Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Whirlwind Tour

Last week was more than a bit nutty, between the usual "Finals Week" rush of incoming papers, making plans to attend my cousin's wedding in Placerville, and my wife's attempt to finish grading a group of 80 5-page papers in preparation for the next set of papers that arrived just in time for us to leave! And all this while I was suffering from a fairly intense sinus cold, from which I have still not entirely recovered!

I'm glad to say that the wedding went fairly well, and we had a good visit with my extended family. The service, while undeniably traditional in its theological assumptions, did not raise any serious "red flags." I especially enjoyed getting to meet and hold my youngest cousin for the first time. I'm the oldest child, not only of my family, but of my entire generation. (Both of my parents being the oldest child in their respective families.) My brother and sister are fairly close in age to me, my brother being the youngest, but only 2 and a half years younger than I am. The oldest of my cousins is a full 7 years younger than I am. My uncle remarried about a decade ago, and has started a "second family," his children from his first marriage both in their early twenties now. My uncle's youngest child, a daughter, was born this past December, and so when my family all gathered for my other cousin's wedding, many of us were introduced to her for the first time. There's been something of a tradition in my family for the past couple of decades or so of having a picture taken of the oldest and youngest of my grandparents' grandchildren together. As the oldest of my generation, I'm always the one to remain "the oldest," but the "youngest" has changed some half-dozen times over the years since we started doing this. I'm happy to say that my grandparents are caught up again, at least for the time being.

Holding my baby cousin also gave me an opportunity to sing one of my favorite David LaMotte songs, "New Lullaby," to an actual baby for the first time. I had a lot of fun.

On the way back home from Placerville, we swung by Berkeley to check out the location of one of the universities my wife is considering applying for PhD studies at, and on the way, we stopped by Walnut Creek so I could show her where I spent my time back in second grade. She commented that this leaves Montreat as an important place in my formation that she still hasn't seen. All in good time....

We finally got back yesterday, a bit tired, and with my neck a bit stiff from holding it in a "driving position" for such long periods of time, but glad to have made the trip. It's been too long since I've been up to Placerville, and it was good to see everyone there. Maybe next time I can visit with a bit more time to spend....

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