Kate and I drew a lucky card when it comes to people who love us. While the Morgan girls choo-chooed North to Montana for a few days to see Gramma DeAnn and Grampa Pat - many helpers made the trip possible. Among them are: Ryan, who volunteered (see also: agreed to) stay with Robby in Oregon. Grammy, who also tended Robby for two days. Maile who, again, tended Robby (on his roughest day). Many thanks to all, I wish I could have shared an ice cream soda at Norm's and built a snow man with all of you.
Here's some of what we did:
Norms News, a good old-fashioned soda fountain. and a superb place to celebrate anything. Birthdays, arrivals, departures, anniversaries, loose teeth, train rides, anything!
Think bookstore meets candy shop meets soda fountain, meets high school reunion and you've got Norms. Of course I saw one of my high school teachers there. It was great.
There's a fantastic mural on the brick wall depicting norms news through the years. The mural was behind us, and a big mirror was in front of us.
I got a ice cream sundae with fudge and nuts and whipped cream and a cherry. Yum.
Kate got bubble gum ice cream. Yuck.
Plenty of sledding. Grampa set the world record for distance when he carved a track about 1/4 mile long. I know I exaggerate sometimes, this is not an exaggeration. It was a amazing. Even the deer were amazed. This is an exaggeration. They had to keep running to avoid freezing to death.
And a snow man/ UFO, minus the flying bit. His name was frosty he was lovely until his nose fell off the next day.
A word on parents, addressed to my parents:
Some of you may have heard the term, "eternal round." I think this phrase and the word parenting should be listed as synonyms. Life is often one great big circle of loops, peaks and valleys; parenting included. My parents may have projected, like me, that after their youngest moved out they would shout, "finito!" Or maybe in their case, as English-speaking Americans, "done!" Not so. As the youngest, I thank you for your continued dedication to us, your kids. As a remote child you continuously call, you mail, you transfer funds, you send your love, and you pray fervently. As a visiting child you bought be breakfast. You helped pay for my train fare. You purchased new mascara for me when I forgot mine. You called the doctor for me when I needed a prescription. You chased down a new prescription for me after a fiasco with the original. You let me borrow your book I hadn't finished when I left. Even after all you did, you continued to urge me to disclose what else I needed and comfort me as my still child-like tears spilled over the distress of growing up. Ryan's parents, neither of you, and no one I know is perfect. Thankfully we have a big round life housing examples like you to soften the nudging elbows of mistakes and misdeeds. I love you both.