Lots of neat things to tell about from Sunday's events!
Mandy, the two little ones and I took a little jaunt down to Indiana, PA Sunday afternoon. The purpose of our visit was two-fold. One was to have a chance to see Mandy's best friend - since Kindergarten and her husband (Missy and Matt) and to have dinner or supper - whatever you care to call it - with them. The other reason for our trip was to have a little time to visit with a cousin of ours.
The cousin - Arline - is a first cousin of my Mom's. Her mother was my grandfather's baby sister I think my Grandpa was 20-22 years older than Arline's Mom - somewhere along that kind of timeline anyway. Arline will be celebrating her 80th birthday on Wednesday of this week and because she is really one very special lady we wanted to have a chance to take a card and a small gift to her to honor her on this auspicious occasion. She always amazes me - the things she does, the things she is involved in too -always busy! And, she is sooooo very much like her mother too -my great Aunt Elin. When I was a kid, we generally would stop to visit Aunt Elin and her husband either on our trip down to Monroeville to visit my uncle and his family - or else, on the way home. And, the way Aunt Elin operated always amazed me as a kid and still does today when I think back on those visits.
Usually, when we stopped at her house, she had no idea that we were going to drop by but within five minutes of our entering her house, the coffee pot would be on and brewing and she would be busy, digging around in her refrigerator and pulling out this or that or something else and within a half hour - 45 minutes tops - she would have pulled together a meal fit for a king! Where on earth she had all this food stashed and at the ready to pull together the way she could do is beyond me! And, I never ever had food that wasn't really good and tasty at Aunt Elin's house; never ever walked away from there hungry either!
The same type of treatment is the norm if you ever go visit my cousin Arline too! Sometimes, I hesitate, almost hate, to call her and let her know we are going to try to take a quick trip by her place because it is inevitable, she will have a spread on the table. But, if you don't call and make sure she's going to be home, then you run the risk of missing her completely cause she's always busy, got lots of friends, does things for her church. Two weeks ago when I tried to contact her to tell her about the four people coming here from Sweden, I couldn't reach her. She called me back the day the Swedes were to arrive here, telling me the reason I couldn't get in touch with her was because she was on a cruise to Jamaica and Haiti! Now, if I were to call her a couple days in advance, there is no question in my mind what she would have in store when we'd arrive at her home - all kinds of entres - lasagne, meatballs, lunch meats, cheese, breads, cooked vegetables, salads and always some type of dessert too! And today, since we knew we didn't have that much time to visit, I really didn't want her to go to a bunch of trouble and fixing anything. But, when we got there, the table was all set, coffee was made and we had a really yummy pasta and vegetable salad (tortellini with pieces of zucchini and yellow squash, grape tomatos with a light, very tasty Italian dressing on it, a fruit salad of honeydew and strawberries, components to make either ham salad or egg salad sandwiches (or combine the two) and cookies! All really delicious!
If you were to meet Arline, I am betting you would never know her age because she sure doesn't look like she will be 80 in three days and she definitely doesn't act that age either. Although, I don't know now exactly how or what someone who is almost 80 is supposed to look like or act like. Well, suffice it to say, this is one lady - in every sense of the word - who has never lost her looks, still has loads of appeal. Must be some pretty good genes at work there, don't 'cha think!
Here's a picture of Arline -taken quite a few years ago, probably in the early-to-mid 50's. And then, to the right is a picture of her and some members of her family taken I think around 2001 at her home around Christmas of that year. You have to admit now that I'm right in what I've said about her appearance and hiding those years pretty doggone good, don't 'cha now?
If I have the identification correct on this photo, in the back row, a niece of Arline's, then her daughter, Sandy. Next to Sandy is her brother Carl's wife, Eleanor, a nephew-in-law (I think) and her brother, Paul. In the bottom row, is Paul's wife, Melda seated beside Arline.
Just a few members of my extended family to share with ya'll today.
On the way home from Indiana, we had to stop at the local Walmart to pick up a few things. Mandy had the baby with her and I had Miss Maya in my cart and Miss Maya was not exactly in the ideal humor today at that time. She probably was a little bit whiny and crabby from being tired of riding, etc., but she was definitely exercising her vocal chords telling me, over and over, what she wanted. "Wan see princesses, wan se Bratz, wan see" this, that and everything imaginable. The funny part though was when our cart was side-by-side with that of a couple who had a little guy -maybe 8-10 months old, sitting in the cart and Maya told me "Wan see baby?" She was, of course, meaning the baby in this adjacent cart but was is comical about that request is that she has a little brother, just turned 13 months last Sunday and who she barely even acknowledges that he exists most of the time. Go figure with kids, huh?
Tonight though, I got an e-mail from a fellow blogger - who shall remain unidentified at this point in time - telling me that there is a very good possibility she and her husband will be coming through the area where I live tomorrow - actually sometime today now - and that they are going to stop by and we'll have a chance to meet in person, visit a little bit. Now, how cool is that? I won't tell you who this surprise visitor will be so that when I get pictures (that I intend to take - provided of course the Altzheimer's doesn't kick into gear and I forget to TAKE some photos) developed I can post them on my blog for you all to see my surprise visitor!
And now, enough of my ramblings about family, friends, trips, the future, etc. Time for me to go to bed now I do believe. So, I'll leave you now with the Bushism for today, Monday, May 21, 2007!
"Just remember it's the birds that's supposed to suffer, not the hunter." - Advising quail hunter and New Mexico senator Pete Domenici; Roswell, New Mexico; January 22, 2004.
(Obviously this is prior to the now infamous hunting trip of our VP who our blogging buddy, Tomcat, refers to as Deadeye Dick, isn't it?)