Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Memorial Day Weekend 2011

I don't know why I thought this past weekend would be relaxing.  I obviously didn't look at my own calendar, lol! 

It was a busy weekend, starting with my husband taking Friday off to work on grouting the bathroom while I did the usual round of groceries and laundry, and spending Saturday trying to restore order to the house and having the kids clean their bedrooms.  Sunday was a marathon all by itself:  on top of Sunday school and church (my husband was playing organ and keyboards that morning), our daughter's soccer game was immediately afterward, and then we drove 2 1/2 hours to stay with my husband's family overnight.  We didn't make it to the soccer game before both kids had been grounded from the computer and TV for the day.  (They didn't get ready when I told them to, then they had a last-minute crisis because they weren't packed/snacked/pottied and were scrambling to get their stuff together, and we had to leave to meet other people to caravan down to the soccer field for an away game.)  Drama, drama, drama, and I was ready to send both of them parcel post to Abu Dhabi before the game even started.  Thankfully the game went well, and the girls tied, which was a good outcome considering two of our more skilled team members were out with injuries.

The game was supposed to be local, but rainy weather had flooded our fields, and we had to switch at the last minute to an away game, which meant we couldn't take our usual route from here to my husband's parents' house.  Instead of going on the interstate west and then taking a direct state route south, we wound up going catty-cornered through the Finger Lakes region - and if you know anything about that part of New York state, it's that there aren't too many ways to go directly anywhere east-west through there.  All the lakes and hills run north-south.  It was a lovely drive, though - up hill, down dale, past too many farms to count, through small towns, hamlets, creeks and forests.  It was a warm day, and the a/c in our car is kaput, but driving with the windows down wasn't bad at all.  The kids meekly asked if they could earn a privilege back if they were good all the way to Nana and Papa's house, so we said they could have the TV back if they didn't fight for the entire time.  Lo and behold, they managed it, and the TV privilege was restored.  We had dinner with my husband's parents, and his sister's family - it's always good to see them.  We were all late to bed, and woken up by a magnificent line of storms rumbling and flashing through in the wee hours.

The next day was just about as busy.  We had breakfast with my MIL/FIL, then we went across town (minutes, thankfully, not hours) for a family picnic at lunch with my parents, my sister Debbie, and my sister Tracey and her family.  A few hours and more there, then it was across town again to my sister-in-law's home, where we saw my husband's family again for another picnic.  By the time the second awesome picnic meal of the day was done, it was after 6:30, and we still had 2 1/2 hours to drive back home that night.  That was about 2 hours too much togetherness in the car for my kids and my husband and I, but we made the best of it.  We made it - just barely - without any major meltdowns.  

It was the most beautiful drive home, up 414 between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake - Amish country and wine country, with a drop-dead gorgeous view looking across Seneca Lake toward the sunset.  The air smelled alternately like honey locust trees, fresh cut hay, and dairy farms.  The light was low, misty, and golden, and the hills were almost as green as Ireland, patched with farms, homes, woods, waterfalls and wineries.   I wanted to take pictures, but discovered that I was out of battery power, so I just enjoyed the unrolling impressions as we drove.

The first daylilies of the year were blooming, bright yellow stars of what was probably Hemerocallis lilioasphodelus syn. flava, sometimes confusingly called the lemon daylily (the same as Hemerocallis citrina).  They were in odd places in hedgerows and fields, probably marking old homesteads, since the plant is a very old heirloom, pre-1600.  Irises were everywhere, too, and if I'd had the time I would have stopped to look at some of the heirloom varieties, recognizable from their narrower, drooping falls, and less ruffled form than modern cultivars.

The kids took turns playing DJ, with their MP3 players hooked up to the car radio.  We listened to quite the mishmash of music, from Francesca Battistelli and Susan Ashton to Michael Jackson, Huey Lewis, Tears For Fears and Elvis.  Deejaying seems to be a new form of entertainment for the kids.  I'll have to get them some more music - their "stations" are a bit limited right now, lol.

The last time we took a long trip was last summer - 5 days in the car, from Upstate NY to North Carolina and back.  Oof, that was an undertaking.  It was mostly good, interspersed with moments of, "Why did we have kids, and why on earth are we traveling with them on purpose in a car for hours on end?"  Still, I would love to take a "real" vacation someday, one that involves hotels and sightseeing and someone else doing the dishes.  History.  Science.  Art.  Nature.  Restaurants that don't necessarily involve french fries.  Until then, we'll make the best of where we are, together.  Play me another tune, Mr./Ms. DJ!

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