No physical travels today. Just emotional, psychological, and spiritual travels. Today I had breakfast with my sister. I have done that quite rarely in the last 45 years of my life. I also spent the day with some of the other people to whom I am most closely related: my sister’s children and grandchildren. Again, a rare event in my life.
Apart from being activities which I have seldom experienced, I came to a new realization late in the day about the nature of the day. I spent the whole day with family and it felt: NORMAL. I didn’t have to be on edge about everything being said, I didn’t have to be ready to explain every comment made, and it felt like everyone was just plain enjoying being together. While I often have this feeling when spending time with my children, I have not felt like this with a sibling for a long time. It makes me regret that tomorrow will be the last day together, and that we will eventually be back in Seattle so far from these people I am proud to call family. I am assured that one or more of them will make it out to visit us in the near future and I look forward to that.
On a more specific level, I have met my match as a puzzle solver. One of my grand nephews was quickly able to solve all of the rubic’s type puzzles I had brought along on the trip to play with in the evenings. I brought along a dodecahedron puzzle that has never been solved since I first scrambled it several years ago. Late in the day I asked where Ryan was. I was told he had been upstairs earlier but had gone back to the basement. I said I wanted to show him my best puzzle, and one of the parents handed me the puzzle and asked, “Do you mean this one?” It was fully solved, I hadn’t even seen him do it.
We were asked to be the judges in a contest to determine the best Chicago style pizza. Presented with 3 different slices, I made my selection, but made it clear that all three were marvelous. I was told I could be asking for trouble if I dared to identify any one of them as better than another, as everyone in Chicago has very strong feelings about their preferences. I am going to stick with declaring them all winners. For the record the three pizzas in the competition were: Gino’s East, Giordano’s, and Lou Malnatis.