. And every time she quieted for a few minutes, the turbulence would start up, and so would she. All of this was exacerbated by the noxious perfume the person in front of me was wearing, and which gave me a headache. Not to mention the fact that I had to fly all the way to Atlanta and then fly BACK to get to Peoria.

Not a lot of fun, but it's over and I'm here!

Today (the 6th) is Jason's birthday. I haven't spent his birthday with him for about 18 years, so that in itself is a special treat. To make it even more special, tonight was opening night for the community theatre production of "Annie Get Your Gun," in which Jason plays the part of Foster Wilson. Those who know me, or who have read this blog for a while, know that Annie Oakley is my all-time favorite historical woman.

Jason has gotten tickets for all of us for Saturday night's performance, but I decided that I wanted to attend tonight, as well. After all, it's his birthday, it's a musical I love, and my son has a role!

It was fantastic! I wish I could go to every performance, but will be content with tonight and Saturday night. I had my picture taken with the actors who played Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, and Frank Butler. What fun it was, and how like a child I feel when soaking up the wonderful songs written by Irving Berlin. The acting is good, the pride I have in my son is even better, and the anticipation of a whole week with these loved ones is the best of all!

You'll be hearing more from Champaign, but for tonight I am enjoying the glow of the memories already made.

And the Flight From Hell is fast becoming a distant memory.