Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Seven Adults in a Minivan. . .and knitting!

Seven adults in a minivan,
Seven adults in a van!
You squish three into that very back seat
To fit seven adults in a minivan!

No, this is not a circus story, and none of us wore clown makeup. It was a little funny, though, to leave my house last Saturday at 5:45am for a family road-trip! Since I took pictures with my fancy, new phone, I thought I'd share some of the trip with you!

First, a little background. . .Sweetie's family comes from Pennsylvania on his Mom's side, so the trip took us to that neighboring state, with an estimated drive time from my In-Law's house to the first stop (breakfast) of 3 hours. Mom, Uncle (her brother), Aunt (his wife), Sister, Brother #3, Sweetie and I left Mom's house at 6:41am, and there were 7 of us in a minivan. . .for those of you who have minivans, or who have ridden in a minivan, you may remember that there are 7 seats in a minivan, but that back row is kinda tight for adult booties. I count myself pretty lucky that I was not one of the "backseat 3" (Sweetie, Sister and Brother#3) for most of the journey, but still, I was ready to stretch my legs when we got to the restaurant in Brookville.Indeed, I stretched my legs not only from the van to the restaurant, but also from the table to the buffet line several times!
The food was pretty amazing, thick-cut, smoked bacon, eggs, hash browns, homemade biscuits and gravy with sausage, pancakes and waffles and the most scrumptious whole-grain bread toast, fruit and syrups, and PIE! Yes, there was pie on the breakfast buffet, and boy was it good!

Since it's almost winter, we drove for about an hour before the sun really started to come up, but the wait was well worth it. . .it was a beautiful day for a drive! After we had all eaten our fill at breakfast, we were on the road in search of some of the places that Mom and Uncle used to visit as kids with their parents. Papa is Mom and Uncle's dad, and he has been gone for a few years now, and I never did meet Sweetie's grandma on that side. He has some memory of her, but from what I understand, she passed away when he was quite young.
The first thing we were looking for was "Aunt Ruth's House," set on a hill, very close to a windy, hilly road in a town called Rossiter. There were steep upper and lower drives for cars, and a steep staircase to the front door, and steep seemed to be the adjective of the day! There were many memories shared and disputed as we did our drive-by shooting (photos!), but the thing they all remembered the same was that the house was not level. Apparently, it has such a pitch to it, that a glass of water looks crooked on the table, and if you put a ball on the floor (or any round-ish thing) at the "top" of a room, it will roll until it hits the far wall pretty hard!
Aunt Ruth was married to Uncle John, and Uncle John was actually a cousin of Papa's (Sweetie's grandfather). I guess John passed away well before Ruth, and Mom and Uncle agree that Ruth had some emotional issues over the years. . .but Sweetie had visited her at least once as a child. He says that he remembers being allowed to have pop and candy, and that she was kind to him, and that's a memory worth keeping.

We also drove past the house that we believe Papa grew up in, but without getting out of the van, the pictures were about impossible to take with the sun behind the house. However, on the other side of the street, or maybe on a parallel street around the "block," it was easy to get a picture of Saint Adrian Church. This is the church where all the family weddings, christenings and confirmations took place in Papa's day. It was 100 years old in 1989, and the building is stunning. . .
Very close-by, our next stop was the cemetery where many of the Pennsylvania relatives are buried. Papa is buried in Ohio, but John and Ruth are buried here, and several other relatives are as well. From the cemetery perspective, it was hard for me to remember who was who, and what all of the relations were exactly. . .but it was pretty cool to read the gravestones and admire the workmanship on these markers, some even have photos. And yes, there is a Yacko in the family! He and Catherine (who lived to be 100 years old!) were Papa's grandparents on his father's side. That makes them Sweetie's great-great grandparents! In this picture, Mom is in front, Sister is just to her left (snapping her own photo), Sweetie is there in the middle, Aunt is behind him, and Brother #3 (in the leather jacket) is on the right. It was something to see, family finding family here.
I think at this point, our driver was glad for some time to himself. He stayed in the (now spacious and empty) vehicle, and looked on. I am pretty sure that Uncle and Aunt and Mom have been here before, and 7 adults in a minivan makes for a long day of togetherness!
As though I need to prove the scale of 7 grown adults in a minivan to you, here is a shot as most of us prepare to pile back in. . .
And since we were so close to Punxsutawney, we stopped by to visit Phil. Here we are, Sweetie and I, with a giant statue of Punxsutawney Phil himself! (Look!, I can spell Punxsutawney!) This town has these on every corner, and they are sooooo funny! Sweetie said, "Want a picture?," as he started toward the giant ground hog, and I got ready. . .then, a random stranger said, "Would you like me to take a picture of both of you?" So I handed him my Droid, showed him how to take the pic, and headed to join Sweetie, where I struggled then to smile, thinking to myself the whole time, "OMYGOSH! I just handed my DROID to a perfect stranger! What was I thinking?!? What if he. . .?" At this point, the stranger said, "Hey! Looks like a nice shot. . .here ya go!," and he handed the phone back to me without incident.
(Sweetie was surprised that I handed the phone over, but he told me later that he thinks he could've taken the guy, so my Droid was never in any real danger - whew!)

Then we all took a look at Phil and friend, sleeping comfortably in their enclosure, probably preparing for a long winter's nap. . .
. . .and we were on the road again. Winding up and down and around the hilly highways of Pennsylvania, headed back toward home. The afternoon was just as pretty as the morning, and the ride was just as long, and the car was just as cramped, but home was on the horizon for all of us, and I think the day was pretty perfect! Interesting and fun, I love a good road trip. Next time Sweetie suggests seven in a minivan, tho, I may decline.
However, there was much knitting time! And I nearly finished the first of my November socks in that minivan! Here is a pic of sock 1, completed on Sunday. . .. . .and sock 2 should be ready for a heel flap by tomorrow's knit-night meetup, so I am jazzed. You see, I really want to finish the November socks before November gets here. . .because I have BABY KNITTING on the brain!

I have done a couple pairs of little socks for my granddaughter already, but I am itching to make a couple sweaters before the baby shower! I just wish I could decide on which sweaters I really want to make. . .I mean, the Wallabies can wait, because the smallest size is a 2, but there's the classic 5-hour, Helena, Scrappy Socky, and so many others. . .I have yarn, I am just not even sure where to start!
So there you have it! A little family fun, a little knitting knews, a little grand-baby-on-the-brain, and now the blog post is complete. I'm glad that you stopped by!

Knit in Good Health!

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