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Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Grandsons and great-granddaughter

     First of all, please accept my apologies for what I think is the longest gap between posts since I started this blog three years ago.  Saturday afternoon grandsons David and Kevin and grand-daughter Brielle arrived after a thousand mile, non-stop drive from Nashua, NH.  Hey, a half century ago we did that sort of thing, too...and it was uphill both ways!  Seriously, it was a reasonably comfortable trip for all of them as Brielle slept all night.  We had a light lunch and the boys crashed a bit with a beer or two.  Durelle had lasagna ready to heat up later for supper.  The first thing on Brielle's agenda was the beach, so aunt Cindy took them all down to the Isle of Palms for an hour or so before she had to go to work.  Later in the afternoon, Brielle decorated some Easter eggs which accounts for the first two pictures.  Easter morning I did a rasher of bacon and a platter of pancakes with maple syrup from last summer in Maine.  Easter dinner featured the obligatory ham with Durelle's baked mac and cheese, five cup salad and peas.  Very traditional for us.  Everyone enjoyed watching "our" alligator in the pond.  Monday was the full fledged beach day.  Again, Cindy took charge and they were gone for several hours.  They returned a bit on the worn side, and we went to a local seafood restaurant for a good supper.  This morning was a quick breakfast and off to the SC aquarium.  I stayed here because we had a worker coming to reseal the upper windows in our family room because of some minor water infiltration.  While they were gone, I made up a nice ham salad sandwich spread using some of the easter ham, the decorated hard-boiled eggs and a bit of celery, onions, mayonaisse and spices that disappeared when they got home.  Tonight was pizza and Durelle took David and Brielle to see the stage version of "Beauty and the Beast".  That accounts for the second two pictures.  Tomorrow is a carriage tour and who knows what else.  It is a busy week and one that we all are enjoying.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Houseguest Week

     Do you know the old saw that says that if you are going to throw a party, throw two so that you can get double duty out of the prep work?  We had a wonderfully busy week with houseguests on Monday and another couple on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.  Monday we hosted Durelle's brother Mart and his wife Ann on their annual visit as they leave their fifth-wheel trailer in Riverside, FL and head to MA for the summer.  They are always great company, but we were only able to serve as a B & B as they left Tuesday morning.
     For the past three days we enjoyed a great visit From Allen and Joyce Wegner who were our neighbors and mentors when we showed up for our first Air Force assignment at Keesler AFB in August of 1960!  There have been very few years since that we have not arranged a rendezvous somewhere.  Several months ago I saw that the Joint Base Charleston was going to run an air show complete with the Thunderbirds on Saturday, 9 April, I assumed that they would be having a rehearsal day the day before.  In addition to the rehearsal,they accomplish two other major objectives: they work out any logistic bugs like security, parking, traffic control, concessions and such plus they can hold a family day for dependents (and nearby retirees).  Durelle suggested that we ask the Wegners to drive down from Fairfax, VA to see the show and do a bit of Charleston touring and dining.  We may have bitten off a bit too much, but it was an enjoyable few days.
     Wednesday they arrived around four.  After cocktails and some visiting we had some of my all beef/no beans chili over rice. Thursday morning we drove into town and took one of those hour long carriage rides around historic Charleston complete with a very well informed and entertaining narrator.  From there we walked to Magnolias for a classic lunch.  The afternoon was spent at the Aiken-Rhett House.  This is one of those anti-bellum (150 years ago this week) mansions that are available for public touring.  It is a bit different because it has not been restored; rather it has been preserved.  It has some of the original furnishing and decorations.  Thus it requires a bit more imagination to picture its former glory than if it had been restored.  Cindy joined us for a light supper.  The picture shows the Wegners, Durelle and Cindy in front of a nice sunset.
     Friday the four of us spent about six hours in lawn chairs on the flight line for the usual assortment of acrobatics, historic aircraft and static displays.  Durelle loves the C-17 cockpit.  There was a neat formation flyby of a C-17 and a C-47.  The Thunderbirds always put on a great show.  All of the delicate adjustments necessary to achieve those precision formations are so small that they cannot be observed from the ground.  They fly as one aircraft.  Among the aircraft in the show that were not present for the rehearsal was the F-22.  It was a partly cloudy day of 80+ degrees, and we all came back with some sunburn.
     It was a memorable week with good friends.  We are fortunate to have many of them.