Tuesday, June 30, 2009

And On A Personal Note

This is turning into the summer of travel. Besides my lovely visit to Peninsula State Park with Lynn & Jeff, last week I enjoyed a 5 day trip to Michigan for some cousin time and the UCC General Synod in Grand Rapids. And I still have trips scheduled to visit the in-laws in Missouri this weekend, then Maine (in July) and California (in August) to check on my younger brothers and their families.

If you're not familiar with it (and you probably aren't, unless you happen to attend a UCC church yourself), the general synod is the every-other-year convention. I got to sing in the 150-voice choir, accompanied by a real orchestra. There are speakers, workshops, wonderful services with world-class music and liturgical dancers and all kinds of stuff, and a group of booths with an incredible variety of free premiums and items for purchase. Two years ago in Hartford, CT, I went deep on the cause buttons and pens. (My favorite was a rainbow theme that said "Straight But Not Narrow." It sparked some interesting discussions.) This time around, reusable shopping bags were all the rage and I think I came away with 6 or 7 of them. And I may have resisted the fair-trade chocolate, but the fair trade wool yarn in a gorgeous fuchsia color just had to come with me. Four skeins for less than $20, and it's wonderful, soft stuff. No idea what it will be made into, but I'm sure the yarn will tell me when the right project comes along.

My traveling buddy Deb was kind enough to dedicate extra time on the beginning and end of our synod trip so I could check in on the Michigan cousins. We spent Thursday evening at Camp Newaygo and I finally got to try out kayaking. Loved it! And even more, I loved spending time with some of my favorite people.

Austin was very proud of himself for paddling along in the two-person kayak with Bill, and was telling me jokes:
This girl was sitting in class and all the sudden she got
up and started dancing around and shaking her but and
stuff. The teacher asked her what was wrong, and she said,
"I have to get up and move! My but fell asleep!"
"It sure did," the kid behind her said. "I even heard it snore."

We also got to stop for a short time in Hastings to see Cousin Julie and her family. I was really starting to get nervous because my camera had suddenly stopped working on Saturday afternoon. Here I was with my pretty cousin and her beautiful, adorable kids, and my camera wouldn't work!! I figured out the malfunction after I got home, but I'm going to have to get back there for a make-up photo shoot. Those kids are growing up so fast! Patrick (who is going to kindergarten in the Fall) has a new calico kitten, and carries her around constantly. Lauren would melt anyone's heart with those big blue eyes and white-blond hair. And Baby Lauren blessed me with a dozen sweet little kisses. I promised Julie that I'd stay overnight next time.

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