Tag Archives: Family

How I spent (the rest of) my summer vacation

29 Aug
Do children still have to write essays about summer vacation when they return to school in the Fall? It occurs to me I wrote about some of our vacation when I posted about the time in the Dolomites (see Cooling off in the Alpe di Siusi and Good Morning Ortisei), but I never wrapped up with the fine time we had with our flock of visitors in Rome.
Elisabetta loved touching the water of the many fountains. Here Mamma Susan indulges.
Elisabetta loved touching the water of the many fountains. Here Mamma Susan indulges.
We were blessed with visits from the Seattle Bravenecs, also known as JSWE, for our time in the mountains and then 4 more days in Rome. We hit the Parco dei Mostri and Lago di Bracciano, entertained the kids while J&S went to the Vatican, shopped in Via Cola di Rienzo, celebrated Susan’s birthday at our favorite trattoria, and then welcomed the Omaha Bartons for their week in Italy.
We were so lucky at Lago di Bracciano. Morning rain in Rome scared off the people who had reserved space on this beach, so we were able to claim some sand. Otherwise they would have been fully booked. It was 82 (F) and sunny for us. Perfect!
We were so lucky at Lago di Bracciano. Morning rain in Rome scared off the people who had reserved space on this beach, so we were able to claim some sand. Otherwise they would have been fully booked. It was 82 (F) and sunny for us. Perfect!
We crammed all 10 of us in our little Roman apartment for a family dinner the night the Bartons arrived. It was fun to see everyone together: older cousins that had not seen each other in too many years (18?), and younger cousins who had never met.
When Susan and the littlest travelers headed off to Bratislava on the night train to Vienna our house felt ever-so-empty. Luckily Trevor, Andrea, Eli and Cade spent a few more days with us to ease the  transition to dining alone with cats after they all left.
We had looked forward to these visits for the better part of a year, but they were over too quickly!  Thanks Bartons and Bravenecs, for coming to Italy. We were happy to spend Our Summer Vacation with all of you!
 
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Taking leave

14 May

14 May 2012. The past few days we visited Minnesota and Nebraska to see family before we take off for Rome this week. Funny how when we go back in the lovely spring or fall weather you forget how brutal the weather can be in this part of the country. We always manage to get to the Midwest when it isn’t 10 below zero or 98 with matching humidity. Good planning on our part.

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Honor guard at Mom’s interment. Veterans and active service-persons participate.

Held an interment service for our Mom, who passed away last fall. These days you cannot always bury someone right after they die. Mom was a veteran and wanted to be buried in Fort Snelling National Cemetery. It takes a couple of weeks to get an appointment for a service because of the high demand for military burials right now, so her cremated remains were held by the funeral home until we could reconvene for the interment (notice we waited for good spring weather). The ceremony was quite touching. It is conducted by a group of retired veterans and they do an impressive job of honoring the deceased veteran. I suspect some of them were nearly as old as Mom would have been. There was a 21-gun salute, presentation of the flag, and lovely sentiments expressed. Very fitting, very honorable, very moving

Graduate Zachery with Grandpa and me.

Our Nebraska stop was motivated by the graduation of our oldest grandson. Both of Ric’s kids and their families were present for the festivities, so a terrific chance to see everyone in one place. Graduating senior Zachery is the second-highest rated batter in the high school league in Nebraska, and we were able to see game one of the tournaments Saturday night. Zachery had 4 hits and the Skyhawks shut-out the opponents 6 to 0. Somehow fitting to spend an evening at an all-American type of sporting event just days before we leave the U.S. It was a lovely spring evening, surrounded by family, a hawk circling the sky over the diamond.

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My little spruce became a giant in 28 years.

Of course visiting places one has lived before leads to reminiscing. We drove by our old house in Omaha, which I purchased as a single mom in 1984, a year before Ric and I married. I had a little Colorado blue spruce planted in my yard that spring. It was so small – maybe 3 feet tall – that I, at 5’2”, towered over it. The first Christmas I was able to decorate it with a string of only 25 lights. Now look at it! Nice to see that tree has endured.

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