8 Uptakes

1.   I still regard air travel with wide-eyed wonder.  That we could wake up in Pennsylvania and go to sleep in Oregon is in the realm of miraculous.  My favorite part of flying?  The thirty seconds before the air leaves the ground…feeling those g-forces, oh yeah!

2.   Relaxed brides are a blessing.  I quote my niece Faith:  All I ever wanted was a Cinderella dress and Gerber daisies.  She got that and a whole lot more beauty.  Photos (and flowers) by Tiffany, the wedding coordinator.  One of the pleasures of playing the piano for weddings is a clear view of the groom’s face as the bride comes down the aisle.  This groom’s smile was wider than the Mississippi. 

3.   Small world stories are more fun than bubble wrap and your very own box of sparklers.  We made a rip-roaring, over-the-moon connection this weekend.  Our old family friends were in my small town -unaware that I lived here- last summer to see their friends in the region that belong to me too!  Did they [mutual friends] know you were a Harper?  Um, no, I don’t normally go around announcing my maiden name.

4.    Our hotel was next to the cemetery where my niece is buried.  Ellie’s journey on earth was too short, one brief day in 1985.  A group of us hiked up the hill to see the heart-shaped stone above her grave.  I love the impulse of my siblings to mark and share that loss.  I wish dear Ellie were still with us.

5.   A delightful surprise was an impromptu drum recital (!) given by my sister-in-law, who surely gets the Lifetime Learner Award.  At sixty, she’s acted on a desire to learn to play the drums.  You know: the whole drum set thing.  My brother drops her off for lessons and they have a date night afterward.  How cool is that?

6.  My sister and her husband made heroic efforts to be with us.  Limited mobility and chronic pain are part and parcel of her life.  Yet you will never hear her complain.  She amazed all of us with her determination and gumption.

7.   My nephew shared his pictures from a trip he took with his sister (my niece) to eastern Turkey.  I was amazed at the Armenian Cathedral ruins at Ani.   

check out the story of Jonah and the whale

8.   As a large family whose parents are gone, we don’t have the best track record for staying in touch.  After such a great time together we have renewed intentions to meet again…sooner than later.  The older I get, the more I understand the Jewish words of parting: next year in Jerusalem.  Our Jerusalem may be St. Paul, MN, and we hope it might included a performance of Prairie Home Companion.  

Also file in the Renewed Intentions File: trip to NYC to see my nephew, an Art History major, for a few days of art museums; The Sturdy Shoes Trip (what my sister-in-law and I call our dream of a children’s literature tour of the UK). 


13 thoughts on “8 Uptakes

  1. An Art History major…my daughter would be so jealous…she’s graduating with a bachelors in History next month…and wishes it was in Art History.  Love this post…..What an amazing time you had.  Makes me want to get my people together in our Jerusalem….The Dalles of all places!

  2. Carol, thank you for this wonderful report on your trip. Makes me want to get my family together again and that would take probably more than is possible any more. All of us are at an age and physical condition that makes travel difficult if not impossible, though I am contemplating a flight to Utah this summer to see those great-grandbabies again. The youngest are 2 years old now and I last saw them as infants. We shall see…Lord willing!

  3. This is a lovely post, best wishes to the newlyweds and may your niece’s Memory be Eternal.Squeal, those photos are incredible, I’d love to go someday.

  4. Oh wow, his smile is bigger than the Mississippi.  He’s one happy groom… how wonderful.  congratulations to the happy couple.How beautiful & loving that your family shares the loss of your one-day old niece together all these years later… what a rare gift.

  5. I enjoyed reading about your trip.” As a large family whose parents are gone, we don’t have the best trackrecord for staying in touch.  After such a great time together we haverenewed intentions to meet again…sooner than later.” I can so relate to this. My husband just lost his 56 yr old brother (on Mother’s Day) and the shrinking family circle reminds us that we must redouble our efforts to make time for our siblings. Our dear niece is expecting her 1st child and will sorely miss her Papa. I’m hoping hubby and I can be there for her.

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