|Julie and Katie, Katie's graduation from OUCOM|
The big news, of course, is that our youngest, Katie, graduated from college, and moved to Roanoke (much closer to us, I'm happy to say). We all gathered for her graduation (from Ohio University's Heritage College of Medicine), her big sister, Julie, hooding her in the ceremony. (Yes, I forgot my camera, and my cell phone died - Dagnabit!!) Afterward, we all celebrated with a family reunion. We rented a cabin in the Hocking Hills of Ohio for a few days, and drove there from points far and wide to join together, again. Its been so many years since we've come together, and it was such a grand time for the 14 of us. A true homecoming to a place Lee and I and our kids have always enjoyed visiting during their growing-up years. A very happy time, indeed.
On our way to Ohio, Lee and I made a side-trip to Lexington, KY, where my sister and her family live. We stayed overnight, and spent two days visiting and catching up. Its been about 3 years since I've spent time with her, so it was nice catching up. Last year, she and her husband moved into a retirement community after living in the same house since 1960. Its a very nice condo, but they just don't care much for it--it doesn't feel like home. I can understand, completely. We plan go to see her more often in the future.
After leaving her place, we drove the backroads of Kentucky up to Maysville, KY, to cross the Ohio River into Ohio. We chose to take a drive along the River eastward towards the Hocking Hills and Athens, which is Southeastern Ohio . As we approached Portsmouth, we saw a sign pointing us towards Shawnee State Park. Well, it was nearly suppertime, so we decided to check it out, hoping there was a lodge with a dining room. It was a delightful drive, and we found the lovely Lodge, and got a room for the night, and yes, we enjoyed our supper there, overlooking the treetops toward the lake in the distance. What a glorious afternoon and evening we spent there. So peaceful, so comforting, and just a wee bit melancholy. It surely was good to be home again.
Sunday afternoon, The Family checked out of the cabin in the Hills. Vince and his family headed back to Maryland. Julie and her family headed back to Charlotte, NC. Katie headed toward Columbus to visit with some high school friends, and Lee and I headed toward Cuyahoga Falls, where Katie's old apartment awaited to be packed up for her move to Roanoke. That evening, the three of us started packing, then went to bed early, exhausted. Packing continued in earnest on Monday. The next morning (Tuesday) I left Lee with Katie to finish up, and I came back home, here, to tend to our cats who had had the run of the house unsupervised for a week (yikes). On Friday, they left Ohio -- U-Haul truck, pet and car -- and I left Norfolk (traveling light) heading to Roanoke. The three of us met up at her new apartment, where 2 guys she had hired awaited to unload her things into her new digs. Smart girl. We spent the next 2 days unpacking and shopping around for curtain rods and such, and setting-up her new household for her future adventure. Lee and I got back here this past Monday afternoon.
Tuesday morning I had an appointment for an endoscopy to see why my stomach has been hurting for the last few months. That's when I learned that I have a "growth" on my esophagus. It means major surgery and a feeding tube. So, Lee and I are off onto a new adventure. Of course, I plan on keeping up on life as normally as possible, but there will probably be periods that I won't be posting. I know you all will understand, but please know I'm still reading you posts even if I have nothing much to share, myself.
On the up-side...I hope ya'll are having as lovely a Holiday as we are here in Newport News. The weather here couldn't be more delightful. Do take time to remember our fallen Heroes that have kept us safe through the years. God Bless.
|Dad before leaving for France, WWI|
~~ Karen ~~