I had a wildly successful trip home to Minnesota last weekend. Fred graduated, and all of us celebrated.
Fred was the elected class speaker, and both he and the valedictorian gave really wonderful speeches. (Here's a link to Fred's, and here's a link to Drew's.) It was obvious how much they loved their school. Drew actually had a hard time finishing because he kept choking up, which led to plenty of misty eyes among his classmates and the audience.
Back at the ranch, my mom whipped out her ever-ready hospitality super powers, demonstrating once again that "domestic engineer" is more than just a politically correct term. Over the course of the weekend, she directed a team consisting of her husband, daughters, mother and sister-in-law, artfully employing the skills and talents of each. She managed the cleaning, manicuring, decorating, and general beautification of the house, yard and gardens. She hosted a brunch for 30 relatives. Under her supervision the shopping, cooking, (timing of the cooking) and serving of the meal came together seamlessly; the house, yard and gardens looked beautiful. It made me realize how much I have to learn!
Apart from all of the entertaining/celebrating and visiting with my relatives, I had a good time being in Duluth with my family. I got to walk on the Lakewalk (easily one of my favorite places in the world) with my parents (easily two of my favorite people in the world). I got my annual dose of rhubarb, in the form of cake, muffins, sauce and crunch, always accompanied by a cup or two of coffee. I got to hang out with my cats.
A few more photos of the not-so-little bro.
Here he is with his wonderful girlfriend Hannah:
With Mr. Sippel and his friend Max. (They decided pipes were classier than cigars. No doubt their canoeing/kayaking/voyageur-esque fathers inspired them.)