We did a whirlwind trip to Chicago this past weekend. Our friends, Steve & Char Hopeman (from Wheaton) have two daughters. A couple months ago, I got an email (facebook message) from their youngest daughter, Emily, asking if I would consider playing for her wedding.
I have to be honest - I was so homesick for. . .well, anyplace but here. . .I was willing. We worked it out -- and took off for the Windy City last Wednesday morning. But, the wedding was the last of our many stops along the way.
On Wednesday night, we had dinner with my aunt & uncle in Southern Indiana. Edison and I saw them back in December, when my great aunt died. But, it had been years
since Mark had seen them. And no, they hadn't met Caroline, yet. But, met her, they did -- and loved her. . .? Well, that was assumed, wasn't it?
While we were in Owensville, we stopped in downtown to see where they were setting up for the Watermelon Festival - which was to happen that weekend. I have probably failed to mention that Gibson County, IN is the Watermelon Capital of the World. It's true. Melons there ROCK the Casaba (sorry, couldn't resist that pun!)
Anyway, my uncle had told us about a new memorial they were going to unveil on Saturday. Knowing Mark's interest in genealogy, he talked to a couple of his friends. . . .
That's right -- they let us see the unveiled statue three days before the actual unveiling. It was precious. And, to see the pride and patriotism in these men, as they talked about this monument. Well, quite honestly, it brought a tear to my eye.
We also spent a little time in the cemetery where my grandparents, and many other family members are buried.
While we were there, we ran into one of my second cousins (I believe) that I haven't seen in YEARS.
Ironically, he knew me upon seeing me -- and asked "Angie, how's Knoxville these days?!" I was stunned -- but delighted to talk to him. There's just something about seeing family that you haven't seen in a long time.
One of the reasons we visited the cemetery -- my aunt & uncle told us about a new veteran's plaque they'd had put on the back of my grandpa's headstone. It had only been on there about four days -- I am so proud of my family, and the men who served years ago to preserve my freedom today.
After leaving Indiana, we traveled home
to Illinois. We took Edison to see the sights of Chicago. But, having very limited time, this was a driving tour only.
We tried to hit the major spots -- and give him a taste of what the city is really like. I think we did alright, actually.
After Chicago, we headed out the suburbs. We visited our favorite bakery:
had dinner with an old friend, and shared dessert with his wife & parents. This time was very precious to all of us. . . .
We had lunch with friends, and shared tattoos. (Theirs, not ours)
Oh yeah, and there was a wedding. (Our original reason for heading north). It was an outdoor wedding - and I'm still recovering from the sunburn. But, it was beautiful. . .
(Edison was my page turner - and I'm really glad I had him there. You'd never know it by my sunburn, but there was just enough of a breeze to be troublesome)
Steve & Char - the bride's parents (and our friends). For those of you who know about my quilting prowess (or lack thereof) this is my original teacher & inspiration.
And yes, when Steve & Emily shared their dance to "Butterfly Kisses," I was a mess!
There are so many more stories that go with the weekend, and the friends and family. . . but Mark just walked in the door with pizza. And, I'm hungry.
So, the stories will have to wait until the next blog entry. But I leave you with this thought. . .
"Yak in a Box"