Contrary to expectation, it was a great vacation.
My brother’s wedding in Massachusetts was lovely. Good choices included not having the ceremony at my mother’s house, having the rehearsal dinner catered, our staying at a B and B. W is lovely and so is her family. I’d forgotten that she and my brother met in high school (they are now in their 40s) which meant that there were all kinds of Connecticut connections, which should not have been surprising but somehow was. My brother is younger than I am, but since my mother has moved east and I never go to Connecticut, I don’t often meet people who know about the town I’m from. That was fun.
I dawdled an extra day with my mother, which was nice, and then drove north to hang out with N. I’m starting to really like the town she lives in, let’s call it the “Second biggest city in Maine.” Honestly, that was probably the most vacation-like part of our trip. N went to work and K and I drove to to the beach one day, and spent one day just around town. We stayed in a luxurious hotel (well, not the very cheapest of the cheap) and didn’t have to do much of anything.
From there, I flew to Ohio, where I packed up M while she worked furiously to finish a seven ft. tall self portrait in pencil. (I stayed with Jeanne!) That took days, and we left for NY on Saturday night at 7, stayed over night in a rainstorm at a very sketchy motel in Erie, PA, arriving in Morrisville on Sunday morning. K’s aunt and uncle were lovely, and tons of his cousins came. It was really really great. We stayed there til Tuesday, when we drove to New Hampshire to see K’s aunt and more cousins. It was a really good idea to do this, if I do say so myself. K’s aunts and uncles are still sharp, but elderly. We looked through tons of pictures, and they remembered so much. It’s so odd to me, coming from an almost obsessively family-oriented family, that families can sort of drift apart the way K’s seems to have. Or rather, they haven’t, but K has from them. We heard from K’s aunt that there was a family reunion some years ago that K’s brothers both went to. I’m not sure we even knew about it, although perhaps we did. Part of that has to do with our being in California, but part of it, I think, has to do with K’s family not regarding it as very important. In any case, we spent a great weekend with K’s uncle, and N and M now know them and like them — it helps that we actually already knew one cousin very well, since he went to art school near us, but his parents are great. Also, upstate New York is so beautiful — who knew? Like Maine, it was just beginning to leaf out. Morrisville is in a rural area full of rolling hills between the Catskills and the Adirondacks. If I weren’t already committed to Maine, I would be torn. K’s uncle has a camp on a little lake near their house which was perfect — a simple house, a dock, a bunch of canoes —
Anyway. Pretty idyllic. Family connections renewed. Strangely restful — maybe because although we went many places, we didn’t have to do very much in any of them. Very, very nice.