Checking In

Yesterday was pretty difficult. I think about my mom everyday, not just on Mother’s Day but all the same I was glad to wake up and have it be Monday.
Yesterday was also a day that I made the poor choice to take the boys on the bike because I needed to have Astrid jump started since she had been sitting too long in the garage while I was gone. I discovered this on Friday when I was trying to go to work. They didn’t have anyone available to help since it was such a busy morning at the conference center. On Saturday, the one guy that has the keys to the closet where the jumper cables are stored had gone home for the day already so that left us with Sunday morning in the pouring down rain. Thinking I could get us there faster if we took Beatrix, I put the boys in the basket and jumped on. Well, half a block into our journey, George was perched on the rim of the basket and I went over a big bump and he fell out. Of course, the rear tire going over the big bump had me convinced that I had run over George. But he was fine, just shaking and scared. No yelps or howls and I checked him out thoroughly for broken bones and sore spots. Of course, after he got done shaking, he was right back to peeing and trying to eat chicken bones that someone had thrown out. So, he’s okay and after about 4 more years of intense therapy, I might eventually get over it too.
Anyway, after driving 30 miles or so on the highway to recharge the battery, I got gas and jumper cables on the way back. I also need to sign up for the Dutch equivalent of AAA. Especially since I have to go to Groningen again this week.
So, Chicago. It went by so quickly. When I arrived at O’Hare, I was greeted by my very own orange wearing entourage holding up posterboard signs saying (in Dutch) “hand over the cheese or Rupert will start cutting it”and “give up the cheese and no one will be hurt” – it was cool. And we recycled the signs for Cedric’s arrival 90 minutes later. As kids we made signs for my Oma and Opa’s arrival every year. My mom would encourage us to work together which was only moderately successful because as the oldest, I had very clear expectations that my brothers should just do what I told them to. I’d like to say that this has changed as I have grown more enlightened but really it hasn’t. It would be so convenient if they did what I told them to but they rarely do!
We had alot of time with each other and my dad. I think it went pretty well, considering the circumstances and the mix of personalities. It also helped that during all of the wedding events we were seated at the same table so we had to work on getting along. Funny moment, I didn’t recognize Cedric and Dylan with hair gel. I have never seen them that way. I think the best part of the visit was when we were all sitting on Rupert and Meredith’s balcony before the wind out muscled the sunshine.
I did get a banjo strap too! Made in Chicago from recycled seatbelts from the Old Town School of Folk. And I got a chance to play a few measures while I was “making sure the strap would fit a banjo properly”. That was my cover story and they bought it. Who knows, maybe by the next wedding I go to, I will be able to serenade the party with things like the Wedding March played on a banjo!
It is nice to be home so I can squeeze all my pets. Of course, since I have been back it has been raining every day which is not so great. I am ready for some warm and dry weather.

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