The last you heard from me, I was on my way to have dinner with Lori's mom, Jean. I was so excited that I called Lori, in LA, to flaunt it: "Guess what, I'm having dinner with yo mamma tonight!"
She was thrilled to hear it! She told me that her boyfriend and his daughter [who happen to live here] would also be there for the family reunion. Great! I'd look forward to seeing them!
We talked another half hour, and she mentioned getting in late last night. She works about a million hours a day, and as I was readying to chide her for working so late on the Saturday night of a holiday weekend, it hit me..."WHERE are you?" "I'm HERE! I'm in Champaign!"
All kinds of squealing and screaming ensued. I had no idea she was here! We've both been busy, and it was probably mentioned at some point, but had slipped my mind. Everyone else involved had assumed I was in the know.
Yay, cookout at the Mason Estate! Menu: Burgers, brats, and corn on the cob on the grill!
Mama Jean checks the corn. Is it done? "Take a bite" she said. I did, and we put it back on the grill for a little while. As luck would have it, I ended up with the piece I'd gnawed on.
Dad supervises the hose with grand-daughter and great grandson...
While grandson sits behind and runs the controls.
The neighbors were kind enough to let us play on their trampoline for the evening. After dinner, Lori and I took our first-ever shots at trampolining. I'm not saying nuthin' about nuthin', but that girl doesn't navigate that well on land. Check out this hilarious video, when brother Randy bounces her off-balance:
Har, har, doesn't that crack you up? I handed over the camera and got in to show her how it's done. Look how graceful I am! Clearly, good trampolining is all about flapping your arms just so:
Lordy, we had fun, playing and working up a sweat much as we did back in 1973.
And the day was sweeter still, as this was Pops, less than one month ago:
Yep. Emergency open-heart surgery 22 days before this picnic. He had been participating in a senior citizen's physical fitness program at a local hospital, when doctors, alarmed over test results, stopped him immediately to whisk him off for surgery. He initially refused, saying he felt just fine, but Mama Jean tightened the thumbscrews—and turned on the waterworks—and convinced him to go through with it. Go Mama, go!
So, even more thankful we were, then, to be celebrating, eating, and mindlessly jumping around like idiots on Sunday evening.
Life is good.