Family Time

My maternal cousins and I gathered in southern Oklahoma this weekend to spend time with our Grandfather and each other. Well, most of the cousins anyway.

We scheduled this several weeks back. Two weekends we’re on the table but only one fit. It was a tight fit, at least for me.

I spent Last week in Toronto for work. It was good, but as the week went on the Canada Day long weekend attrition really set it. By Friday I’d estimate a full 60% to 70% of the office was out. I had a few errands to run that afternoon back home, so I booked out a bit early. I came up on Sunday afternoon as I had several meetings early Monday morning downtown.

I reached out to @mummybites and we met up for a fine lunch. I’ll write about that later perhaps. I dropped her back at her place then booked it for the US. Unfortunately the NEXUS lines at Port Huron had a two hour wait, shorter than the un-retinal-scanned but longer than estimated.

By the time I made it over the boarder it was too late to get my car to the shop, so another reschedule is required. I did pick up the new Logitech iPad slim keyboard, which I’m using to type this. I hope to review it soon.

I returned home around 7:30. I ate. I ran laundry. I packed. I crashed for six hours.

I woke early to get a start on my family trip. After grabbing a coffee at 7-11 I headed south on I-75 en route to DTW.

If you’re not familiar with Detroit’s & environs’ roads, they are in desperate disrepair. I fully embrace the city, county, and state fixing the roads. What I don’t like, what really boils my blood?

The detours do, or more correctly, the lack of detours.

I bounced around for 40 minutes trying to get to the airport. I-94, the main route there from where I live, was shut down from at least I-75 all the way to Michigan Avenue. I finally had to squeeze my car in between some barricades and avoid some cones.

The flights were uneventful. Southwest did their usual fine job, though I am not impressed by their useless iOS app boarding pass. You can’t use it to clear TSA nor board the plane.

The other complaint I have is the Waze app on iOS. Where’s the “Avoid Toll Roads” option? You can’t navigate in Dallas (or Chicago for that matter) without it.

Anyway, the drive up was interesting, rekindling memories, but nothing of note.

One of my cousins gave me directions, but I couldn’t find the cabin. I asked the gentleman burning a stump out in his front yard, but he told me the house numbers got changed last 9/11. Ignoring his interesting choice of marking time, I made for the local Methodist church parking lot where I could park the car under a tree yet still have good cell service. I call the cousins and my sister, then broke out the Kindle to have a read.

Ultimately I was directed to the marina where another cousin picked me up in the rented ski boat. Somewhere in the Facebook thread I missed the whole boat & water aspect. I packed nothing appropriate. Since I was there for such a short time, wasting some of it to pick up a swimming suit seemed a silly exercise. I rolled up my trouser legs and shirt sleeves and made do.

Waiting out in this little cove were more cousins and their kids and my sister and one of her kids. Her husband and the baby I saw when I was picked up. They were dropping off. Those of us on the beach chatted, applied sunscreen liberally, and had a grand time. I booked back to the mainland at the next opportunity.

Back at the cabin my aunt and I headed out on a supply run. En route we swung by my grandfather’s place. He and his wife were there but did not expect us to come through the door, I expect. We stayed for 5 or 10 minutes to say hi and set the plans to get together the next morning after breakfast.

Back at the cabin the rest of the clan ate, talked, drank, laughed, and had a grand old time. The mystery of the night was what rented cabin the overflow folks were staying the night. We had four to choose from, but we figured it out. After the kids all nodded off and a few more drinks by the adults we packed it in.

This morning I woke early but the rest of the cabin was out cold. Without coffee and 3G access I made due until the great awakening. We all met down at the marina for a great breakfast. The coffee, while not plentiful was what I needed.

Recharged, we made our way back to the main cabin to meet back up with the grandparents before I had to book it for my return trip. Pictures were taken. Laughs were loud. Music was played and enjoyed. A round of hugs ensued and I headed to DAL to hop my my homebound ride.