Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Family visit - East Coast

I began writing this while in Seattle after leaving there last September on my way west to Thailand. My arrival in SeaTac completed an 8 month long round the world circuit. It was the long way 'round and I doubt I'll ever do it again. Yet, even as I wrote that I thought of the fine time I had just had in Amsterdam. If I want to hang out there for a week, or a month, I'll need to do this very same trip again.

I spent some precious time with my mom, my brother Dale, sister Sandy and nephew Jason in Buffalo. It's always good to visit family -- we usually gather around the family photo collection and reminisce about the old days. My mom is the practically last one left  standing of many aunts, uncles and neighbors -- she's outlived my dad by 36 years and except for my Aunt Marion, dad's only sibling, they're all gone now. Our family was traditional in that we and our relatives always partied together; at picnics, graduations, weddings, holidays, and for vacations. There was always a barrel of beer on hand and tons of German style food -- beef on 'weck and German potato salad were perennial favorites. The photos bring back to us those times and beloved family members.
But only for a moment.

Mom will be 96 in November
The Buffalo contingent - April 22, 2012

With my brother Dale and sister Sandy
I also got together with some good college friends. Carm's wife Kim shot this photo of the four of us who graduated from the Industrial Chemistry program at Erie County Technical Institute (now Erie Community College) in 1963, almost 50 years ago. It's hard to believe all those years have passed. We're all retired now, our kids are grown and have kids of their own. Sheesh!

With Ron & Cheryl and Carmen at the Protocol Restaurant
I left Buffalo for a visit with my daughter Carin and her fast growing family. They live in North Carolina near Greensboro, in the town of Kernersville. My visit was brief because my youngest son, Tuli, had knee surgery scheduled for the 30th. Here we are at Smitty's, their favorite neighborhood restaurant, getting ready to have dinner. I high-fived Smitty on his decision to offer a tasty IPA on tap in addition to those tired old lagers he had last time I visited.

Carin, Kaiyah, Kellen, Jared and Walter at Smitty's for dinner
Kellen

Jared
Kaiyah

All the boys drive BMWs, while mom has a Honda van (naturally)
Kellen with dad's 2001 528i, Jared drives their new/used 1998 M3,
Walter poses with his BMW company car, a late model 328i (?)
After our dinner at Smitty's it was off to the airport for another all day, cross country jaunt. I arrived in Eugene yesterday evening and was delighted to see Tuli and my youngest grandson Harper waiting to fetch me. And I was delighted to be finished with airplanes and airports for a few weeks.

Next stop: Homer, Alaska.