Friday: Get picked up by Hope at 10:15 (for the record, I was packed and ready and waiting at the bottom of the driveway.) Swing by campus to drop off papers that I've graded and a video that needs to go on closed reserve. Get on 40. Stop by the bank. Get back on 40. Get off the highway to get ice and Subway. Drive down to the county park Faith works at to pick her up, which is pretty far south off of 40 (not a complaint, just a statement). Pick her up, head back up to 40, backtrack a little bit to get to 85, take 85 north to 95, sit in traffic outside of DC and the bridge1, get moving again, mosey up 95, get on 695, discover that our directions are a bit misleading and that we're headed the long way around 695, keep going because at that point it was shorter than turning around, and finally arrive at my aunt and uncle's house a little before 8. The ride consisted of playing the license plate game, lots of chatting, eatting a little too much candy, a couple of stops at Wawas2, and a lot of loud (and in my case, very off key) singing.
My aunt and uncle plied us with salad and bread and spaghetti (and zucchini bread), we sat around and chatted some more, and eventually I headed out to the RV in their back yard, where we were sleeping, while everyone else watched the Numbers premiere. I fell over and slept like a rock, waking up only once, which hasn't happened in ages.
Saturday: get up, be plied with coffee and scapple and walnut pancakes by my uncle. Mom and dad and Uncle Jerry went off to do some discussing of things at grandma's house. We sat around and chatted at my aunt Deb for awhile, and eventually got packed up and headed up to the house my cousin Sandy and her partner just bought up in Pennsylvania. It was a gorgeous ride. The house is lovely; they did really well. We played catch up, played with their dogs, and got dinner going. Eventually, the rest of the herd (Sandy's parents, and my parents, and Deb and Jerry, and Sandy's brother Andy and his girlfriend) showed up, we had a massive dinner (ham, mac and cheese, corn, green beans, biscuits, salad) and sat around and talked and digested. Most of the herd left. We went out in search of Tasty Kakes and birth beer, and came home with birch beer and Mike's hard lemonade. :) We had a couple of drinks, talked more, poked a little fun at Cops and America's Most Wanted3, then took over their room and fell asleep. I slept through the night on an air mattress. I can't tell you when the last time I slept through the night was, let alone on an air mattress.
Sunday: get up, have lazy breakfast (hot chocolate and sticky buns). Get a little caught up on the internets. Start the shower and getting dressed process. Leave way early. Hit Target and finally score Tasty Kakes. Get Burger King for lunch. Still get to the church way early. Run around putting up pictures of granny and discussing the videotaping5 and generally fidgeting. Start the service. I ended up nodding off at the beginning - long weekend, soft pews, way too hot church, calming music - and apologizing profusely to the pastor when he picked on me about it later. I think he was more amused than anything else. :) The service itself was good - the pastor, who knew my grandmother way too well, would talk for a bit and crack a few jokes about her6 - he was definitely aiming for making us laugh more than making us cry, though there was some of both - and then right after cracking a joke, say something serious that totally hit the nail on the head. It was sweet, it was moving, it was just right.
Afterwards, the church ladies put out food and there was a bit of a reception. Lots of "No, I'm not [my mom], I'm her oldest" and "No, I'm not Donna, I'm her niece, this is her oldest" and stuff. (We all look alike.) Everyone played nice (mostly) and got along well (mostly), so yay.
We went back to uncle Jerry's and changed clothes and Hope and Jerry and Deb and I went to granny's house to take another turn through it. We were looking at pictures and talking about which ones Hope and I wanted copies of, and after that, it really hit me that granny was gone, and that she hadn't been very happy for quite awhile, and that's when I did my bawling. My aunt Deb gives good hugs.
After that, we headed out and got our seafood fix for dinner, and some good conversation.
Today: see Friday, in reverse, with less punch and singing and more napping. I didn't drive any today; Hope got in the driver's seat and we just went. The only traffic we hit was on 15-501, and that lasted for about 5 minutes, so that was nice.
This was a great visit, and the best we've had with mom's family in quite some time, and I really did have a good weekend. I'm going to be running around like a crazy woman catching up on life over the next few days; we've got tests in both 101 and stats this week, and then there's my thesis... right now, though, all that's on my plate is getting a shower, proofing the 101 test, and pouring my butt into bed.
1. Though it was way, way better than last Thanksgiving, where I took an hour nap, woke up, and we'd moved about 2 miles.
2. A northern gas station chain with (for a gas station, especially) really good coffee.
3. Sandy and her guy (and her brother) are cops.4 Watching shows like that with cops? Weirdly meta. My cousin was able to comment from first hand experience on having to wrestle a midget.
4. So, in case I've never mentioned it, I don't find cop jokes particularly funny.
5. The service was taped, with the whole-hearted endorsement of the pastor, so that my mother could hear it later. I'm glad, actually; I wouldn't mind hearing it again myself.
6. At the beginning: "[Granny] would have me tell you that the service was over now and that you should go eat."