Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Family Emergency/Last-Minute Cross-Country Trip


I've been off-line for the past several days. My mom passed away just over a week ago.  I got "the call" from one of my sisters when I was on duty. Fortunately, the folks my wife & I worked for (WA State Emergency Management and Alaska Airlines) pulled out all the stops to send us back to my hometown of Binghamton, in Upstate NY.

We didn't make the wake, but were in time for the funeral mass at Saints John and Andrew Church.
I didn't post anything earlier for two reasons.

One, is that I was simply too busy at work and then preparing for cross-country travel. Second, I don't like broadcasting impending travel plans on social media. In fact, when we returned late Monday night, we discovered my wife's car was broken into while at the park & ride. Fortunately the thieves didn't follow-up and break into our house. (I've heard reports of crooks breaking into cars just to get the addresses of the drivers so they can break into their homes). Fortunately, our house was secure, but we weren't expecting to call-in a police report and schedule an auto-glass appointment when we got back.

But, despite the circumstances, there were a couple silver linings surrounding this trip.

The First Layer of the Silver Lining was that I had a chance to see all my siblings. Like most families, it's difficult for all of us to gather, unless it's a significant event, like weddings and funerals. The Second Layer of the Silver Lining was a chance to see most of our friends from a family that lived one house up from ours.  (Or for all intents and purposes "next door").
There are six siblings in this family and we all grew up together--and more often than not--got in trouble together. Our respective moms were friends as well. Their mom passed away 11 months ago, and the siblings still in the local area attended our mom's wake and/or funeral.

Not only were our "K-12 Friends" the last to leave the reception, but we got together the following night at their mom's house, now up for sale, in The Old Neighborhood.

We spent our time lounging in the backyard, reminiscing and catching up.  In fact, the radio station we were listening to, WAAL 99.1 ("The Whale"), is now plays classic rock.  So we heard the same songs we did during our collective childhood/adolescent years.
When I think about my youth, I like to say: We didn't just watch The Little Rascals (aka Our Gang)--we lived it!

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