It’s good to be back at work after a busy, exhausting Fourth of July weekend. Neither Jeff or I have family in central Pennsylvania (besides our much-loved church family at Immanuel), so we spend many holidays bopping from place to place to see our kin. This holiday weekend was an especially hectic example: Jeff’s parents and siblings were all in New York at Keuka Lake with his extended family, and my brother and his family from California were in Meadville visiting my parents. It made for a bit less than 1,000 miles of driving and much more togetherness than this introvert is used to, let me tell ya!
We left on July 4 for Canisteo, NY for a picnic at Jeff’s aunt Becky’s house. I adore Becky — she is one of the first Lorow relatives that I met, and she always makes me feel so at ease. We had a great time playing redneck golf and hanging out with myriad aunts, uncles, and cousins.
On July 5, Jeff ran a 15-mile trail race, and I went to a flea market with the rest of his family. Best Kettle Korn ever! We spent the rest of the day with another batch of aunts, uncles, and cousins…only this time they were all from his mom’s side of the family. That night, I hung out with two-year-old Hope, a sweet little girl that Joe and Molly adopted from China. She won me over in no time flat, and I had a great time playing with her and teaching her to count the boats on the lake.
On Sunday, we left in the afternoon for my parent’s house. We had see my mom and dad quite a bit over the past two weeks because of my grandfather’s funeral, but I never tire of spending time with them. I was delighted to pull into the driveway and see dad and my brother Dwayne standing at the grill! My parents made so many delicious meals, which we enjoyed eating outside on their fabulous deck.
We did many Meadville-esque things with Dwayne, Barb, and Brandon, including lunch at Eddie’s Footlong Hotdogs, frozen custard at Hank’s, feeding the fish at the spillway in Linesville, and hiking up into the woods to see the beaver dam. We got see the neighbor kids, whom I adore, and even lit a few fireworks, much to Brandon’s delight.
Jeff and I left Tuesday morning so that we could spend a few hours with my grandmother, who was back in the hospital. I had a great visit with her, which was a real gift. Her memory is slipping at a rapid rate, and I feel fortunate for every time that I visit and she knows who I am. This time we laughed and remembered some of our adventures together, just like old times.
And, interestingly, one of my favorite parts of the whole trip took place in my parent’s backyard. There is an abandoned quarry deep in the woods behind my parent’s house. Amazingly, there are fish here.
And, just as we got there, it started to pour, and we all got soaked! But, everybody was in good humor. Both Barb and I caught a fish. Jeff, the fish whisperer, caught like 40, and dad hooked a few too. The Powell kids came with us, and we had a great adventure.
All in all, it was a blessing to see so much family in just a few days.