Saturday, July 27, 2013

An Intense but Happy Goodbye

I'm supposed to be out riding but I sat down a few hours ago (for just a few minutes) to upload some photos from my camera to my Flickr account and I'm still here. Maybe some downtime in front of my laptop is what I really need as it feels like I've been going nonstop for the last week or more. I did managed to finally hammer out an update to Our Sun-Porch Addition blog so I've not been totally unproductive.

Okay, so I'll just do an abbreviated ride today instead. That works too!

Bryan and Sue came in from Portland via Hickory, NC a little over a week ago for a family reunion. Keith and Tracee hosted the get-together at their home in Northfield about 25 miles south of us. Theirs is the perfect place for a gathering like that! Considering how hot and humid the weather had been up until the day before the reunion we really lucked out with a picture-perfect day...and many pictures did some of us take!

Here's mine. 

And here's some links to video I took: short version and long version.

Bryan and Sue stayed with us for the week and it was really nice to spend time with them even though our home was often times a mess with construction underway on our addition. Fortunately I had the week off from work so I was able to be around even though I was at times busier than I'd like to have been with my own outdoor projects I needed to get done.

Bryan worked his magic with our home alarm system that had been offline for more than a year. In another life he used to install alarm systems and he installed this one for me more than 21 years ago when I had the home built. He had to blow off the dust from the installer's manual and try and wake up brain cells that for the better part of two decades haven't been called on to do this sort of thing but he got it fixed and I'm really happy about that!

We had hoped to take them to Foci so they could watch us and others blow glass while they were here but that never happened. It's been more than a month since we've been in the studio and we seriously need to change that. It's not for a lack of wanting to be there. We've just got so many other things vying for our time right now.

Keith met us all out at Mom's the other night for dinner. While we sat around talking and doing some reminiscing it dawned on me that this could likely be the last time Mom will be in the presence of her four sons at one time as it may be a while before Bryan is able to make it back this way.

Probably of interest only to family members, here's some video from the night.

Bryan and Sue were able to spend another couple of hours with Mom yesterday afternoon before Tammy and I would drive them to the Amtrak station in Minneapolis for a late night departure last night.

What had been a fun goodbye with them as we joked around while waiting in the lounge for their train to arrive suddenly turned intense. I mentioned to Bryan that he should write about their train ride adventure back to Portland and include some photos and video. Tammy suggested that he take out his camera and begin with a photo of the four of us at the station. Great idea! He reached for his camera bag and realized it was mostly empty. He'd left his camera on a kitchen counter of our home where he'd been charging it. With a little less than an hour before the train was scheduled to leave I offered to give it my best shot at hurrying home to get the camera and make it back in time.

Tammy and I ran to the truck and I pushed the speed where I felt I could knowing that every minute counted. We did the math and figured if we could get home by 10:45 that that would maybe give me just enough time to get it to him before the train pulled away.

Bryan is a gifted photographer and I knew what it meant to have his camera with him for their return trip home especially considering that he'd just bought it and was having fun becoming familiar with it.

Tammy stayed behind while I left home at 10:48 on my way back to the station with the camera in a large plastic freezer bag with Bryan's name on a yellow post-it note inside that Tammy put there just in case I had to hand it to one of the staff to get it to him.

My cellphone lit up with a call from Bryan as I was approaching 98th street saying that they were intending to depart at precisely 11:15 and to not do anything too stupid trying to make it in time. This was going to be too close. I put my cellphone down and focused on my driving.

I kept the speed up...70 in a 55 through Minneapolis, much faster than I'd typically drive but still slower than at least one or two other knuckleheads out there. After getting off the freeway I blew through the red arrow that was intent on keeping me from turning off University Ave in front of absolutely nobody and onto Transfer Rd, one block from the station.

It was 11:13 and now every second counted.

I approached the station and let out a few beeps from my horn to let him know I was almost there in case he was heading inside to board the train. He was still there. The train was booked and it was taking longer to check people in than normal. That's the only reason I can figure why he hadn't been forced to board yet.

I had to laugh...he saw me and then went into some ridiculously stupid dance with the biggest smile ever! He was happy and I was so happy for him! Where was my camera when I needed it? That would've been a great photo!

I'm really glad it worked out.

We talked on the phone a little later as they were on the train and slowly making their way toward the northwest. He commented that we'll both have a story to tell someday about what we'd been through that night. I think I just did that!

It's finally time for that abbreviated ride I've been putting off.




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