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. 🙂