Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Us, being us.

Summer is Over

Been so busy. Work is silly at best and the kids are back to school already. The van is down, which is a real pain, because Ed is taking the bus. That means we have to scavenge up bus fare daily.

We almost didn't get him off to school this year because of his knee. As I said earlier, he blew his knee out weeks and weeks ago. It isn't healing, yet he has a good, long walk to the bus stop each morning. By the time he gets home, he's sore and he's icing it up. Ed has Philosophy, Psychology, Piano 2, Speech and Trig. He's already studying like crazy, and I would love to trash his keyboard.

Becki is also walking, although in her case, it is train station. This might be a good thing for her. Becki is taking Quantitative Composition, Art Basics and Composition. She was trying to figure out the difference between Quantitative Composition and regular Composition, and wondered if they didn't screw up giving her the same class twice. Imagine her surprise to find out Quantitative Composition was actually a math class. Ha ha. Thought she got out of that one. Becki isn't a strong student, never has been. She knows that she only has six years of grants so she has to finish her degree within that time frame. If she keeps up the way she's going, it will take a full six years.

She had a big surprise when she returned last week. There were 100 kids in her class last year. Sixty dropped out. I know when I went to parents orientation last year, they said they had only lost seven from the previous year. My bet is, the economy wiped them out big time. Becki also said that there are no classes on Friday, which leads me to believe that they were hit hard by the recession.

Sunday we had the opportunity to visit with family. Bill's mother's family that is. They come from Pennsylvania. We saw the sisters last when Becki was a baby, and they came in for Thanksgiving. We hadn't seen their mother and stepfather since the boys were babies. We spent the night at their home on the way home from Washington D.C. Ed was 3 and Jon was 1. I remember Ed studying the stepfather's guitar saying, "Botar, botar!" He even tried playing an air guitar to show him what he wanted. Anyway, maybe four years ago, Bill, Becki and I were in PA for a family reunion, his father's side, and we drove within a few miles of this family's house. We'd have to take a road coming away from this bridge. As we approached it, we both recognized it. Bill kept asking me, "Should I? What do you think?" "Go!" I told him, pointing to the side road. He did, too. We interrupted his cousin at Sunday school. She took us back to her house where her eldest daughter and her husband were. We visited with them, and we spoke to her other daughter on the phone. The second daughter was a librarian in Ohio at the time. Anyway, we made a point of keeping in touch. Every weekend Bill calls the mother and daughter in Pennsylvania, and then the second daughter in Ohio. The husband passed away since we first got together with them again. He was 95 years old. It was good to see him before it happened.

Then the second daughter was laid off. It took her quite a while to find another job, and much to all our surprises, she landed in a small town in Indiana. She's only an hour and a half away. Bill and the boys met her, her mother and sister and helped them move her into her new place. The second daughter joined us Fourth of July weekend for ribs. This past weekend, her mother and sister drove in from Pennsylvania. Bill had been teasing all of them about not knowing what real pizza tastes like. That we have a place right here in town that has killer pizza and that they had to try it. He invited them to join us. Being that he's kind of stuck in a chair for the most part, he called everyone he could think of, and asked them to join us if the Pennsylvania/Indiana cousins made it. They did, and so did a few Illinois family members. It was great having about three hours to share. What was better yet, the cousins who had moved to Arizona and were abandoned there, also joined us. It was possibly the second outing they've had since returning at Easter time.

It just goes to show you how important even extended family is. I don't think either one of us could have lived with ourselves if we hadn't taken that detour that day.