A key part of our thinking in establishing a home in the U.S. again was to be closer to family. And what better time to visit family in northern Minnesota than over the 4th of July weekend? Not only is it a great holiday on its own but my Dad’s birthday was the 5th of July, making it always a big couple of days for us. So off to Duluth we went.
One of the highlights of the weekend was a cousin’s 40th wedding anniversary. I grew up amongst a large number of cousins and I figured going to her party would be a great way to see a lot of them at once. That all worked and while I probably enjoyed it more than Mark did (I come from a big extended family and he didn’t), it was great fun reconnecting. Or, in the case of some of their now-adult children, great fun getting to know them. Sadly, though, there were no good pictures as the bar where the party was held just didn’t lend itself to good photos.
Another highlight was a family hike up to a little swimming hole on the Little Sucker River just outside Duluth. I laughed when I saw it and started playing around: Mark & I travel the world looking for just the right little isolated spot like that, and there it was in my old home town.
Otherwise the long weekend was just about hanging out with family. Mark & I took my mother out for lunch at a favorite restaurant up the North Shore. She always loves having guests even when – as in this case – she wasn’t at all sure who we were or why we were taking her out. Sad, but Alzheimer’s only goes in one direction and it’s not a good one. The rest of the family, though, is doing well.