Remember that emotional blog I wrote in July about my Uncle who broke his foot, his wife who couldn't drive to Iowa and ride Ragbrai without him, their two daughters who I used to be close with and hadn't seen in 2-3 years, and their entire family that I missed dearly? Well, believe it or not, this writing made a difference in my own little world. My Vermonsters decided to plan a visit to DC and end the long absence that has defined our relationships the past few years. I like to think that reading my blog played a role in inspiring them to plan this trip, which happened last weekend and was positive in all ways but one. The beautiful, 80 degree October weather made for a great weekend but it confirmed Katy's determination that DC shouldn't be on her list of places she may want to move after graduation. She says that she has to live somewhere that she can comfortably be outside during the summer. I'm like, "and you think you can comfortably be outside for more than a few seconds in the winter in Boston or Chicago?!" But she's from Vermont so I think she has special blood. These Vermonsters at heart may not want to live in DC but they sure can make the most of any visit.
On Saturday, both fams (minus Nathan) rode our bikes to Georgetown where we had coffee and snacks and chilled in the sun. We then rode to Stead Field on P Street where Katy and I played in a soccer game while our families watched. A pack of seven is hard to keep track of on the Crescent Trail on a Saturday morning, and even harder to keep track of on the streets of DC. But we did it. We had lunch at a place on 17th street that was unmemorable so I don't know it's name. The parents rode their bikes home while the girls opted for the metro. Katy and I were beat up from futbol and Em had a hurt knee from a frisbee tournament so she didn't want to push it. We left our feng shui mark at the Dupont Circle north entrance and then attempted to bring three bikes on the metro. We were successful in that we got them all on, but we cheated by entering different doors. That night, Nathan came home, as did my Nana, and we all ate chinese food and watched a very upsetting gator game.
Saturday was Charlie and Lucy's second ride together, I on Charlie and Katy on Lucy. Lucy got an additional workout on Sunday when Katy rode her downtown a second time to participate in a Climate Change rally by the white house. She went with Sandy, Tony and Joann. Sandy took them off the beaten path, guiding them home uphill on the Rock Creek Park trail. It was Lucy's first time on this trail so it is worth noting. She and Katy were worn out by the end and disturbed at the signs indicating that sewage runoff may overflow into the creek and, eventually, pollute the ocean. So to save the environment: stop climate change and restructure our city's sewage runoff systems. Emily and Nathan and I stayed home to decorate a cake for my Nana's 87th birthday dinner that night.
Monday meant Great Falls hike/walk, Newseum visit, Josh's return from Gainesville, competitive scrabble, creating a new word for Miriam Webster, and a Sandor-cooked dinner complete with funny conversation that never would have been age-appropriate the last time we were all together four years earlier. The weekend flew by, as good times always do. Tuesday morning Katy went back to Bowdoin, Emily to Colgate, and Tony and Joann and Mia (the pup) to Burlington. I have little reminders of them in my home and my car, though, every day finding an unfamiliar bracelet, contact sollution, laptop case, sunglasses, or earings, that I'm sure they've left for me as little mementos of their visit.
It's interesting, we are older now and life is different. I'm not going to lie, it was weird to hear Katy discuss graduating college and interviewing for jobs. And it was even weirder to see Emily drink a beer. I don't really notice myself growing up because it's happening every second. And I see Nathan often enough that his aging goes unnoticed for the most part. But the difference between Emily as a freshman in high school and as a freshman in college was noticeable and it really made me think. Think about how cool it is how much we've been through together, how much trouble we all got in, how many ridiculous things we did to entertain ourselves through the years. How our relationships are different now that we aren't really kids anymore and how, as adults, we'll entertain ourselves in different ways than we used to. But how I want us to have new experiences together, how I want to keep doing ridiculous things, and how I don't want so much time to have gone by next time I see these girls and their parents who have always meant so much to me. This weekend, my mom was telling us how she wasn't close to her cousins growing up because her parents didn't care much to visit with her aunt and uncle. She said, "If the adults don't get along then the kids won't really have the opportunity to get to know each other." Well, I hope that we all get along as adults and that our kids have the opportunity to get to know each other. I hope they'll make speed bumps out of potting soil, i hope they'll waste all my milk trying to make their own eggnog, I hope they'll burn a hole in someone's carpet while designing a fashion show, and I hope they'll waste lots and lots of chewing on lettuce. Because that's what we did and I wouldn't have had it any other way.