It is absolutely mind-boggling just how much we did last weekend. Last Thursday night, we caught a plane from Saint Paul to San Francisco. Taking the red-eye flight was not as rough as one would think, even with our three year old boy. We slept a little bit, but not as much as we would have liked to. By 3 am, we were finally resting peacefully at my parents’ house.
So the next morning, we got up a little late, but managed to get out and headed north to see my Granddad in Sacramento. The poor boy got a little antsy sitting in the car for so long (it was about 8 hours worth the previous night) but he pulled through well. He was excited to be in Great Grandpa’s backyard to wander around and inspect things. Granddad hasn’t been in the best of shape lately, but he was in plenty good spirits for our visit. Somewhere, my dad even has a picture of now four generations of Fryer boys.
We stayed for about an hour and a half, then we were off toward the coast to visit the rest of my dad’s family in Saint Helena. We met up at my Aunt and Uncle’s winery for a light lunch and visit along with one of my cousins and my Grandma Mary (the Queen Mother, as she is in our family). It was so good to see them all, and Austin continued to be extra good, and impressed the family. He’s the first of the new generation, and I’m glad he was welcomed.
The big thing was when we finally got back into town and visited Grandma’s house. She had books and toys from when my cousins and I were young and visiting Grandma. He dove right in (there were big legos) while I took Michelle on a tour of the house. We wound up standing in the library and just pouring over all the titles on those shelves. Michelle especially was utterly impressed with it all, and it turned out that Grandma Mary was impressed with her interest in it all. As if I could marry anyone who isn’t a bookworm!
We piled back into my mom’s car and headed back to Turlock that evening so we could wake up and not have to go anywhere. That morning, Ken and Rachel come over with their baby boy, Evan. It was amazing to finally see him. He was wide awake in my arms and muttering and kicking with a strong pair of legs. He’ll be a tree climber in no time, I say.
For lunch, my Grandma and sister Leann came over and visited for the afternoon. It was all too brief seeing my Grandma, since I had to take off for the wedding rehearsal. At least she got to spend a little more time with my wife and son. I got up to Modesto and saw Ian for the first time in what felt like years. It was beyond good to see him, as well as Jaime and his family. The rehearsal was quick, then we were off to a pizza place where the rest of our brothers and Michelle joined us. It was grand, particularly when Ian fell over his bench.
It’s amazing that nearly every time we brothers are together, stories for the ages seem to be written right on the spot. After pizza, we went and gathered all our preferred beverages and headed back to my parents’ place for the evening. We did nothing but sit and talk, and it was grand. Warren’s dad even came out to visit for a while, and I tell you it was damn good to see him too. It may have even finally proved the fact that I did wind up growing up and having a family. Since he knew me since Junior High, he along with everyone else was pretty darn sure I’d screw up somewhere along the way (as he tends to put it). It was totally a gas having us all together, just as always, only substituting Mountain Dew and Dungeons & Dragons for beer and wives. We’re all just dopes who consider each other family.
The wedding on Sunday was perfectly lovely. The ceremony was short and sweet and we could then quickly get to celebrating. Erin looked absolutely stunning, and I tell you, Jaime’s parents were nothing but smiles. Sadly, Warren, Eric, and Bee couldn’t stay too long, but at least we finally made sure to get a picture of we five brothers together before the departures happened. It’s getting increasingly hard for me to say goodbye to them or anyone out west, for that matter. I get too choked up to talk most of the time, which is surprising considering that Jaime’s family from Mexico dubbed me the ‘radio announcer’ because I had the longest and apparently most clearly spoken speech of the evening.
Michelle, Austin, and I had to take off early to catch the plane home, and so we boarded our plane just after midnight, and by 7 am, we were home and sleeping in until noon. Next time we go anywhere, it needs to be when we don’t have a specific event to attend, so we can actually relax with our families; no more of this in and out in three days nonsense. But it seems that anytime we go anywhere, the family keeps on growing, and that is even true here in Minnesota…
Over the weekend, we adopted another cat. Puma is a fat orange tabby that belonged to someone Emily knew and had to find a home for. We figured Tyrone needed a brother, and it turned out Puma is just about a month older. They’re getting along okay, though Ty is quite a bit more territorial, of course, since it was his house first. But otherwise, it’s fun having more animals around. Although Puma is playful, he makes Ty look like a genius. Puma has managed to get himself trapped up by the ductwork above the furnace twice today. Boy do we know how to pick ’em…
It’s wonderful to be home, except when things around here are falling apart a bit. There turned out to be another leak in the basement, this time getting under the carpets a bit. Apparently over the weekend, ourwait for itair conditioning system has leaked water (somehow) through our rusted-out ductwork. I am hoping it will have a simple solution, but fretting about it has delayed my writing this post a bit (that and recovering from the trip).