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Tuesday, October 10, 2006

There is a town in north Ontario
With dream comfort memory despair
And in my mind I still need a place to go
All my changes were there
--"Helpless" Neil Young

We had a weekend of flashbacks. We took a trip to Patrick and Carroll Counties for Tracy's 20th high school reunion and to visit my grandmother and my grandfather. We had a great time and laughed a lot (thanks, Cliff and Rebecca, for the most hilarious party recap ever...my stomach was sore the next day from laughing so hard!).

We had the opportunity to walk around Stuart a bit and run into some familiar sights and faces. It is quite surreal to visit a place you last lived in 1989 and find so much the same. I saw an old neighbor, a friend's father, another friend's mother, and lots of other people and places I knew a long time ago.

My grandmother "Makey" will be 90 in a few weeks, and my Aunt Katie took her to Myrtle Beach one last time over the weekend. We arrived in town in time to see her off. I've watched her age so quickly in the last few years that each time I visit I worry that it will be the last time. I love to watch her with our girls and wish they could know her like I do. What an amazing woman she was and is; losing her mother at an early age, living in a barn with her father and 5 sisters after their house burned down, suffering several miscarriages, losing her husband when her children were teens, operating her own business in what was at the time a man's field, surviving cancer, and this weekend taking off for a 6 hour trip that is probably beyond her both physically and emotionally. But she did it! Clare, notice her mouth is open in the photo as always, and I even said "don't forget to close your mouth, Makey!".

Visits to my grandfather in Carroll County are bittersweet. Since my grandmother passed away in the spring he is lonely and often tearful. He is growing thinner and more bedridden, and visiting in a nursing home is never easy. But his health seems good and he is always so glad to see us, as are we to see him. During one visit they wore princess gowns and tiaras, which created quite a stir amongst the other residents as well! I suppose they don't receive much royalty in the Galax nursing facility.

Tracy's class reunion was a blast. The short people enjoyed the family portion, especially because they were able to meet our friends Cliff & Rebecca and Dena (Cliff and Rebecca gave India her "lovey" and they have grown up hearing Dena stories from my childhood). India can't stop talking about her new friend Anna; they seemed to form some sort of instant bond. And India was excited to see our friend Randy because she knows him and will always remember the time he was visiting and she "throwed up" and had to go to the hospital. The evening was, of course, the most fun. It was great to see so many familiar faces and catch up as well as tell old stories. The DJ mixed the typical 80s music, there were lots of surprises and lots of folks who hadn't changed one bit! Mike and Brooke, so glad you came by, too. The evening made me really look forward to my reunion next year. I had such a good time that my camera sat on a table, untouched, for the entire party.


4 comments:

NCArthurs said...

Oh my God - that necklace India's wearing..."Isn't it delightful?" or something like that? The Einstein at McD's gave the boys each one when we were on our vacation and they creeped Pat out so badly we had to pitch them at the next rest stop.
Glad you had such a good trip. Joe saw a picture of Kate on the screen-saver today, got very sad and said, "I miss the Turmans."
Me too, Joe.

The Turmanators said...

The direct quote from the necklace is "you look fantastic", spoken in the most psychotic whisper I have ever heard, and you know I've heard some real ones. We were exposed to that IN STEREO on the drive home and it upset Tracy and I to the point that we made the girls turn them off. Way to go, Pat!

Delane said...

Kate has the same strangle hold on India that Jackson puts on Ben for photos. It sounds like a fun trip and reunion.

NCArthurs said...

"You look fantastic!" That's it! I can't believe I haven't been hearing it in my nightmares for the last two weeks. Funny thing is, we made sure to ask for the boy toy at the next McD's stop, and it was some psycho-crazy homicidal robot thing with a gun in one hand and a murderous power tool in the other that shot out what looked like sharp-edged sanding disks (a "bionical" I guess?). We threw those away too.