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Easter and its Aftermath

Throughout the weekend, it was not uncommon for a dozen or more pairs of shoes to be kicked off in the front hall and several at the backdoor. (I never taught my kids to take their shoes off on entering the house, although Gerald always conscientiously changed into house slippers when he came in from the hog barns.  I would never insist or even suggest folks take off their shoes here at Woodsong, but, evidently, my kids have taught the grandkids this nice habit. I am sure it has saved a lot of dirt being tracked onto the carpet, so I am thankful.) Yet the row of shoes lined up always amuses me, and I had Gerald take a photo of it once for a souvenir. 

Jeannie and Cecelie were already here, and Gerry had come in Thursday for the memorial service for his high school basketball coach. Others also started arriving on Thursday and were coming and going all weekend.  Elijah came down from Illinois State on the train, and Jeannie and the kids all met him in Carbondale Friday evening.

Saturday was our oldest grandchild Tara’s birthday, and although we would have loved to have had the Archibalds and those three little great grandsons here, we were happy for them that they were able to have quality family time together all weekend in Georgia without the pressure of travel.

Saturday afternoon a large number of the family attended granddaughter Erin’s SIUC softball game against Indiana State. And it was fun to see the Salukis win. That was where we met up with Vickie and her mother, Geri Ann and her friend Bridgett who’d arrived at Shirley’s from Georgia.  We came home for sandwiches, but I did fry the nice mess of fish for Trent and Sam that they caught that morning. I was grateful that our son-in-law David took them home and cleaned them for us while we were at the game.

Later Gerry, Vickie, and others fished and caught a huge catch, which Gerry cleaned and put in the freezer.  As in childhood, Mary Ellen was his friend and cleaned up the electric knife he used, and she put it in the garage with hopes of eliminating the fish smell before he cut the ham with it on Sunday.  No, it didn’t work, but as Gerry explained, that is now our fish-cleaning knife. Ha.  It is back in the garage still airing out, but I suspect I need to shop for another knife for Thanksgiving.

Despite getting to bed late, everyone arose Sunday morning for church. Gerald and I were pleased to have grandsons Trent and Elijah in our young adult Sunday School class at Center.  Elijah sang for us in the worship service, and I insisted he play and sing again at Woodsong after dinner so his mother, who had been at Katherine's could hear him.

We were all eager to meet Erin’s boyfriend on Sunday because we liked the story that he had once been her third grade boyfriend at Harrisburg before their family moved to Johnston City. Sometime or other the two had re-connected on Facebook and ran around with the same group before they started dating.  I won’t tell them that when they took their walk around the lake that one grandchild could not resist using the binoculars we keep for bird watching.

Later in the afternoon several were out on the lake without a paddle in the old ocean-going fishing boat that Gerry’s used down in Mexico.  When the motor died on them, they had an adventure.  I was never quite sure how it all ended, but I did look out and saw a crew in the paddle boat towing the bigger boat in. 

The Georgia gang left later Sunday afternoon to go a second Easter meal that evening at Gma Shirley’s house.  This was with my daughter-in-law Vickie’s siblings and their families.  Then they were back on the road Sunday night to Georgia to be there for early morning batting practice—just as Erin was going to be at early morning batting practice at SIUC. 

Brian and Mary Ellen were up at their new place and some of us followed Mary there to see the wonderful vintage barn.   She had to go back to central Illinois yet that night, but Brian and Gerald had business breakfast plans in Vienna yesterday morning to meet up with some guys who gather there every morning.

After people started leaving, the remaining cousins and I went to Southfork to Sam’s other grandparents’ home where he had had Easter dinner. Katherine and David were there, and she looked very pretty in a new dress, which the necklace Jeannie took her that morning matched perfectly.  Sam’s Grandma Darlene offered us carrot cake, but we were still much too full to indulge.  After the kids visited there awhile and went down to their lake, we headed back to Woodsong for their final time together.  They had a long agenda of last minute plans to carry out, and I went to bed by l0 or 11.

I slept in yesterday. So did Sam and Cecelie. When I got up, there were only two pair of extra shoes at the front door and two at the back door. That is because there were only those two grandkids left at Woodsong out of the eight plus a couple of their friends who were here over the weekend. 

Jeannie had left at 4 a.m. to get Elijah to an 8 o’clock at Bloomington.  She was back to Woodsong yesterday afternoon, but she took a nap rather than a bike ride. Brianna had already woke up on her own and taken her brother Trent up to Springfield for his early class.

However, there are three pair of shoes plus one suitcase in the living room left behind accidently by grandkids. They were so busy playing their games, riding the Gator, and doing their last minute visiting long into their final night together that they didn’t plan their packing up too carefully for yesterday morning.  But eventually everything will get back to whomever it belongs.

Later in the morning yesterday, I took Sam back home to Marion because his break was over today. Now only Cecelie, our youngest grandchild is here. That is because Elijah and his dad and his dad’s mother are coming through tomorrow night to pick Jeannie, Cec, and me to leave Thursday for Leslie’s big weekend at Belmont in Nashville. 

We are still eating boiled eggs that the kids colored. And ham and other leftovers--although I did fix fresh pork chops yesterday for dinner lest we get too tired of the ham. I will devil the remaining eggs tomorrow unless I get ambitious and serve creamed eggs on toast, which I have frequently done with Easter eggs in past years.
My friend Linda came this morning for a couple of hours and ran the vacuum for me.  The plunger has been moved from the upstairs bathroom back to the downstairs one, where it was needed yesterday morning. A load of towels and a couple other loads of laundry have been done. Mary Ellen and I did most of the post-dinner clean up on Sunday, and I finished washing a couple of soaking pans yesterday.

Jeannie, Cecelie, and I were even able to run into Marion this morning and shop for vintage hats at Salvation Army for the bridal tea on Saturday.  We lunched at Jasone’s so Jeannie could get acquainted with Marion’s newest bed and breakfast in case guests need it in June.  I knew Jeannie would love this marvelous old house with lunch room tables covered with lace and where delightful fresh food is served. 

I ran by Katherine’s after lunch, and Jeannie went on to do some errands for herself and for me in Carbondale.  She had time for her bike ride this afternoon.  Gerald and I watched the Georgia ball game against University of South Carolina on his computer and then the slide show of all the photos he took of the fifteen here for Easter dinner.  We are winding down from all the fun and excitement.

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Fun and excitement indeed

Such a beautiful family portrait painted in "Woodsong" tones and the blessed colors of Easter. Thank you Sue for sharing this enjoyable read.

Aberjhani