“If you don’t like the weather…just wait a few minutes.” Samuel Clemens, a.k.a. Mark Twain, was referring to New England, but he just as easily been discussing May in Michigan. In the same week we’ve had hot days with sunburned skin along with freezing rain and snow. This past week we had several splendiferous days of 60-70, light breezes, and clear skies. This weekend we broiled under 80-degree skies, and then shivered in cold rain. Yesterday morning I woke to a pall of fog. More rain flooded soaked grounds today, but then blew away on afternoon breezes leaving a threat of frost in its wake.
It takes a sturdy kind of person to plan a vacation in such weather. Fortunately, I am happy to call some of those very folks my family. Despite a disappointing mushroom season (yes, I know it seems like I’ve found my share, but normally my share is much bigger, and Tony and I store up extras to share out through the months between seasons), my dad and mom and her two cousins came to visit us this weekend to hunt mushrooms and hang out. Normally the two activities conspire as one, but though we hunted and hunted, we were vastly more successful at hanging out.
My parents drove 8 hours to visit, with my dad both itching to get back to his southern Ohio fields to plant (it’s too rainy there as well) and itching to find those darn morels. My mom was elated (and I was shocked/excited/happyhappyhappy) that she could walk as much as she did. Remember the surgery we celebrated last year? It didn’t take. She had to get the stents reopened, which also didn’t take. She’s since quit smoking (nearly two months, holy cow!!), and is three weeks out from a bypass. And she spent her recovery time like I would mine – scouting for morels. The mushroom catch was not worth the 8-hour drive, but hopefully the hanging out was.
Jeff and Jody, my mom’s cousins, drove 9 hours up and over from Wheeling, their second visit since we moved. Having such a close relationship with somewhat distant family (both genetically and geographically) is really special. It is beyond cool to share this bond that we have. Chocolate/caramel cupcakes don’t hurt either 😉
I feel so very fortunate to live in a place that family wants to come visit, and also that they’re willing. We know it’s a long way here, and we’re happy to have you, and so glad you come. We love you guys! (Also, thanks to all who make it through these words and photos – love to you too!)