Saturday, July 19, 2008

Visiting Family

The main purpose for my trip was to get away and visit as many family members as possible. My dad's sibilings had held a reunion in May but for various reasons, I wasn't able to attend. That meant that instead of conveniently seeing everyone in one location, I had to go track down the ones I could see. Not as efficient but nice because you get more one on one time.

Tuesday morning I went to my cousin Suzanne's house. She has two daughters and her husband was there for awhile before he had to go to work. My Aunt Emily (my dad's sister), cousin Rhonda and four of her kids joined us for coffee. We had a wonderful time even though we didn't stay very long.

After that Mom and I stopped and picked up Grandpa and went to my cousin Naomi's. Naomi is Aunty Liz's daughter. She has two girls. Her sister Ruth (and Ruth's son Jonathan) were there as well. Ruth, Naomi and I are all very close in age and I spent a lot of time with them in the summers when I would visit. It was great to see them again and catch up a bit.

That evening I met up with a friend for dinner. Getting to the restaurant required navigating Edmonton's river valley which is always an adventure but I arrived successfully. While I was there an impressive thunder and hail storm occured. I found out later that Mom had tried to go for a walk and got caught in it. Oops!

Wednesday morning Mom and I got up and drove out to join Dad's sister Louise (he is one of six, Mom is one of four hence all the relatives) and her husband Rick at Thunder Lake Provincial Park near Barrhead. They were taking their RV up there for a few days and invited us to join them. We spent the day relaxing in the sun and around the campfire visiting and catching up. Three of their children were able to join us during the day and I got to meet my cousin's kids for the first time.

Thursday we packed up, said good bye to Grandpa and headed South. This is Grandpa and I. He's doing quite well for an 83 year old.

On the way out of town we stopped in to see my mom's Uncle Oskar and Aunt Helen. We didn't stay long but I did get Aunty Helen to tell me a bit about the trip from Germany to Canada. More on that later.

Our last stop before hitting the road in earnest was for lunch in Ponoka with my Dad's Aunt Elsie. We had a fantastic visit with her. She's 83, fit as a fiddle and the funniest woman you'll ever meet. She reminds me a lot of my grandma (her sister) but without the worry gene that my Dad and I inherited. She swims at least three times a week (and has been doing so for over twenty years), volunteers at her church, in the community center that is part of her building and travels to see her three kids, three grand kids and one great grand child frequently. If I am doing as well as her when I get to that age I will happy with life.

We finally got to Uncle Tim and Aunt Candace's mid afternoon. Candace had picked up pizza from Seth (he's assistant manager at Panago) and she headed out at five to attend the Judd's concert with her sister. Mom and I stayed at the house and "babysat" which mostly consisted of playing the board game LIFE with my cousins. (It's a blast by the way, especially since they have a newer version of the game which has great updates). Tim, Robert and Seth got home later in the evening and again it was just a lot of visiting and quality time together.

That's a run down of the family that I managed to connect with. The rest of my time was spent wtith Tim, Candace, their three boys and my two brothers, in different combinations.

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