SOON i will post about what i've been up to in the studio in preparation for the upcoming barr street market, but for now i am packing up for our annual family vacation to minnesota.
the excitement and anticipation for this journey starts as soon as the trip is over, as we talk about the next year and how we are going to have to wait for SO long until we can go again. my brother james starts counting down the days until the trip somewhere in january and keeps us all updated. tonight i will say to myself, "one more sleep until minnesota".
i think it is safe to say that this will be the 25th trip back to minnesota since we moved when i was five. because my birthday pretty much always lands within the scope of the trip, i have had some pretty memorable make-shift celebrations. my aunt suzie has always taken special care to ensure a celebration of some sort, even if we are packing up the car at 5 in the morning for the voyage back home. from time to time my aunt kitty will pull out an angel food cake from the deep freeze as well. what sweet aunties i have! this year i will be celebrating my 29th (golden!) birthday there and i look forward to what it might entail.
when in minnesota, nothing beats hanging out in my brother mark's garage; fully stocked with cheap beer, a great grill, flies and mosquitoes. actually, something does beat hanging out in my brother's garage, the canoe trip down the upper iowa river. i have to thank my cousin cindy for always arranging the awesome canoe trip. it is a precursor to the family reunion as at least 20 of us fill up the canoes and drift and drink for the next 2 peaceful and beautiful hours. sunburned and many of us a little tipsy, we then pack up the canoes and head back to cindy and doug's house for a potluck lunch. there is also always "meadowfest" to look forward to where josie or clare pack up a backpack with the aforementioned cheap beer and sneak it in to the beer garden. we all (even james) end up dancing to horrible live music and later try to fall asleep without the "spinning" sensation. during the trip my mom does a lot of romping around the town visiting old classmates, relatives, and friends. she always seems to have a kick in her step when she reunites with the folks. as we are winding down the end of the trip we all make a visit to the graveyard where my dad and sister are buried, alongside various other relatives. with a lump in our throats, it is a powerful way to head home, our heads swirling with memories of our loved ones and the fun that we have had along the way.
this year my sweet husband won't be able to go with us so i wanted to post a picture of the first year (2004?) that he got to come along with us. the place we are standing in the photo is tony's "favorite spot in minnesota". it is a corner of my aunt suzie and uncle tom's cornfield. i wonder if this year it will be "knee high by the 4th of july"?
cheers to loving my family!