i hit the road for west frankfort, il on saturday morning and arrived about noon at my aunt almeda’s house for her 90th birthday celebration.  i was early, so i had the honor and pleasure of helping her get ready for the bash.  she’s pretty deef, so i used my best shouting voice while i fixed her hair and talked about her health and such.  almeda is my mom’s sister, the 2nd of the 9 siblings–mom was #7.  she, uncle junior, and aunt shirley are the 3 still living.  her daughter, cousin janice, had a very nice open house to celebrate and i got to meet again my cousin kim ann pod.  kim’s dad was my cousin bobby, almeda’s son, who was about 13 years older than me (though he was only 9 years younger than mom).  when kim was a baby, her family was living in evansville and my mom took care of her while her parents worked.  i was 9 or 10, i think.  she was the first little kid to call me “doe” .    she was such a little dollbaby…and she still is.  it was great to meet up with her and we’re going to get together again next summer…for sure.

aunt almeda

i know i should know the way to west frankfort by heart, but i’d gotten lost once, so brought along the gps aka gypsy.    gypsy was determined to make me drive the interstate and was quite stubborn, even cross as she recalculated again and again.  at one point she was telling me to turn on a rock county road—i fear she may have been setting me up for some ambush.  i kept her on the whole time and just let her recalculate until her throat hurt…gleefully going my own way.   i might be losing my mind…

cousin lana and i caught the sunday matinee of “chicago” at the civic theatre.  that’s a great musical and they did it well.  the guy in front of us needed to scoot down in his seat, though;  he must have been 8feet tall.   civic has a great season planned and we’ll see as many as we can.

we’ve got our winter birdfeeders filled and hung from their shepherd hooks.  i’ve bought some tulip bulbs and need to get them into the ground before the rains start on wednesday.

i’m gearing up for the city-wide reformation service this sunday.  practice is the only way i can take care of my nerves before these events, so i’ll be up at church every afternoon.

counting the days till i’m in NYC…15…