80 Years Young

My youngest Aunt, Bernie, mother of my cousin Theresa, turned 80 at the end of May.  Her brother, my Uncle Bob, wanted to celebrate the occasion with a small gathering of some of the senior – vaccinated family members.  Theresa said she would not fly in (from Colorado) on the Memorial Day weekend, correctly guessing that with the lifting of the Covid restrictions, the airports would be crowded.  They settled on May the 22nd as the date for a mid afternoon meal and celebration.

How quickly the time came and ready or not Theresa and her husband flew in and stayed at a local hotel.  He went off to visit his brothers and mainly his now 93 year old mom, who was thrilled to see him. 

Theresa arrived at my home before noon and loaded up all the special toys I wanted to pass on to the little grand daughter of my cousin, Lil, having reconciled that there will be no grandchldren in my life, since neither of my adult children ever married. 

One of the dolls wore a beautiful red crocheted dress, hat and pantaloons was crocheted by my Aunt Phil for my daughter.  I wanted to keep the doll in Aunt Phil’s line so I sent photos ahead and asked my cousin Liz, who was hosting Theresa, Ken and I overnight, if she wanted it and she enthusiastically said she did. 

Then Theresa added my overnight bag to the load and we headed off to find a flower shop to get pretty flowers for her mom’s birthday. We were both happy with our selections and headed out to he highway for the ride to Wooster Ohio. 

Once we arrived in Wooster our first stop was the local grocery store where I sat in the car waiting as Theresa went inside to get a bottle of nice wine from each of us. 

From there Theresa’s gps guided us to Aunt Esther and Uncle Bob’s house where the others had already gathered. Ken arrived before the meal was presented.

My family is always ready to get together, always happy to see each other and swap stories from our pasts and compare notes about our time with our grandparents.  There is always much laughter, a few martinis prepared by Uncle Bob, wine, snacks – this time popcorn, and me taking lots of pictures. Liz’s husband, Rich, is also taking photos. 

We all agreed that everyone looked really good.  So a year plus of staying home and keeping a low profile was not a bad thing for us. 

As the afternoon wore on Theresa announced that she would sing two songs for us but mostly for her mother who said she had missed hearing Theresa sing. (Theresa was with the Cleveland Operea for ten years and is now a member of the choir of the Cathedral of Denver.)  She had a little microphone which she plugged into her smart phone to play the music which we all thought amazing.   

The wonderful meal of stuffed cabbage, stuffed peppers and lasagne were prepared by General Food Service and all was delicious.  After cake and coffee my Aunt opened her presents – clearly she was happy and contented with everything. 

As daylight waned the group began the farewells and promises to meet again before long. Theresa, Ken and I went to Rich and Liz’s home and sat on the patio extending our visit and catching up a little more.  I wore out first and as I sat in my room upstairs it occurred to me that I had arrived at that age where I had to wind down for the night while the others kept talking and sipping.  It was a little sad but I was too exhausted to care.

Before I came downstairs in the morning Ken had gone to the airport to return home to Colorado.  Rich fed us all a wonderful breakfast and Theresa and I went over to St. Mary’s to participate in the Pentecost Mass, which was wonderful  concelebrated by Father Moran, now the pastor at St. Mary’s, whom I remember from St. Charles in Parma.   

Back at Liz and Rich’s home, Aunt Bernie and her youngest, Amanda, and Corrine, who worked with Bernie in her real estate days, stopped by on their way home from Uncle Bob and Aunt Esther’s.

A few snapshots later and we all said our so longs and thanked Liz and Rich for their hospitality. Liz and Rich looked a little like zombies as they normally hit the sack at about nine p.m., but not with all this company.

On the way eastward Bernie called Theresa and we all ended up at Bernie’s house for an excellent pizza and rootbeer. Let the party commence. 

Theresa and I got back to my house and called it a day.  The next day she rolled up her sleeves, put rubber gloves on, asked for rags and tackled an assortment of chores for me, like switching some chairs around, hauling a night stand from the kitchen to it’s new position next to the hutch in the dining room, and planting a half flat of snapdragons out into porch pots.  Now the porch looks properly decorated.

Bernie called and Theresa told her we had planned to go out for Chinese dinner so she and Amanda joined us for that.   

The next morning Theresa and I said our goodbyes as she went to spend the time she had left before her flight home with her mom. 

For me it had been a very busy and lively weekend so once it was all over, I was very aware of the quiet.

bottle of nice wine from each of us.

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