We spent 16+ hours in the car. My eldest cousin Joe got married the first weekend in Ohio, and we all piled into my Mom's van for the 8+ hour trip there on Friday, went to the wedding on Saturday, hung out with family after, and then 8+ hour trip back. It was a quick but pleasant trip, punctuated by sadness and joy, and a lot of Firefly played on my laptop. (My mom finally got to see the whole series. Though it was a tad uncomfortable to sit beside my mom for the episode ‘Heart of Gold’…) We also managed two kinds of traveling road stop for specific foods, we had some Whitecastle on the way up(minus onions), and some Skyline Chili(mmm coney’s) on our way back home. Pretty much felt like the complete Ohio trip experience.
We stayed in my Nannie’s (grandma) house, which was strange. She was taken to live in a home where people can keep an eye on her (she has Alzheimer’s) and make sure she’s fed, shortly before my Father died this year. Since then her house has been cleaned and refinished, and most of her things divided up among the families. Sad and hard to do at the time, but better than dealing with all those things and the house after a funeral or something.
When I say we stayed there, I mean we basically camped out. We brought inflatable beds, pillows, sheets for sleeping, and got some groceries for sandwiches and pancakes. Much cheaper than staying in a hotel for the weekend, and less stressful than trying to split up our group to find places at different Aunts and Uncle’s houses. (Logistics get harder with one car and a wedding going on) It was very hard to go into my grandmother’s house and find things cleared out and refinished. No family pictures on the walls, no piano covered in pictures and Christmas cards, no grandfather clock ticking in the corner by a Christmas tree in the front window. Hit me pretty hard.
After the midafternoon reception, we did make some time to go and see Nannie in the home. She looked well, though has lost her glasses and the nurses didn’t seem very concerned about finding them. She had trouble remembering us, and could only remember some of the people from the family portrait. To my brother she said, ‘I don’t know who you are but you sure are handsome’.
Then we headed over to my Aunt’s house (mother of the Groom), to socialize with family, show off my Brother’s England pictures (with Becca narrating about the trip that culminated in their engagement). Watched Joe and Jen open some of their gifts, and had some pizza and pie and icecream with aunts and cousins. The boys played with Wikipedia on Carlo’s Powerbook and watched a college football game.
All in all, a successful family trip.