Monday, July 24, 2006


Despite blistering heat, the Stephens clan gathered at Grant's for family, feasting, and fun. All of the siblings of Earle and Virginia and their spouses were there as well as all three of Grant's children with their spouses and offspring and one of Pam's sons. Grant and Yvonne put on a grand spread and provided coolth for the adults and entertainment for the youngsters. There was plenty of room for folks to find comfort and a good time was had by all. There were a few misunderstandings, but nothing awful. Games of pinochle were played in the evening, including retraining one sibling and training a nephew and a nephew-in-law to much amusement. When the kids had too much of the heat, they had a place in the basement to cool down and watch movies. All the while there was food, food, and more food. No one starved.

When things were relatively mellow, I worked on this in Southwest Trading Co's Phoenix raspberry. It took me three tries to get the lace to work, but on the third try I resorted to markers and so far I have 3 1/2" of the back done. It will go fast. It's a nice break from the shawl without being heavy. On the plane I had with me some Opal socks of which I finished the foot part of one and started the foot of the second before working the heel (I didn't have my instructions for working the heel flap on toe-ups).

At night before I went to bed, I read Hotel Bemelmans by Ludwig Bemelmans of Madeleine fame. It's a series of stories he wrote of a fictional hotel called the Splendide and the goings on in the dining rooms of the hotel. It's been very amusing and biting with its commentary on the characters who are part of the operations as well as the clients who use the facilities for their dining and entertaining purposes. The Hotel Splendide is said to be the Ritz Carlton and all the scenes take place in the nineteen twenties and thirties, so the stories have all of these people from Society, celebrity, and wannabes before the age of media glam.

I had an amusing conversation with my grand-niece Lauren Saturday night. It was twilight and near her bedtime, but she was being a typical four year old. Lauren is very curious about things and quite intelligent. Combined with her strong will, her personality can make her into a formidable woman in the workplace. For now, it makes her a tough kid to raise because you don't want to quash that desire to learn new things but you also don't want her to do things she shouldn't be doing. During the reunion however Lauren was being very good and enjoyable, playing with her cousins and uncle Dean during the day. That evening, I had gone out to talk with one of my brothers-in-law, Dick, when Lauren came out. She took a seat and saw the bugs that were attracted to the lights on the pergola. "Fireflies!" she said.

"No, those aren't fireflies," I said. "They're moths and regular flies."

"Oh," said Lauren. "Will there be fireflies?"

"I don't think so. They don't live here."

"Oh. Where do they live?"

Dick said, "I remember seeing them in Pennsylvania."

"Where?" asked Lauren.

"Pennsylvania," I said.

Lauren thinks this over. "How can I get to Pennsylvania?"

"Well," I said, "you could fly there in a plane, or you could take a train, or you could ride in a car. The car would take a while to get there; I would take a plane."

"How long does it take?"

"About 6 hours."

She thinks this over, then says, "Then I will fly in a plane to Pennsylvania to go see fireflies."

Her dad appeared at the door to tell her that she had to go to bed in a couple of minutes. "But Dad," she said, "I haven't seen any stars yet!"

Aunt Leslie took care of that. I got up and looked, and sure enough there were a few appearing, including the handle of the Big Dipper and the North Star. So I called her over and showed them to her. She was so happy she went inside to tell her dad.

It's great being an auntie.

No comments: