in which I spend most of a week at home, which included trips to Detroit and Cleveland, with plenty of the small adventures that ensue in the rare instances when all the Whittingtons gather together.
I. Home Sweet Home
I set off for Columbus from Boston. My mother being busy with a class she is taking, I enjoyed my first hour in Columbus waiting at the airport. Thank goodness CMH offers free WiFi, helping to alleviate the feelings of neglect (okay, just kidding!). I returned home, had a very late lunch with my mother before taking off for Thomas’ (my brother) first track meet, where we found Ruth. It was great to catch up with Ruth while we waited for Thomas to run the 1600, and I was impressed with Thomas’ performance (6:17 or something that day, 5:59 the next meet—not bad for an eighth grader—I certainly can’t run that fast!).
Thursday (this is April 1) was a very quiet day. I had a dentist appointment, ran assorted errands with my mother, and then we had a family dinner before church. After church, I took off to meet up with Calen, a high school friend that I hadn’t seen since my sophomore year of college. He is now doing a PhD in astronomy at OSU, so it seemed a good time for a reunion, which took place near where he lives, over a couple beers. It amazed me at just how easy it was to spend a whole evening chatting about all sorts of things—good proof that I chose my high school friends well. I returned home late, particularly considering that the next day was going to be a long day.
II. Michigan seems like a dream to me now
One of my priorities for my time at home had been to get up to Michigan, where my grandparents (as well as aunt and uncle) live. My grandfather is in considerably weaker health these days, and I try to make sure my time at home includes time up in Michigan, to the extent it is possible. Opportunity presented itself when my father proposed a trip up north to visit my grandfather for the day. The best part? My grandmother and grandfather knew neither that we were coming, nor that I was even in the country. The surprise on their faces when I walked into my grandfather’s room at the rehab center he was spending the week in was pretty much enough to make my week. The afternoon was spent chatting with them, as well as with my Aunt Julie, which was lovely, and the evening concluded with a nice dinner with my grandparents, my aunt/uncle/cousin, and my father.
III. Together at last!
By the time we got back from Michigan late on Friday, Lydia had been collected from Cleveland, where she is at university, and Daniel had flown in from Chicago, where he is at university, meaning for the first time in six months, the whole family was together. We rarely get more than a few days at a time together, so the time is always much appreciated. We enjoyed a nice dessert, with plenty of German chocolate and goodies to go along with it. Saturday we all managed to eat breakfast at more or less the same time, before people set off for various activities. My accomplishment for the day was parting with a good chunk of my hair, though I can’t say I was particularly satisfied with the end result. Oh well, just hair. It’ll grow back. And then a nice family dinner and more time to hang out. Which included, of course, the requisite egg dyeing.
IV. Easter—He is risen indeed!
Sunday being Easter, we started out our day with homemade rolls, went to church, and returned midday to have some time off before lunch. Our mid-afternoon Easter lunch has always been a very pleasant time, and one I hadn’t experienced since I went to high school, the result of going to school too far away for coming home for Easter to be really worth the effort. And in keeping with that idea, I thought it would be nice to invite Calen to come have lunch with us. So, a bit before we got started, I picked him up and brought him back, and the family plus Calen enjoyed a lovely meal of lamb and artichokes.
Following the meal, it was time for the annual Easter egg hunt, and I actually hunted for eggs for the first time in a long time (okay, false: I did an Easter egg hunt in Germany during my year abroad, but that aside, it had been since early high school).
Calen, my father, and I fiddled around with a bit of music (Calen on our oft-neglected harpsichord, my father on his oft-neglected viola, and I on my oft-neglected cello), and more time for chatting, before it was suddenly evening and Calen needed to be taken back to his apartment and Lydia to Cleveland.
So Daniel, Calen, Lydia, and I headed out. After dropping Calen off, the three of us had coffee and set off for Cleveland. It was pleasant to have the two hour drive to talk to the pair of them, and the two hour drive back with Daniel. Time to talk and discuss, catch up a bit, and compare notes. Wonderful. After our 2 am return home, Daniel set off the following morning for Chicago. And we were down to five. The following day was filled with a bit of shopping and hanging out, a final dinner, and the like, as I would be taking off Tuesday, but out of Dayton, a city 80 miles from where we live and where my father works. And thus concluded my stay at home. Dayton will be covered later, since I am now back in Germany and have lesson planning to tend to. So Dayton, DC, and NYC will come soon enough.