Hmmm, my last blog entry was July 23rd, and was titled Busy Summer. Well now it’s mid October. What happened to the summer?
I suppose I could blame it all on the "mountain of laundry" I mentioned, but that would be completely true. As always, life got in the way, and I got out of the habit of calling up this blog site. So many excuses, few of which are worthy. So let me fulfill a promise in the last entry and tell about part of my summer.
A bit of background, first: My wife’s family comes (most recently) from central Ohio, and her parents some decades ago purchased a piece of land on an island off the northern coast of Ohio on Lake Erie, and built a nice summer home there. We (my wife, kids and I) have for many years traveled from New Hampshire for a week or so each summer, usually around the 4th of July holiday.
This year, with the 4th on a Wednesday, it would logically mean that we’d head out on the previous weekend and stay for a full week or two. The plans got a bit tangled, however, when A) my cousin was getting married on Long Island, NY on Friday June 29th, and B) my son had a football camp in Worcester MA from Saturday the 30th until Tuesday July 2nd. Since my wife works about 17 miles from the football camp, we came up with a Plan:
We drove from home in New Hampshire down to my parents in New York City on Thursday the 28th, and attended an utterly amazing wedding. (Perhaps another blog entry someday? 8^) Bright and early on Saturday, my wife drove my son back to Massachusetts, dropping him off at football camp, and continuing on back to New Hampshire. Since she had to work, and I was on vacation (high school teacher, got the summer off), I stayed with my daughter Michelle in NYC, spending a few quality days with my parents. Anyway, the master plan said that come Tuesday the 3rd, my wife would pick up my son from football camp, pick up my daughter and I, and we would continue on to Ohio for a week and a half with her family.
Things went according to plan for all of about 4 days. My wife called me Sunday evening to tell me about an “enhancement” idea she had. My oldest son Will is a cadet at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado, and for a variety of reasons found himself stuck out there for the summer. A previous “master plan” had him coming home sometime over the summer, and heading back to USAFA in a car we have been saving for him. Since he wasn’t coming home, this wasn’t going to happen, and he was looking at a LONG summer without any means of transportation. Anyway, my wife came up with the following idea: She would put Will’s bicycle in the back of he van when she headed out to pick us up and drive to Ohio. Sometime during our stay, my other son Tom and I would drive out to Colorado to bring Will his bike and spend a few days with him.
So bright and early on Tuesday the 3rd, Michelle and I took a subway to Penn Station in Manhattan, and grabbed an Amtrak train 150 miles north to Albany NY. My wife left work at noon, picked up Tom in Worcester, and drove 2 hours West to Albany, where she picked us up. We then drove nearly non-stop to Ohio, about 600 miles / 9 hours.
We spent Wednesday the 4th on South Bass Island, enjoyed the fireworks, tooled around a bit (fixing this an that around my in-laws’ house), and had a quiet Thursday with family and friends. At daybreak Friday, Tom and I jumped in the van, took the ferry to the mainland, turned West on I-80, and headed to Colorado. Okay, so there was about 20 hours of driving in there, through Indiana, Illinois, and Iowa, with a stop in the middle of Nebraska for sleep, but we got to USAFA around noon on Saturday. I can’t do the scene justice with my simple words, but trust me when I say that my 6’5” tall third year cadet looked like a kid at Christmas when I opened the back of the van and he said, “It’s my bike!”
After an all-too-short stay (three days), Tom & I headed home. We took a more Southern route, driving through Kansas and Missouri. On a humorous note, I realized that I drove past seven Major League Baseball Stadiums (Shea and Yankee in New York, Cleveland, Chicago, Denver, Kansas City, and St. Louis), but unfortunately we didn’t / couldn’t stop to see any games. Over 4,000 miles (6,400 km) of driving, loaded with great memories, and lots of quality time with both sons. Priceless.