Saturday, March 20, 2010

Catching up - with family

Crossing Indiana on Wednesday and Thursday meant I could spend a couple nights with my family.  First stop was Wednesday outside Spencer at the Owen-Putnam State Forest where my Uncle Bill is the property manager.   It's several years too many since I've visited Bill and I got to catch up with his garage project.  He's been completely restoring rebuilding a '58 Corvette to authentic standards and is getting closer to the end.  It's a beautiful car and the effort he's put into the details (those window crank mechanisms got me) shows how this a long-term labor of love.  Or something like that - I'm sure he'd have a few other adjectives to describe the relationship...  Anyway, it's patience and persistence I've never had for mechanical work and I admire it.  The dashboard and windshield are set to go on, and with the window crank project, the doors will be ready too.  That pretty much makes it a car, and it will turn heads.

As a bonus, I also got to visit with my cousin Natalie there.  She's been staying at Bill's the last few months since moving jobs in December.  She left her communications position at Purdue's Engineering school to come over to IU into what is interesting new work for her in the newly-forming School of Public Health.  It's very exciting for her coming back to Bloomington and her alma mater, and, importantly, just as exciting for her husband Mike since they started out together there.  These days, however, are a bit tricky since she has to be away from Mike and the two boys back in Lafayette each week until they can make the move.  But if there's a better young family at dealing with this, I haven't met them.  Anyway, I got a chance to catch up on all the details of her move that I missed when I saw her back at Christmas.  Bill was a fantastic host, as always, grilling us some big pork chops and of course his signature roasted potato dish.

I intend to get back Bill's way this year so I can ride those southern Indiana roads again, and hopefully bring him and his Harley along.  From there it was the longest ride of the trip up to Grandma's house at Lake George.  Well worth it for the always-good home-cookin, which on Thursday was a roast along with mashed potatoes, asparagus, baked apples, and **Irish Soda Bread** (for St Patty's).   She also invited my Uncle Bob over, and I got to show the bike off to him and Laurie and her granddaughter, Tenacity.  Bob and Laurie have worked in Angola, IN for my new employer Tenneco for many years.  Their plant is under a different division, but still it's pretty neat that we'll be "coworkers" now.  It was a kick to talk about that and I think the little Triumph might have even impressed the ol' Harley guy!

Grandma and I went out for a nice breakfast on Friday morning before I hit the road.  She's eager for Spring, and we put out a few Easter decorations to help the season along.  She'll have some company from my Uncle Jim and Aunt Lorna to look forward to this weekend, and then I'll be back on Easter.  I probably won't be riding the bike that weekend, however.  I think Grandma liked it, even if it means one more boy to worry about!

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