NoVa 4 NYE

Yesterday mama and I drove up from Chattanooga to Fairfax County – we had Second Christmas last night (hmm – I have to rearrange my countertop again. What IS it with my sister and small appliances? Not that I’m not grateful for a new coffee maker, but there was something nice and compact about burr grinder + french press. Oh well – easier clean up now and 10 cups!).

I have discovered the perfect lazy uncle’s way to buy Christmas gifts other than cash or boring gift cards. I buy a few little things for everyone (a Fear the Beard thermal mug for my nephew Mitchell, for instance) then offer to buy them up to $50 of whatever they want at whatever store they like (Target, sporting goods, or the mall). I try to make it separate trips, so it makes for a fun morning or afternoon with each of them.

Time for some museums (I hope to drag the nephs and nieces to the Philips), some big NYE celebration, and some assorted family time.

Travel day

After European Studies 101: Geneva to Chattanooga for midterm break and Elderly Parent Patrol! I’ll also get to go to a family reunion for a branch of the tree I haven’t seen this way since I left Atlanta. The Crawfords used to have a pool party at the 4th of July, but about the time I moved up here they started having the annual reunion in the fall – and seldom on the same weekend as my midterm break. So, Mama and I are off to North Alabama tomorrow.

Another First

The verb tenses going through my mind are odd.

This is my father’s birthday.

This would have been my father’s birthday.

This is the first year without my father on his birthday?

I’m not sure – but I called my mother. I generally call her every day anyway, but still. She was getting the car washed (which in a way is an appropriate thing to do on his birthday).

Daddy, July 2005.

Daddy, July 2005.

Certainly out-dated (that’s 2005), but such a characteristic pose – Daddy on the front porch with the newspaper.

Lots of fun!

I don’t think I had seen my brother-in-law without one or more of the children since child number one (and godson) was born. My sister came up here with him and spent a couple of nights, mainly to spend Saturday winerying with some of his old friends (he’s from Syracuse, and B.A. at U of Rochester). It was lots of fun to see them this way!

Travel day(s)

Yesterday was a planned travel day – Rochester to Chattanooga the long way. Today I hadn’t anticipated. Mother and I are headed down to North Alabama this afternoon for a family reunion tomorrow (I thought it was going to be a Sunday day trip). So no getting used to a bed yet, but I will get to have a meal or two with an aunt and uncle I haven’t seen much of for a long time.

Family business.

I’ve been too busy to think about this for a few days. My father died suddenly on Saturday (it’s hard to say unexpectedly, since he’d been expecting to die for the last 45 years, ever since his first heart attack at 35). He went very quickly (I’d say immediately but I haven’t talked to the doctor yet) and without any more hospital stays, which I know is how he hoped it would turn out.

So – the family is fogging in; 2 aunts have made it in and my sister’s crew just arrived. All the formal arrangements seem workable. I’m grateful for many friends who are making it all much easier.

Annoying laundry complaint

So I washed my new black sweater (thanks, Cate – I love it!) for the first time on Saturday. It had picked up some little spots of this and that across the semester. Our rendezvous Monday morning was at 9, and it was chilly enough for a sweater. I had cappuccino and a cornetto con ciocolato at a bar up on the Quirinale close to the rendezvous point. It wasn’t firm chocolate or creamy nutella – it was runny delicious chocolaty goodness which dribbled down my sweater front.

Alas – it’s in the wash again, and I’m sure it’s fading.

Sudden travel

I have to make a sudden trip South for a funeral. This is not a handy weekend for it, and I’ve spent a lot of time in the last 48 hours on the US Airways website. I must say its easy to navigate – the seat-choosing function is positively elegant!

Originally Rochester > Charlotte > Chattanooga.

Now, thank you Winter, Rochester > Boston > Charlotte > Chattanooga, and so much later-arriving in Chattanooga that the Tinklers won’t be at the visiting hours for Mr. Baker. We’ll still make the funeral Monday in Nashville, so long as US Airways holds up its side of the bargain!

Travel Day!

On my way to NoVa/DC for my sister’s retirement. Yes, my younger sister. 26 years in the Navy and she’s out! The ceremony is at the Pentagon tomorrow, then a party at her house. This will (to some extent) be a family gathering for something other than a wedding or a funeral!