On Friday we hopped a plane and flew half way across the US of A for a long weekend. It was a secret trip...a party was scheduled for my Uncle's retirement/birthday and since we are never one to miss a good party, we didn't think twice before going.
We packed our bags, somehow bringing more with us than we did for two weeks in Italy. Seriously. I brought TWO winter coats for a three day trip because, well, I like them both and winter coats aren't a normal something I get to wear. Ever.
We flew in to Wisconsin, rented a car and headed straight away to Illinois. My cousin lives in the most awesome house...it's old and I am sure it's walls are full of stories and I just love everything about it. She cooked all day and as soon as we pulled up there was wine and food and SO MUCH laughter...whoever said you can never go home again?
These are my people and they feel like home to me.
There are stories to be told but for now...just know that I laughed until no sound came out. And then laughed some more.
The next morning that guy that I like so much and I went to my other cousins house for breakfast. Not just any breakfast but my favorite breakfast...a special coffee cake that you can only get in Chicago. Close to 30 years ago my aunt and uncle hand carried a few of them all the way to California because I wanted to eat it on my wedding day.
That's love, people.
These people...these are my people, too.
I'm blessed in the people department.
That guy that I like so much and I snuck in a much needed Italian beef at Kojak's. Yum. My toes might stay warm year round but Chicago has the best food on the planet.
Right near my cousins house there is an old cemetery. We walked around and it was so very, very quiet...I mean, it should be but still. All I could think was 'if only.'
If only we knew their stories. Most of these people died before 1900 but what were their lives like? Did their kids give them a struggle, too? Did they wish they could order pizza for dinner rather than cook? Did their checking account balance teeter on the low side more often than not?
If only we knew their stories.
If only they blogged.
And then it was party time.
The night was perfect. My Uncle Pauly was so surprised and there were so many people there who love him so much...a true testament to the kind of man he is.
The weather was chilly and then the rain came. The sky was gray and it was absolutely perfect. We had nowhere to be except tucked inside for the rest of the day and all we did was hang out. And by the time the sun was setting I began to miss my boys and knew, once again, that it was time to head to MY home.
I needed this trip...I always do. It's always nice to go back to a place where there are people who knew you 'back when'...who watched you grow and mature and learn to fly. It's especially nice if those places don't change much...if all the same people are there. I know that times are changing...that we are all aging and that life is frail, so these visits mean more to me each time I go back.
I'm thankful...even if we could only squeeze in 48 hours.
On the way home I was able to get all caught up on my bible study, watch a whole movie, nap for a few minutes and play countless games of solitaire on my phone. After flying to Europe earlier this year, this 4 hour trip was a breeze.
My buns were thankful for the shortness of it.
While we were in the air? The snow dumped down. We got out in the nick of time but I'm still bummed that we missed it.
I wanted to build a snowman and make a snow angel.
I'm home now and there's much to be done this week...shopping for Thanksgiving dinner, laundry, a car that needs an alignment and an oil change. We landed, drove home and went straight to Brian's basketball game and then that guy that I like so much headed in to work for a late night rehearsal.
As for me...well, I have yet to move off the couch. I should unpack. I should clean. I should, I should, I should.
And I will. Tomorrow.