Tuesday, July 31, 2018

A jolly holiday

We're back.  We had our own little patchwork vacation this past weekend.  Nothing big this year.  Our dream - our hope, maybe even prayer - is that before the boys all move on and get going with their own families, we can all take a trip together out West.  That and/or Washington D.C.  To that end, we're hoarding our acorns and not going hog-wild in the meantime.

So this year, with school schedules, job schedules, accounting for my Mom's care, and basically dodging the various slings and arrows of life, it was a miracle that everything converged this weekend for us to have a couple days with the boys.

My sister was able to watch my Mom (who wouldn't be able to keep up), we found a reasonable care location for our pooch, everyone was able to get the same days off, leaving us a week or so to plan.  We knew it wouldn't be a long, four day away trip.  For six people, too expensive.   Plus, we weren't ready to put our dog in care for more than a night or two.  Having just got her, we didn't want the routine we've worked hard to establish to fade away.

We decided on a nice trip by train for a day, followed by going to the Pro Football Hall of Fame the following day.  Never been there.  That was for our oldest, who's had a tough year this year.  Starting with an auto accident in March, he was still working toward his career as a gourmet chef.  That is, until he was diagnosed with a near fatal food allergy to fish.  Since fish and gourmet cooking are rather close at hand, and since the allergist said it's about the worst he's ever seen, it's forced him to stop mid-way and consider a different vocational path.  Since he's our resident sports guru, we thought he would appreciate the visit - and he did.

The rest of the long weekend was a kit-bash of low key hanging about the house and games, going to a get together with families from our church, and just basically driving about and enjoying our company.  Maybe we're a freakish family, but we actually get along on our family trips.  With the exception of one iPod they shared, they left their phones and iPads home so we could just spend the time visiting.  As the boys said, they'll be moving on once school is done, if not before, and they want to spend what time is left visiting with the family.

On the whole, a great time.  As patchwork vacations go, nothing really out of the ordinary, just a fun time with the family.  And that's enough.

Our first day off.  We considered the Ohio State Fair, or the Zoo, but the boys brought this game out of mothball
 and we spent the entire day playing.  My oldest boy won. I lost. Still, a relaxing day.

Next day was a belated July 4th party with families from church.  Not a great pic, but caught my second oldest taking it upon himself to hoist the daughter of one of the families and carry her to the wagon ride.  She, being unable to walk, was more than appreciative.  Moments that make a Dad proud. 

My third oldest looking uncharacteristically pensive the following day waiting for the train

It's been a long time, but I believe that's an older General Motors engine.  My Dad would approve. 
He loved the GMs, but couldn't abide the GE engines. 

The boys took one of the booths to hang out together, leaving my wife and I
to sit by ourselves, stretch out and enjoy the scenery.

Speaking of which, the scenery was beautiful.  Much better than a plane.  If it was more convenient,
this is how I'd travel. We must come back someday during the Fall. 

Our oldest outside the Hall of Fame on the final day.  He thoroughly enjoyed it. 
Surprisingly, so did the rest of us. It was impressive. 

Our youngest suited up, just like his older brother.  Don't know if he'll play or not.  Homeschoolers can play,
but it's not something the schools go out of their way to accommodate. 
A quick shot of the great one.  A reminder to the press as it pushes the likes of Tom Brady, LeBron James and even J.T. Barrett: Legendary greatness in athletics is more than just stats, which can be fickle and not show the whole picture.

The boys outside the construction for enshrinement week.  All is right with the world.

Back in enough time so that, once our youngest retired, the three older boys and I repaired to the fun room
and went another round of Flames of War. A splendid vacation overall. 

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