When last I posted, MOPS had technically ended, but school had not. I had my last small MOPS group gathering the week before school got out. Each of the big kids had an end of the year trip out to Camp Tyler, a local farm that has classes for kids (it used to be run by the school district for the FFA kids, but not anymore). Ben’s class got to tour all the animals, love on some of them, feed some of them, and then have a picnic. David’s class did the gardening rotation, where they got to plant vegetable seeds, transplant seedlings, pull weeds, and pick vegetables. They also made compost with torn up newspaper and got to turn it with big forks and see all the worms before picnicking. Both classes had lots of fun. :) All the kids had end of the year parties, too. Greg’s was an outdoor hot dog picnic, Ben’s was a cake (it had a photo of all the kids & all their names on it) & punch party after his awards ceremony, David’s was punch & goodie bags after the Camp Tyler trip. The big kids had awards ceremonies as well. Ben got a Citizenship Award and Kindergarten Diploma (the most a Kindergartener could get) and David got three awards onstage (Citizenship, Math, & All A Honor Roll) and two more offstage (Reading & something else I can’t remember).
In the midst of all that, my grandmother died. She’d had a few bouts of congestive heart failure in the last couple months, but the doctor’s thought she’d pull through. She was 93 years old. My parents were there with her (they’d been there a week, just visiting, not knowing she was about to die) when she died, and my uncle came in right afterwards (sadly, he was stuck in the parking lot trying to find a space). Since she died just before Memorial Day weekend, they postponed the funeral until the end of the next week, which left me able to finish up all the end of school stuff. A few of my friends helped with childcare on the day of my flight.
I hit really bad traffic on the way to DFW, 20 was down to one lane due to road resurfacing, and there were three accidents along the way, which meant I spent an hour idling in Nick’s car, which has no A/C and a tendency to overheat. I made it to the parking area just about at my boarding time, but the window had come down & wouldn’t go back up. I called for help and eventually got the car window up. But then as I was going into the airport, security called an emergency drill and made us all stand stock still for 5 minutes. I stood there, watching helplessly as the flight attendants packed up and closed the door to my flight. Since it was the airports fault that I missed my flight, they transferred me for free to another flight that left a few hours later. I got a book, some food, and waited. My flight started leaving on time, but a storm had been brewing and they closed the airport. So we sat on the runway for more than an hour before they let us take off. I arrived in the Twin Cities just as my next flight should have been boarding, but they had left early, due to the request of the pilot (remember this for later), so I was out of luck. They offered me a hotel voucher, but the next flight out didn’t leave until 10am the next morning, which was exactly when my grandma’s visitation started. So I paid an outrageous sum of money and started driving around 11pm. It took more than 3 hours to get to Superior, Wisconsin, but I finally made it there around 2am.
In the morning, I got to spend some time with my Aunt Gloria & Uncle Stew before they left (they were driving to Madison to pick up my mom’s other brother who was flying in for their family vacation). We had some breakfast (homemade Danish Knoodle made by my cousin’s other grandma – yummmm!) and then headed out to the visitation. The visitation was really interesting – lots of people that knew my grandma that we wouldn’t have ever thought would come showed up and told us stories we’d never heard before. Her old co-workers from the grocery store she worked at in the 1930’s, nurses that worked with her at various hospitals from the 1940’s onwards, “kids” (older than me) she’d taught in VBS or Sunday school. Classmates. Fellow volunteers. Relatives we’d not seen since I was little. One little old lady told me that she’d know me anywhere because I was beautiful just like my grandma. Hehe. The funeral went well. Typical Lutheran Funeral. There was one little difference – some long lost relatives from Norway had sent a poem they’d written about my grandma (we didn’t know they existed). After the funeral, we headed graveside, where there were a few words said. We buried her urn (no one explained why she was cremated, then buried) and said hi to grandpa & visited my cousin’s other grandfather’s grave (he and grandpa died the same day & it was close by). Then we returned to the church for a catered lunch. I quipped that we certainly weren’t in Texas anymore – no bbq or sweet tea. Instead there were scalloped potatoes, Swedish meatballs, sliced meat, a relish tray (different kinds of pickles and black olives), white rolls, and lots of hot coffee & Church Punch (have you ever noticed how Church Punch is just special no matter where you go. It’s turbo charged somehow). When that was done we selected which plants were going where – most were going to be distributed over at the assisted living center where my grandma lived, but some also went to the nursing home she spent the last 6 months at and the biggest, prettiest one went to my dad’s cousin Janie (because she was the one that visited my grandma a couple times a week and took her places and loved her so much).
We spent the rest of the day resting. My parents & sister slept in front of the TV, I read a book on the back patio (the high temp there was 72). My cousin and a couple of his kids came by at some point (scared me to death – I must have been dozing, too “DID YOU KNOW YOUR PARENTS ARE SLEEPING IN HERE?!”) & we visited for a little while. His kids are getting so big and so cute! After they left we decided to hit the local Chinese place for dinner. It was weird having food served by Wisconsin people (their accents are so funny!). As we were leaving Cousin Janie called & invited us to her house, which is on The Point and has beautiful views of Lake Superior from every window. We stayed a couple hours and talked about family history (so much that I didn’t know!). Went back to my aunt & uncles house & went straight to bed.
The next morning we got up and watched junk TV (The Doctors, Supernatural) & ate breakfast. My dad & his brother went off to the bank to figure out monetary things. We helped my parents load up their van with grandma’s stuff (not a lot, really, but a few odds & ends). Then we headed off to the airport. April & I had a flight together to the Twin Cities which went smoothly. We waited there for another hour or so with this crazy chick from Hawaii and heard a few of the “The pilot of Flight xxxx is requesting to leave early. Please begin boarding now” announcements. No wonder the airlines are so screwed up. Anyway, the flight from there to DFW went pretty well and then I drove home. Yay, home!
The next day I skipped church and instead
tidied the studio rested. Nick brought home the kid that was spending the night with us. Everything went smoothly until bedtime, then drama ensued. We separated the kids and went to bed. Got up unhealthily early the next morning and drove David and the other kid to church camp. We were pleased that they let David go, since he had rather pink eyes still and was still doing his drops (did I mention that he got pink eye at the farm?). Came back home, got ready for Ben’s camp.
TO BE CONTINUED (this is the longest post ever)…..