by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2007/10/04 08:01 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2007/10/04/5258684.aspx
My time in Cleveland was very nice, and not only because I have very good reasons for not wanting to be in Redmond on my birthday. :-)
First of all, there is being able to spend time with my grandmother, which I really enjoy. She is the one who got me interested in turning on the closed captioning and we commiserated about the programs that did it well and those that did it poorly. And we talked about the fact that she was making it up and down the stairs multiple times each day with no problems, which impresses the hell out of me since I have not been up those stairs in years and doubt I could really make it up or down them. We probably talked about dozens of other things, from handicapped parking to soap operas to the folks to at Shul who took a somewhat dim view on needing to drive there on the Sabbath or on Yom Kippur (or both at once like it was this year). It was definitely interesting....
I am struck by the fact that without access to the basement or the second floor, it is not much like the house where I grew up, despite the fact that it sits atop the same parcel of land.
One of the big events I was there for was my new niece's baby naming, which was a great event. Here is a random picture from it containing (from the left) my grandmother, sister-out-law Jenny, cousin Robin, my mom and baby Mara, and cousin Roey:
Funny story about cousin Robin though. I was pointing out there were so many people at the party that I didn't know, and my grandmother told me that Robin was standing over there. I was wracking my brains and I vaguely remembered "meeting" her at Meredith's wedding but that was it, and she had to point out that it was my cousin and suddenly I became like a grandparent since all I could do was sit there and realize that this was the cousin who her sister and I would tease mercilessly when she was three year old and now she was all grown up and married. After I promised myself I would never do that to anyone, ever in my life!
Ah well, I suppose that means I am getting old. :-)
And then during the week as most folks left town again, I stayed and got to spend some time with my nieces, who you can see in this other picture:
That is Mara on the left and Rachel on the right and me behind. I blame myself for the fact that Mara wasn't smiling (she did for most of the pictures but when she did either I looked like someone with special needs or Rachel was turned to look at Mara; we were a hard group to get a picture of!).
Now they both get along amazingly well though Mara is not yet playing with Rachel's toys so there is plenty of time for sibling rivalry to kick in. I have to try to get back to visit more often so I see them more. And practicing smiling (I still have smile issues, apparently except when I am laughing!)....
Good to be there, especially for those "language acquisition" moments for both girls (though I won't say a word about it there as I know better than that, I'll just listen and maybe write about them here later!).
I have a picture of them on my desk that "they" gave me for my birthday.
We put up a Sukkah in Meredith and Zach's backyard which was made of sections of PVC pipe (as I am sure our ancestors used in the desert!), and I have been tasked with diagramming the blueprints of the structure (which I will do in Visio!) for next year since entirely too much time was spent trying to decipher the unintelligible code for figuring out where all the sections were placed. Next year's Sukkot may be depending on me, so I have to take that task very seriously....
And of course the Indians are the ALC champions, the journey of which put everyone in a better mood. :-)
I left my GPS unit behind with my father after buying a new one that I will probably write about that tomorrow. He is enjoying the unit though.
All things considered, an exciting visit!
This post brought to you by ䷤ (U+4d34, a.k.a. HEXAGRAM FOR THE FAMILY)
# Johannes Roessel on 5 Oct 2007 6:41 AM:
You might try MSR Groupshot on that second picture to get your niece to smile :)
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