Saturday, September 21, 2013

Long Time Coming.....

It has been a long time since I have ventured into "blogland" and frankly it is not like riding a bike.  My fingers can still fly across the keyboard, but my mind....well, it is rusty and I can almost hear the rusty wheels churning and grinding along....slowly.

I guess I will begin in June.  Jim and I went to PA to see family as we have done each year since we have been married in 1979. Trip to PA 2011 - Foto Recap  Since our parents have been aging our trips have changed.  Jim and I stayed with his Dad several summers to give Jim's sis and brother in law much needed time away. Jim's father passed away  Good bye Grampa Rudy and so our trips to PA have changed again and an element of sadness and a longing for years passed has crept into the mix.  While there are still family get togethers and we enjoy time with friends, the changes brought by the mere passage of time temper our visits.

This summer we left Louisiana knowing we had a mission.  Our mission was to help my parents have a garage sale at the home they have lived in since their marriage in the summer of 1969.  Forty four years worth and we knew it was not going to be easy....mostly emotionally for me, my parents...and my siblings. But our first order of business was to take my parents and travel to NJ to niece Hannah's graduation party.  Hannah (below) and her brother, Paul, are in NJ and we were thankful to get time with them and their parents. It has been our tradition to attend graduation parties ....this being the third on in three years! 
Once back to my parents house we found that my sisters had already packed a good many things and so much had been done already that it was not as tough a job as we had anticipated.  Sister Julie knows how to "geter done" and there were boxes stacked in the basement labeled "St. Paul's" (the name of the facility selected for our parents residency). Jim was put in charge of getting the garage ready for the sale and that was no small feat. He must have made a thousand trips up and down the steps.  We don't have any steps at our home, so I was surprised it managed without too many aches and pains. The fact that it rained the whole first week we were preparing for the garage sale was a bit of a hindrance, but miraculously the rain held off during the hours (both Friday and Saturday) of the sale itself and then rained later in the day.  After living in air conditioning for all of my married life....well, feeling damp for three weeks was just not my cup of tea, but really was the least of my worries.  My parents' emotional status became Jim's and my biggest concern.  Taking cherished personal items to them for approval for sale was tough and reminding them their new digs were considerably smaller and we would have to take only a few favorite items and only what was needed prompted some heated discussions.  But I am happy to report that for the most part we chugged along and those exact conversations are long forgotten. Looking back I am amazed at what was accomplished.

Also, Julie and I attended the "70's Class Reunion" in our home town.  I graduated in 1973 and Julie in 1977.  I was wishing Lori, Class of 1981, and Marcia, Class of 1968 could have been there, too. Paul, Class of 1970 didn't come because he would be coming soon for the actual moving of our parents and couldn't be away from work for that length of time. I envied all four Foster siblings attending the same reunion. It was a great time and even some of our teachers attended as well.  My biggest complaint was there was not enough time to have good meaningful dialog with all these people I enjoyed during my growing up years. So many life stories and so little time to learn them all.  I must say our high school has sent some pretty amazing folks out into the world and I was proud to be a part of that decade.

Jim's family reunion was the very same day about five hours away and we decided he would have much more fun at his family reunion than watching me flit around chatting with my former classmates.  Lots of folks were there sans spouse for various reasons and as the 70's tunes blared I knew we made the right choice.  There was not one jazz tune in the mix ;). 

We also got to spend time with Jer and Jeannie and a couple of the grands and their adorable kiddos(our greats as we call them.).  Jer had been in an over by a truck. (No, he was not in a car or truck...but was literally had his legs run over by an F-350!) He was and is recouping and so we went to Bradford to try and cheer him up.  He and Jim always "jam" and it is the main reason we carry the electric keyboard the 1,350 miles.  They did play some even though each time they played (Jer on drums), Jer's foot would turn a pretty shade of deep purple.