60th Anniversaries and 80th Birthdays

Greetings from Mount Vernon, Washington: the tulip capital of the world! Considering how weepy and devastated I was on Thursday, I have to say that being with my family was the best medicine. My flights on Friday were really good and I spent my layover in Chicago drinking Starbucks and reading Memories of God by Roberta Bondi. On the leg from Chicago to Seattle, I got a letter (en francais) written to a friend in Luxembourg and realized that if I was going to be lucid while around my family, I needed to pray. So I spent the last hour (of four!) praying to work through this all OK. When I landed, my aunt met me and the trip up to Redmond allowed me to talk a lot out with her.

We drove from Redmond to Mt. Vernon with my little cousins and oogled cars on the way up. When we got there, my cousin Steve, his wife Andrea, their sons Benjamin and Nathaniel, and my aunt Dori, were up there. I got to hold Nathaniel (4 months) for the first time! Shortly after, my parents arrived with my uncle David. My great-aunt Jean, her daughter Carol (my mom’s cousin), and Carol’s kids Kira and Cord were there as well. Dinner was Chinese food that night. Happy Jen. Sari (9) and I cuddled and watched The Cosby Show that night after everyone left. Oh yes… I also found out that I still (at age almost 23) can still do cartwheels.

The next morning, I went into town withmy grandparents and we got the cake for my aunt Jean’s 80th birthday. That afternoon, we went to visit the tulip fields for the tulip festival. I got some good pictures and tromping around in the muddy fields was therapeutic for battling the “you’re not good enough” feelings I was dealing with from Thursday. (I’ll blog on this stuff when I get back to Ohio on Tuesday.) We then went to Fred Meyer (while I made a $tarbuck$ run) and headed back to my grandparents’ house. We had some more playtime with Nathaniel and Benjamin before we had to clean up and go to dinner at the airport restaurant. Dinner was great (as all dinners are in my family with 20+ people). Aunt Jean was totally surprised by her cake and my dad toasted my grandparents in Irish, forgetting the last line of the toast which my brother and I *graciously* reminded him off. 🙂 (We’ve only heard it about… 1500 times to recent memory.) We came back and did family pictures: the 4 generations of Cooley men, mixed pics, all the men, and all the women (who outnumbered the men). We then said our good-byes to Steve and company. I watched Animal Planet with Sean (my twin) and Sari before falling asleep and having Sari poke me to get off her bed (a couch) and go to my own bed.

It’s a grey, windy, yucky morning for Palm Sunday, so church isn’t happening. Jon has his hands full this morning with the ecumenical procession and I hope that has gone well. Meanwhile, I’m going to head upstairs and grab breakfast. 🙂

We are Finally Here

Christmas Eve/Christmas Day
I was awakened by a cold nose on my chest at 4:30. (It was attached to a very fluffy meewy cat. Silly Finian.) I worked 8-2. My head cashier was very nice and I got out on time and was able to get some shopping done at Hobby Lobby and Walmart. By the time Jon got his done and we got home, I had 30 minutes to shower and primp for the 7:00 service. The service went well and I was the communion assistant. (I did not toss wine on anyone or trip.) When we got out of the service, Bill announced that Santa had arrived and we got presents. Mine was a REALLY cool Celtic sweatshirt and Jon’s was an illustrated book of Hours. I then called Northwest Airlines to check on our flights. I was informed that the first leg of our trip had been cancelled and we were going to be on a MUCH later flight. I convinced them that they wanted to get us out of CMH ASAP so we got booked on a flight to San Francisco through Memphis. I wasn’t happy but it was something. We went back to the church for the Christ Mass which went SPLENDIDLY. I was in high church heaven. After the service, I hurriedly printed out my flight numbers and info before going home to pack. We opened presents and I loved what I got from my wonderful mother-in-law (who is standing over my shoulder reading this). Then, Jon and I cleaned house and I packed, completely forgetting my sister-in-law’s present (which is on the floor of my study).

We left the house at 4 and drove through freezing rain to Columbus. We dropped the car at the house of Mark (our seminary present and semi-surrogate father) and he took us to CMH. When we checked in, we were told that we were being re-routed AGAIN through Detroit and we’d get in earlier. The flight to Detroit was surreal. It was dark and snowy. When we landed, we were driving through this white world with the airport looming ahead of us looking like a group of lit candles. The picture was a cross between Narnia under the reign of the White Queen and the Waltz of the Snowflakes from the Nutcracker. We got into the new terminal which was VERY nice.

When it came time to board our flight to SFO, Jon boarded ahead of me and when I finally got up there, they announced that they could not let me board the plane because I didn’t have the ticket packet with me. (Jon had it.) I explained to them that MY HUSBAND WAS ON THE FLIGHT AND I NEEDED TO BE ON THE PLANE!!!! They explained that I was on the wrong flight because my final destination was supposed to be San Jose. I explained that this was the thrid route change and THEY NEEDED TO LET ME ON THE PLANE!!!! Apparently, I was so bitchy (after being up for about 32 hours at this point and sick) and was making such a scene that the agent finally said, “Look… I don’t care. Just get on the plane.” (I want to point out that I had my ID and boarding pass and there was no reason NOT to let me on the plane.) Of course (since this was the flight from Hell), I was in a middle seat and very smushed in. (I HATE middle seats — I am super claustrophobic.) Then… we take off an hour late and they’ve banned cell phone contact while we’re on the runway being de-iced (while I was asleep) so I can’t call and let people know that we were going to be late. When I woke up and found out that we’d taken off late, I started to cry because I just could not take any more hell. The person next to me was very nice and gave me some tissue and helped me calm down. The flight was WAAAAAAAY too long for me being awake (4 1/2 hours which is fine if I sleep part of it off, but not with me being awake) and I was barely able to eat.

When we got to SFO, Sean (my twin) was waiting for me at the security checkpoint (which was good because I was fearing the response of my parents had they been circling around the check-in area) and he helped us get bags. It was wonderful to see my parents after the 50 minute drive home and it was wonderful to see the cats again. They are HUGE now and I got to meet Trail Kitty from a distance. From Mom and Dad, I got some Irish placemats and a digital camera. (HAPPY Jen!!!) We were at home for about 2 hours before we left for SJC to fly to Ontario. Our flight was delayed 30 minutes and I think love was the only reason Jon didn’t kill me during that time because I was utterly neurotic. The flight on Southwest was actually nice — they gave us mint oreos. (Mint and chocolate will make me do almost anything for you.) My father-in-law met us at the gate and I have to say — it was wonderful being in one place after having traveled about 3000 miles over the period of a day. (Yes, I know many people travel farther than that when they go home and have longer trips, but none of them were up for pretty much 2 days straight.) I fell asleep at 9:30 that night.

Today
I woke up at 8:30 and had breakfast before going to Trader Joe’s with Victoria (my mother-in-law) and Ray. It’s been a chill and catch up on time zone day for us and I’ve enjoyed having their cats around though I miss my Cat Cat and Flufferpie.

I love you Jon…

i still haven’t posted the senior sem paper. sorry!!

as i was lying in bed finishing “scarlet feather” (thank you sooooo much victoria!!! it was impossible to put the book down), jon called to check and see how i was doing since 10:30 *is* our normal bedtime. i told him i’d call when i’d finished the last 20 pages. as i was putting dishes in the kitchen and getting ready for bed, it really hit me that having him call me to wake me up in the morning and even him calling to check on me is the most comforting thing. days tend to go better if we have a chat in the morning and pray together as i am waking up. darling, i love you. i love you most because you tolerate my impatience so well and treat me like a princess even when i think i should be independent. you mean so much to me and i don’t know what i’d do without you.

Easter

yesterday was a super busy day. i was up at 5 for the sunrise service which was nice. i don’t exactly agree with mike on the way he set some of the hymns (i.e. bongo drums don’t go with “Jesus Christ is risen today” or “i know my redeemer lives” — i prefer really simple guitar in place of organ) but the music was still not too bad. the sermon was fantastic and it was a beautiful (though chilly) morning. afterwards, i went down to messiah for the 8:00 service before running back up to campus to change before the 10:45 service at high street. the high street service was great and veronica came with us. brunch was wonderful aside from worrying about sean getting to the church to take me to fairfield.

fairfield was wonderful. my aunt muggs was down visiting from washington and it was wonderful to see her again. i also got to meet jeff (her son) and his wife julia and their two adorable little girls — megan and allison. we had about 50 easter egg hunts — mostly because after we’d hide the eggs, the girls would insist on hiding them again or having sean and i hide them and find them. dinner was spectacular and sitting around afterward having coffee was great as well. i got back to santa cruz at 10:30 and went to bed at 11:30 when i finally started falling asleep while talking to jon. the ucsc servers are down so i have no idea when i’ll actually get to upload this entry. oh well…

the urbana worship cd is here. woohoo!!!

the servers came back up around 7 tonight. yay!!!

Jon’s Visit

jon has been here since wednesday night and he’s leaving in two hours. despite the fight we had thursday night, the visit has been wonderful. i think i’ve also learned that i need to let him know when i’m irritated and he’s learned that i know myself and my temper well enough to know that trying to work stuff out late at night when i’m tired is only going to make me more angry. ephesians 4:26 is a good verse but sometimes, the anger and emotion can be remedied more easily by sleep than by talking it out endlessly. we were able to talk things out… that afternoon AFTER the service and me going to section for some cool off time.

we had a good time helping to set up for the campus good friday service yesterday and then being the readers. i don’t know about jon employing the stanislausky method to the role of pilate but hey… it worked out well. last night’s reading was also fun. jon commented to the organist that it looked like we were having a visit from the Holy Spirit, though i don’t think the Spirit was moving in the form of a bat. besides, i got to play with fire, making me a very happy lepicat.

mea culpa!

well… i have 4? pages of my paper done. hopefully i can get that last page and a half done tonight. i will also have kirtana check it during office hours.

joanna (my sister-in-law) emailed me and reminded me that i left a few things out of my description of thanksgiving:
-their charming good looks (not mentioned because i do not want competition with other girls for jon. joanna is beautiful and witty and insightful. attn guys: DATE HER!!!!)
-i won the harry potter trivia contest. (i rock!!! i am da queen!!!!)
-my mother-in-law victoria needs help in the yard. a strong, young guy (preferably a hottie) is needed. talk to me if you are interested.
-their quantity of cats. they have three cats: kelly (who is a jellicle cat and tried to displace me on the bed — the nasty cat would move to my pillow every time i got up in the middle of the night); tim (a fluffy grey cat who is a handsome beast); and nick — the tabby who is getting mighty BIG these days. (though… i think that tom and jann’s cat tom kitty is still the LARGEST of them all.)
-their cats’ intelligence: kelly is very intelligent… and very domineering. the two toms are quite intelligent as well though nick still likes to eat his tail.
-they are wonderful people. they really are. i felt totally loved this weekend. better joanna? (and yes i know that my grammar usage is atrocious.)