I'm on vacation this week, and it started with a bang: daughter-in-law Jen and her girls came Thursday night, and since it was Jen's birthday, we all went out to dinner to celebrate. I had to work and Friday night was a bit quiet as Jennifer went out with friends and two of her three daughters stayed with their oldest sister. Saturday we started with breakfast at the Downtowner, then home to be here in time for our oldest son to arrive with his two children who will be here for a week. He stayed long enough for a game of golf with Jennifer; the rest of us took off for Hillbilly Hotdogs in Lesage, WV, an experience that most of our guests had not yet had. Clayton and Ally were up to the challenge:
and Katie even sang the "Hillbilly Hotdog Song" to win a free ice cream for Poppa Larry.
We also stopped off in Point Pleasant to see the Mothman statue and enjoy the riverwalk. Funniest thing--a wedding on the riverwalk and a young boy, a member of the wedding party, who answered the call of nature, baring his behind to all of us while the rest of the wedding party was having its pictures taken. Too funny. The kids enjoyed the mural and took pretty interesting photos, like this one of Cassidy "kissing" one of the braves depicted in a battle scene.
Sunday morning started with pancakes for all and then most of the crowd left to celebrate Jordan's birthday with a cookout. I went to the store to pick up a few supplies for this week's programs and upcoming meals, then spent the afternoon planning and rehearsing and leaning up the house. We made dill pickles in the evening, and finished off with the firepit and conversation on the porch with our grandchildren.
Monday was a busy day--up and out by 10 am with our whole crew for my storytelling performances at Sistersville Library and Pleasants County Library. (You can see some great photos here.)
It's no small thing to get 10 or 11 people out the door and on the road that early, especially when they were
and Michaela's reaction to his antics:
The corn and basil cakes were delicious and deliciously simple, my kind of food. While Jen and Jordan cooked the tacos, Kate, Grace and I made these cakes, Ally sliced and arranged cucumbers, Jaime sliced tomatoes and Larry prepared the sun tea and watermelon chunks. It was a meal to remember, not just for flavor but for the camaraderie of many hands at work.
Jaime and her two children, Jen and Ally had to leave after lunch. The rest of us cleaned up, talked, the kids made glass bead suncatchers and I started yet another batch of pickles. The six pints we made Sunday were already down to one pint; this family does love dill pickles! So tonight Grace and I made another 12 pints.
Now there is only Larry, me and four grandchildren who will be here the rest of the week. It's different now when they come because they are all getting older--these four are 12-16 years old. Larry is teaching some of them to drive a stickshift and the tractor. Tonight they're working with my string figure books, re-learning the figures they used to know. One is learning to play my dulcimer. There is no television here to entertain them so it's really different for this electronically minded generation. So far so good. Tomorrow Larry and Clayton will put new exhaust on my car, I hope, so it stops sounding like a tractor. I am not sure right now what the girls and I will get into, but I know I have peppers to chop for the freezer and a bushel of peaches to think about at least.
For the rest of the week, there is storytelling to do on Thursday and Friday and Saturday granddaughter Cassie and I will be getting ready for our week at the Augusta Heritage Irish Week. We'll take everyone else home on our way on Sunday.
If the rest of the week is as interesting as the last few days, we'll all end up with new tales to tell.