I’ve been out of town. Over the last ten days, I have often thought fondly about my computer and this blog. But today, I really didn’t want to turn on this machine. By sitting here at the computer, I am officially concluding my vacation, and even though I am looking forward to the activities that will dominate my thoughts in the weeks ahead, I don’t ever like leaving Milwaukee, family and friends.

There are stories to tell, and I don’t want to be boring and tell them all at once. So I think I’ll take my time with them. I want to capture what I remember. Organize and compose the memories here. When I have a lot to say about a period of time, I’m never sure if I’ll actually have the patience to follow through and say all of what I meant to say when I started.

Last Saturday, we took a cab to the airport because our flight was scheduled to take off before the Metro started running. Upon arriving in Milwaukee, I opted for a nap instead of breakfast, and Saturday afternoon progressed very pleasantly. I took my mother-in-law to lunch, and we had a nice meal, even though we ended up at a different restaurant than our original destination. We did a little bit of driving down by the lake, which was really beautiful with some trees still blooming and the sun on the water. We did a little shopping in Greendale, because, she told me that she wanted to buy me something artsy and frivolous. I got a silver ring and a bracelet that was free with our purchase. As I drove her Cadillac back up their street, she noticed that there were quite a few cars parked there, said, “Someone must be having a party,” and I pulled into the driveway, where her relatives and friends were gathered. “Oh! We’re having a party!” It was fun to be a part of that surprise.

Later that night, after reminding my in-laws that I also have parents in the area who hadn’t seen their kid in awhile, we headed out to Waukesha, where they live. Well, before we left, I had called their house phone, Mom’s cell, and Dad’s cell, and none of them were answered. I figured that they were out to dinner at some place in their neighborhood, and so we just drove to their house, where I let myself in with the key, and we greeted the dog and waited to hear from them. Mom’s cell phone was sitting there on the coffee table. After awhile, I dialed Dad’s cell from Mom’s cell, and finally got a hold of my parents, who were at a bar just down the road from where James’ parents live. From where we had just been.

We met my parents at the bar, and Mom was so happy to see us. She had been a little sad all day, thinking that we wouldn’t have time to spend with them at all, and by coming to see them, we totally made her day. Dad and James watched the Brewer game on television while Mom and I talked about, I don’t know, anything, everything. When the band started playing, we continued our conversation unfazed. Dad watched us, and he commented later to Mom how amazing it was that we were so connected and enthralled with each other, to the exclusion of almost everything else in the bar that night.

Since then, I’ve wanted to mention this exchange between my mother and I, because the older I get, the more I do appreciate these little things, the stuff that links me to my family, our attitudes and actions that are shared because we are related to each other. Because we are lucky. And that luck and the feeling of being blessed continued to flow for the rest of the week. Still does.

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