Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Northwoods Departure

I'm on the plane headed from Minneapolis to New York. I got to witness the most amazing sunrise during the ascent. The sky above the horizon was intensely red, and the clouds that we flew into were pink and violet. Once we arrived on top of the cloud bank, the scene was silver and blue; heavenly enough that I wouldn’t have been surprised to see choirs of angels hanging out.

It’s a bittersweet departure for sure. Sad to be leaving my family and Duluth, excited to be visiting Kate and Jaime for a few days. Wishing I could go home and see Scott after that, but I’m sure I’ll enjoy the Sheep meeting once I’m there and get something out of it.

Scott’s corner – He got to go to El Salvador over the weekend and hang out on the beach and drink coconut milk. He’s back in Sanarate now for a few more days of research, and then he’s coming home on Wednesday. Sounds like it’s been a successful trip; things are on schedule and they got some good interviews.

Grandma’s corner – Her 80th birthday party was a success! She doesn’t like to draw attention to herself, doesn’t want people to fuss over her, but we all wanted to do this for her, and she ended up enjoying herself. Her six children, their six spouses, and 13 of her 18 grandchildren plus one grandson-in-law took her out to dinner on Saturday night. We dined at the Borderview Resort, where one can, in fact, view the US-Canada border: the Rainy River. There are fishermen out there all the time, as long as the river is open enough for boats to navigate or icy enough for snowmobiles and ice-fishing houses. Even this weekend, in the cold, windy weather, the river was filled with boats. Not my cup of tea, but I’m glad so many others are enjoying it, I guess. I had walleye for dinner… so at least I’m enjoying it in that sense.

After dinner, we retired to my Uncle Neal and Aunt Diane’s house for birthday cake. We were joined by the extended family. My mom has 12 cousins. I’m not sure how many of them were there, but the house was certainly lively. The party broke up around 11, only to reconvene 10 hours later for brunch. (Huge props to my aunt and uncle for hosting all of it.) And then the Twin Cities families started the five-hour drive home, and the Duluth contingent started our little four-hour trip.

I’m excited about the prospect of spending Christmas in Baudette this year. We haven’t done that in a long time, but this weekend reminded me how great it is to be up there with everyone. It’s raucous, good-natured, woodsy, wholesome.

A funny work related note from the weekend: some of my cousins were watching the Laguna Beach marathon on Saturday morning, and they saw commercials for VLB! I had been talking about it earlier, so they were excited to tell me they had seen ads for “that virtual thing you do.” Neat!

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