a weekend in the country

This past weekend we made a quick visit (down on Saturday morning and back Sunday evening) to see my Mom and the rest of the family. Between Father’s Day on Sunday (the first since Mom’s dad’s death, and only the second since my dad’s), Mom’s birthday on Monday, and some other family troubles, I knew that it might otherwise be a difficult weekend for her, and I hadn’t been home since Christmas (though she and I had spent time together in April, when Jeff and I took her to Manhattan), so we decided to visit even though we knew it would have to be short.

The CampBefore heading to Mom’s house, I took Jeff over to see the acre of riverfront property I own just down the road, and then to the nearby “camp”–a cabin on the river originally owned jointly by my grandfather and his best friend, whose latter share has now been offered for sale to my mother–where my family spent many summer weekends when I was a kid.

Saturday evening we went to a cookout–chili dogs, potato salad and deviled eggs for days–at my Mom’s church, where a gospel-bluegrass quintet–a father on guitar and lead vocals, sons on mandolin and banjo, and two friends, one on bass and the other providing female harmony vocals–was performing. Towards the end of the evening, my cousin and his wife brought out a cake in honor of my aunt and uncle’s 50th wedding anniversary that day as well (meanwhile, this week also marks the second anniversary of Jeff’s and my first date), and we topped off our full bellies with cake and ice cream. Later that night, Jeff asked to see pictures of me as a kid, so we broke out the photo albums for a while before walking over to my sister’s house to spend some time with her family.

On Sunday, we met up with the rest of the family for lunch after their church service, and then we spent a couple hours at my sister’s house again before leaving there around 4 to be home by 8. A heavy rain began a little earlier in the afternoon and accompanied us off and on about the first 45 miles, but by the time we were passing through Lexington the rain had stopped and the weather was delightful and clear the rest of the trip home.

Jeff also has posted about the weekend, during which he was much more at ease than during his only other trip to Covington in February 2004, and about the little ways in which our 15-year age difference, normally not something we find particularly meaningful or apparent, sometimes does make itself known. My little Ashton, for example, was born the year Elvis died, whereas at 15 I remembered where I was when I heard the news of his death (not that I especially liked Elvis, but because my family and I were on a road trip at the time it made more of a lasting impression than it probably otherwise would).