Back to the civilization of a steady internet connection!

I had a wonderful trip, a wonderful time.

Big thanks to Laura (for hosting and for contributing to the bar-hopping extravaganza) and to Amy (for letting me mooch and generally being great), to Mom and Dad for paying for my ticket and giving me some spendin' cash to make it that much more fun and Gram for being just plain inspirational.

I am footsore and a little weary on the far end of it, but it was definitely a worthwhile trip and I feel a lot more sane after some kid-free time and re-connecting with my alma mater, friends and family.

My grandmother surprised us all by hopping in the car and coming up to NoHo with Mom last night to see Illumination Night. She bopped right on up the driveway beside JMG with her walker and triumphantly stood there looking out at the sea of lanterns on Chapin lawn. "I wanted to /see/ it!" she said determinedly and see it she did. Once again my nearly-90 year old Gram just kicks the socks off everyone else with her chutzpah. She's a real inspiration.

So were the Ivy Day speeches, especially the one given by the student from Kabul, Afghanistan. I've come away from my visit with some renewed determination and courage to face some things that need to be faced.

Last night I slept really well at Gram's, got to sleep in until 9, got up, had some breakfast, then sat and talked to her for a good long time until my aunt and uncle came over for lunch. She told me the story of how her parents met before they got married, and how her mom once when driving by the hotel where they had their honeymoon, told my grandmother how she'd been 'so scared' on her wedding night, but nothing about /why/. Gram, chuckling with a twinkle in her eye said: "Guess it turned out okay, though I never asked. After all they had four daughters!"

Uncle Gib made salmon with asparagus and pilaf and Mom roasted up some turkey and we sat around the table eating and gabbing away, then had fresh strawberry shortcake for dessert. We all helped clean up, talking more until it was time to go.

I love my family, I really do.

Easy drive home and as we have a habit of doing, Mom and I had a really good talk in the car. We talked about Vic a lot and shared worries and possible solutions and memories from childhood. I think we worked out a thing or two about him and it was just a good talk overall.

Then Mom hauled out the CD she'd bought for the trip back. "Here's some tunes!" she announced and I looked at the album in my hands - America's greatest hits - and whooped. It's kind of an old tradition for Mom and I to listen to this, but she hadn't replaced her tape and her car doesn't have a tape deck in it anymore. We sang along to all our old favorites all the way from northern New Jersey to Mom and Dad's back door.

Good times.



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