I had such a great weekend. It is always a good thing when I get to cut out early on a Friday, and I did that last Friday - leaving at noon to start my weekend. Sean was leaving for his annual fishing trip in Canada, so he was excited, and the girls and I were heading back to my hometown area for the weekend.
To start things off this social weekend, we stopped at Subway to pick up sandwiches for supper later at the lake. My niece's friend was working and the only patron in the store was my former basketball coach. I laughed and had a good time chatting with both of them.
That night, we went out to the lake cabin where my friends were staying - that wonderful family from the anniversary party last weekend. My girls got to play in the lake with the other kids tearing around, and I got to chat with my high school friend who now lives in Sweden. It was lovely and a beautiful night at the lake. There weren't even mosquitoes to speak of, until the sun went down. It was awesome.
Saturday morning, we were driving to my mother's hometown to meet a bunch of my family at the cemetery, where we were meeting to bury my uncle's ashes. He died in Memphis around Christmas, and his sons came up from Tennessee to inter him with my grandparents. But before we left, I went to the grocery store to pick up soda and ice and ran into a good guy friend and his two boys - hadn't seen him in several years, so that was a surprise treat.
My sister and I car pooled to Pipestone for the burial. It was a gorgeous day and a happy occasion to see everyone, while at the same time a poignant goodbye to my uncle. We had a picnic afterwards, which was interesting, since this group of about 15 adults and 15 kids is roughly 50% alpha dogs when it comes to planning and organizing. Picture a herd of sheep with a half dozen sheepdogs, all with a different idea of where those sheep should be, and the other half dozen sheepdogs muttering their own opinions but fighting their own urge to herd the sheep. Somehow, all the sheep were fed and no stragglers were lost.
Afterwards we took the kids to the Pipestone National Monument. If you ever have a few hours in southwestern Minnesota, it is really something to see. You think it's all just random prairie and then there are these gorgeous cliffs and quarries just hidden out there, with a creek and waterfall too. Gorgeous!
And then back to the hometown area where the remaining cousins (and my mom and uncle) gathered at a local establishment on Green Lake for supper and more smart talk. It was a great location (thanks, it was this sheepdog's suggestion) and about eight of us hung out until after dark, catching up and hopefully starting planning discussions for another family reunion.
I was laughing by Saturday night, wondering who else I'd see out of the blue. Well, as it turned out, it was one of my daughters' very first daycare teachers! I saw this young lady out on the patio at the restaurant and thought she looked familiar. Asked my sister if she knew her, which would rule in or rule out anyone from our hometown, and she did not. Then the light bulb went off and I walked up and asked her if I knew her from Loving Arms daycare - and I was right! The bummer was that my cousin's husband had just taken all our kids back to the hotel to swim, but happily enough, they had just come outside to say goodbye to everyone and she had seen them and recognized them, though she didn't think I'd remember her, so she didn't say anything. Funny enough, my husband and I had just been talking about this daycare teacher (Stacy) and her sister who also was a teacher there, only about two weeks ago, and were trying to remember Stacy's name. I was tickled to have talked to her.
It was a lovely weekend of catching up and seeing old friends and extended family. I left with a smile on my face and a great feeling of reconnection.