Friday, October 14

Today was the day. We were off and away and apparently in style. Saweeeeet rental vehicle. Sirius radio, sunroof, sync-capability, lots of leg room, plenty of room to pack for our 10-day adventure.

Music from the 80s carried us through most of the trip as we enjoyed the gorgeous day and onset of autumn color, marveled at the luxury of the vehicle and mentally prepared for our time away.

A typical stop by a favorite used book and music store (McKay’s), lunch along the way, and a few stops here and there. Some fun finds for both of us, including, ironically, a rendition of “Carolina In My Mind”. Even though the drive is often long, I often look forward to the journey. I like to see what I can see from the car, see what’s new out there, what’s odd, what’s gorgeous, what I haven’t seen before. I like to sit and talk to Cynical, interrupted only by us breaking into song when a favorite comes on the radio. I like knitting at my leisure and closing my eyes if I need to. It’s the journey for me that often soothes my soul more than anything.

However, it’s often the arrival that ices the cake. And that was the case here. The arrival. . . oh, the sweet arrival. The embrace by my family. The smile of a sweet little girl unsure whether she approves of us or not. Seeing those familar faces that I’ve missed so very much. Being welcome into their home with love and openness.

We were able to spend the evening with both of my brothers and their families thanks to my middle brother opening up his home and offering his table to us that night. Smiling faces all around. Cousins embracing. Siblings catching up. I always feel so very welcome whenever my brother P makes a place for us at his table, fills our plates with his cooking and makes a warm space for us to meet, greet and see one another. And, as always, my sister-in-law is perhaps the most welcoming of people. So warm, so inviting. Makes me want to sit for hours and visit (and knit).

Seeing the children always makes me giddy. The littlest one warming up to us, so very verbal and with such a memory. The littlest boy grinning and teasing, his sweet little face telling his whole story. The oldest little girl charming us with her grin and obviously loving her father. And, of course, the oldest, the Prince as it would be; now 16 and so very grown up, but so much of that sweet little boy remains. I was honored that he carved out his Friday night for an old aunt and her fellow.

I must mention, as well, beautiful glasses gifted to me by my brother. So pretty and so thoughtful. I didn’t get a chance to admire them until we got home and I unwrapped them in the afternoon light. So pretty. I suspect they will appear on the blog as one of my daily photos.

I went to bed with so much on my mind. The glory of being together, the concern over the slight stress in the air, preparing for the rest of our visit. We settled into the guest room, comfortable, full and tired.

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