Patrick has family that lives out in Colorado - two aunts, an uncle, two cousins, and a Grandmother. One of the aunts has had a bit of a rough time over the past year. First, she lost her husband, rather suddenly. Then, within a matter of months, she found out that her company was closing down their Denver branch. She had the choice of losing her job, or transferring to one of several other branches around the country. However, transferring meant taking a pay cut, unless she moved here. So, she packed up 22 years worth of her life and moved to a new state.
Sunday, we spent the day helping Aunt Ninell move into her new apartment. Patrick's Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Mike had come along to help, and movers had been hired to do the heavy lifting, so much of the day was spent in unpacking and kibbitzing.*
Along the way, I was regaled with tales of Patrick as a child, screaming with his hands over his head when asked "How does Aunt Ninell sound in the car?" and stories of Patrick's father as a child, trying to kill his two sisters, as siblings are wont to do. I learned that Patrick's Grandpa Bud was actually named Walter, and that he had once been scared back to life by a vision of an ancestor when he'd had a heart attack. We talked of a cell phone for the elderly, which Patrick's Grandmother LaDean now wears around her neck, in case of emergency.
At the end of the day, we shared platters of barbequed meats, fried okra, baked beans, fried cheese, and sweet tea. We laughed as Miles nommed on pickles and sweet potato fries. We talked of family, Festival, and the fun of raising children. We got caught up on the latest family news, and told them of the latest happenings around here. And we laughed. A lot.
Finally, though, it came time to say our good-nights to Aunt Ninell, and our good-byes to Aunt Gretchen and Uncle Mike, as final kisses and hugs were given, and the baby was snuggled one last time. Invitations to visit were exchanged, and tentative plans were made. And we went our separate ways, filled with memories of a lovely day shared with delightful family.
*Two things that I'm told are essential for moving. :)