November Visits with Friends and Family

I realized, as I was scheduling my blog posts, that I am still writing about New Mexico after we have been in Ohio for five weeks.  Tom and I had such an eventful trip back to Ohio that I will still be writing about the places that made an impression for another six weeks.  But we have been in Ohio for a month now, and I want to write about some of what we are doing while we are here.  So I will interrupt my travelogue to talk about November visits with friends and family.

Tom and I are very thankful that we always receive a warm welcome in Ohio, even when it has been below freezing most days in temperature.  We started getting e-mails from people in September who were eager to get on our schedule for November visits.  I am sorry that we can’t fit in visits to everyone we would like to see.

We finally made it back to Ohio on November 3 after an eventful October.  Our goal was to make it back in time to vote on November 6.  We saw John and Jackie the day after we got back, but Mom and Dad were busy until November 7.  Dad is a judge for elections, so he works hard on election day and is always tired afterward.  While we are in Ohio we try to see John and Jackie and my parents at least twice a week.

On Thanksgiving, the entire extended family got together at my brother’s house.  We were blessed that everyone was able to attend this year on Thanksgiving day.  My parents, all our family, all my sister’s family, and all my brother’s family.  Two tables were set up in Steve’s house and all the grandkids claimed one table as “the kids’ table.”  They wouldn’t let any of the older generations sit with them.  It was fun to listen to them talking, teasing each other, and laughing together.  Unfortunately we didn’t get a group picture, but we made plenty of heart memories to carry with us.

Mom and Dad and John and Jackie joined us for my birthday, on November 10.  We ate at Sweet Carrot (yum) then played dominoes at John and Jackie’s house.  We also watched enough of the Ohio State vs Michigan State game to trust that OSU had it well in hand.  Jackie made sure I had a cake which we all enjoyed.

Tom and I really appreciate friends who are willing to come to Delaware or Columbus to see us.  Bill and Barbara Ruh stopped by on their way from British Columbia to Massachusetts.  I have mentioned them before in my blog.  We visited them in Massachusetts and they visited us on St. Simons.  This time they parked their trailer across from ours and we enjoyed lunch and a nice walk on a rare sunny day.

We met with our Mogadore friends (or, as I like to say, “the usual suspects”) on our day in Akron.   We got together in Fairlawn and enjoyed supper at Outback Steakhouse.  Susan Ross was just elected Common Pleas Judge in Summit County so we enjoyed hearing about the campaign and celebrating her victory.  Esther and Tom Shuman are expecting their second grandchild just after Christmas so we looked at their pictures.  Sandy and Eric Shaw continue to run an old folks home in their house and try to care for themselves while they are caring for aging parents.

Just a few days later, we got to spend the afternoon with John and Jackie and Steve and Amy Winstead.  Steve is John’s “Iittle brother” and often accompanied our family on vacations.  Steve and Amy have the travel bug just like we do, and they have been on two cruises since their wedding 18 months ago.  We talked about doing some traveling together in the future.  After we ate at Melt we went bowling which I haven’t done in 20 years.  Amazingly I won (technically I tied with John but still . . . )!  We won’t talk about the second game.

The week of Thanksgiving I met with Krissa and Kyle.  You will hear more about them in a couple of weeks when I officiate at their wedding.  We got together to talk about wedding plans and the ceremony itself.

The ladies who lunch

Finally, on the last day of the month we spent the day with two groups of people from the Wedgewood church.  I ate lunch at Der Dutchman with some women who are my most loyal blog readers and wonderful friends.  Brenda, Kristen, and Kris were all there and they are the people who comment most often on my blog posts.  But they also brought Ella, Rue, and Kayla and it was so good to see all of them.  The only problem – not enough time to talk to each one individually!

The other group was our good friends, the Vargas.  We spend time with Steve and Pam whenever we get a chance.  They have visited us in Georgia and we traveled to Myrtle Beach to spend time with them.  Whenever we are in Ohio they meet us halfway and bring the kids.  This visit Alex, Nick, and Nick’s girlfriend Amanda were all able to come.  We had a fun and rousing dinner at Perkin’s in Ashland.  As usual, we stayed until the place shut down.

I am thankful for people who work to keep in touch with us and our wandering lifestyle.  I am especially thankful for those who are willing to travel to see us or meet us halfway.  These people bless me with their friendship every day. and our November visits reaffirmed our ties.