My dad, his brother and three sisters were all able to be with my Grandma during her last week. They hadn't been all together since our wedding, seven years ago. The entire family was able to be there for the funeral, traveling from Georgia, Florida, Colorado, Texas, and California. We hadn't all been together since a family reunion in 1998, when this gem of a photo was taken, and a firecracker landed on the deck under my Aunt Sue's chair and almost lit her skirt on fire. This trip was a little less explosive - and much less humid, the weather was beautiful.
|David Family Reunion, 1998.|
|Bear screams eventually turned into bear impressions. You had to be there...|
My brother made a beautiful slide show of photos from Grandma's life, and with each of her children and their families, and many of her travels after she retired. Here are a few of my favorites...
|When Alice sees this one, she says "Alice."|
|So young and lovely.|
|Seriously, what a dish!|
|Papa David, my Dad, Papa Murray, Uncle Don, Gommee|
|Alice in the funeral director's chair.|
|My dad swept the dirt from his father's headstone.|
At the cemetery, we paid our respects to our family buried there. Alice walked around and visited the neighbors as well. I hope she brought a little bit of good energy to everyone resting there. She was very respectful, keeping her voice low and her hands to herself, but she couldn't stop flashing everyone in sight. Alas, it couldn't be helped, and I'd like to think that no one can help but smile at a toddler tummy? You can make her out in the background below, baring her belly...
|Alice takes a walk with her Grandma. I chose to follow behind and take photos instead of fixing her dress...|
And we couldn't stop laughing at her...
|Reading stories with Grandpa.|
Alice had a great time with all of the adoring Grandmas and Aunties around. She especially took a shining to my Aunt Sue and her cool older second cousin, who let her watch things and play with apps on her iPod. Here they are together, Alice sipping some "coffee" like a big girl.
We were so grateful to stay at my Aunt's neighbors' house next door. Alice also had a wonderful time playing with all the toys they had set up for her, so much so that she kept asking to go back there to play. We finally had to bring the little kitchen set over to my Aunt's house. I was glad to see that she played with it for looooong stretches at a time. Don't tell Alice, but I understand that Santa may be bringing a little kitchen to our very own house this year...
On our way out of town, we stopped for a quick lunch and ate at Panera for the very first time. Alice thoroughly enjoyed her grilled cheese sandwich dipped in tomato soup.
Before we headed to the airport, we stopped by the house in Garden City where my dad grew up. I was hoping to sweet talk the current owners in to showing us around inside. I haven't been back there since our Thanksgiving visit when I was about 12, the house was sold not long after. I would have loved to show it to Jon and take some photos of Alice there. Alas, no one answered the door. I would have taken a few photos with Alice on the porch but she was fast asleep in the car and I didn't want to wake her, so I just snapped a few with my phone before we moved along.
|The Garden City house years ago, and today.|
From the outside, it looks like the current owners are taking good care of the house, even building a garage and a porte-cochere. Maybe next time we're in Michigan, I can write in advance and make a date to visit the house.
Here are a few photos from inside the house, in the living room just behind that big window on the right.
|Me (age 2-ish?), with Gommee, cousin Jad, dad, mom, Grandma and foxy Aunt Bee.|
|My dad, in the near left, looking ADORABLE and his brother and sisters. I think we just threw away the last of that Christmas tinsel...|
|Christmas carnage. That lovely, large window is just out of frame to the right behind Gommee.|