Monday, April 19, 2010

A Surprising Weekend

You know how sometimes you plan to do things and then it all changes in a second or two?

That was our weekend. Here was the plan:
• Daughter-in-law and granddaughters were to arrive Friday night, late.
• We were going to Derek's to hang out with him and his girlfriend since he'd just got back from a month at training in Missouri.
• Saturday we planned on breakfast at the Downtowner, then some hang-around home time with granddaughters. Maybe go to the new/old log cabin and look around with them, maybe pick up a little trash, etc.
• Saturday night was to be a bonfire night, and Sunday would be a big breakfast and leisurely start to the day as our daughter-in-law and granddaughters prepared to return home to Virginia. After that, probably work in the garden and enjoy the firepit.

What actually happened:
Got to the store for groceries, went over to Derek's. Surprise! Aaron and Jaime were arriving shortly--so we'd see two sons instead of one. Excellent.

Phone call. Daughter-in-law can't come after all. Bummer.

After some conversation, Larry and I decided to go to Virginia and see them instead. Why not? We'd planned to spend the weekend with them anyway and it would be a beautiful trip with the trees coming out and so many in bloom. Two-lane roads are best for spring drives.

That's how the weekend turned into a surprise journey across West Virginia in what I am sure is the most beautiful of Springtime.

Saturday morning we left early for Virginia, taking Derek's two daughters with us because they really wanted to see their cousins. We decided to take Route 33, a two-lane road that actually cuts about 30 minutes off of the normal 6-hour drive, if we don't get behind too many slow drivers or trucks.

We stopped at Glenville for breakfast at one of our favorite restaurants, The Common Place. I hoped our friends Jim and Judy Meads might be there, but maybe we were too early for them. We didn't stop again until we reached Seneca Rocks, and that place just demands a stop for photos. I wonder how many hundreds I've taken of these soaring cliffs?

I am intrigued by the cleft in the rocks. I remember when a single stone stood there, back in the 1980's, like a sentinel over the valley below. Some people called the rock "Princess Snowbird" and a legend was supposedly created for tourists about the rock.

As we passed through Petersburg, WV, we noticed our oldest son's truck was in the parking lot of the bank where he is vice-president. Was he actually there? He was! The bank was closed but he was in his office, talking to another employee whose son just happens to work at Hillbilly Hotdogs in Huntington. Small world! George had just showed his friend the photos I'd taken when his friend looked out the window and said, "Isn't that your Mom out there?" 'Deed it was!

We had a quick visit and arranged to stop by his house the next day because it was his birthday, and because we wanted to see his children too.

It was good to see my daughter-in-law and the girls, and to also see the house they plan to move to in the near future.

We also visited Jon's grave, a difficult but also necessary thing to do. Like the day of the funeral, it was cold and windy and we shivered as we stood quietly among the old stones. I will be glad when the cemetery finally seeds the grave and we have the stone erected. Currently it being designed for us and we hope to place it this summer.

It was not easy to say goodbye again but I took a tiny piece of white quartz from the soil on his grave and put it in my pocket, a small talisman that will keep me connected no matter how far away I am.

We left after our visit to the cemetery, a quiet group for many miles as we remembered Jon and those terrible days in February. But ahead of was a cause for happiness, and it was good to realize that although sorrow is still with us, we still have cause for joy too. We got to George's in time for lunch and birthday cake.

It's just a little steep off the side of George's driveway!

At the top of the driveway the gates opened...

And there he was! We met Bailey too, his new dog. She's right friendly--I liked her right off.
This is the view from George's front door: indescribable, so the photo has to do:
Then cake! Just what we need, right? But it was fun to be there and celebrate with George and his family. The kids have grown so much that the youngest is now taller than me. Which isn't saying much, I guess, since I top out at 5'2".

We finally made it home around 9:30 after dropping off the girls. The house was so cold! it didn't take but a few minutes for Larry to get the fires going though and we dropped into bed soon after.

So that was my weekend--completely unexpected, but I managed to see all but one grandchild--Jordan was at her house and busy putting up a new deck and porch. We'll see most of them again this coming weekend when we celebrate Jordan's daughter Cadyn's first birthday, and several of my sons and my granddaughter Haley compete in a triathlon.

Sometimes the best things are those that we don't plan or expect, aren't they?


Jaime said...

It looks like you had a really nice weekend. I'm sorry we didn't get to see you all for very long and I definitely missed seeing Jen and the girls but as John Lennon once said, "Life is just what happens to you, While your busy making other plans".

TheresaandJay said...

I like that you have a rock in your pocket. I do the same thing, when I went to England I put a rock in my pocket and you know it's nice to put my hand in my coat pocket and feel England (and I guess in my weird way of thinking, touching Mom). Comfort comes in many ways.

Mary said...

You are so good at embracing the unexpected and turning it into an adventure! Hugs!

Granny Sue said...

I know, Jaime--we were looking forward to a good weekend with everyone but this turned out to be even better in the long run, and we saw every grandchild except Jordan and Jared--amazing! We'll see you this weekend at the triathlon, so that will be a good opportunity for everyone to talk.

Maggie and Roger said...

That was a great weekend Sue. I like that you have the rock as well. I miss you.

Anonymous said...

I understand the rock in a pocket, Sue...I have some from the house in Manassas and a piece of the old Lake Jackson bridge before my construction crew blew it up to put a newer one in. I get that!!!

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