Circle tour of love…

The circle tour of love is winding down and I’ll be back home with Mr. Smith on Monday. He tells me he thinks about me constantly. He looks around the new apartment at all the boxes and thinks “I can’t wait for Stormy to get home and get these unpacked!” Soon, dearest, soon. But today I’m headed to State College, PA for a much anticipated visit with Eleanor.

I am thrilled to report that my intrepid mother-in-law weathered her surgery in fine form, came home the same day, and is well on the road to recovery.

She is one amazing woman.

After spending a few days with Pat while she recuperated, I went back down to my sister’s. My time there happily coincided with the Ann Arbor Art Fair. We planned strategically and attended early on opening day, scurrying home after a lovely late lunch, retreating back into the air-conditioned comfort of home during one of the worst heat waves in memory.

These cool concrete books in front of the William L. Clements Library on the University of Michigan campus in Ann Arbor, MI along the Art Fair route caught my eye.

I couldn’t be so close to my gaggle of granddaughters without popping up there for a visit. I took some vintage clothes pins and lots of trimmings of feathers, fabric, pom poms and sparkly pipe cleaners and we made clothes pin dolls.

This beauty was made by Emily.
Olivia never met a craft project she didn’t like!
Emily’s fairy doll.
Elizabeth was all about the pom poms!

Saturday night was back to my sister’s for a last lovely dinner out, complete with cocktails. I am delighted to have been able to make this trip, but I am looking forward to returning to the love nest in the sky and Mr. Smith, boxes and all.

C’est la vie.

Life is a highway…

The Sunday after Mr. Smith’s birthday, I left on a solo road trip.  My SUV was filled with boxes to take to store at my sister’s in Michigan and several household items that were going on to Elliot’s house in Indiana. It was so fully packed that my suitcase was strapped into the front passenger seat, keeping my company on my drive. I had a full tank of gas, a bottle of water and a chicken salad croissant for lunch provided by my lovely husband.

I traveled the Southern Tier Expressway across New York.  It winds through green mountains dotted with dairy farms and deep forests and past the exquisite Chautauqua Lake.  I drove across New York and into Pennsylvania where I eventually stopped at a rest area to enjoy a quick lunch before soldiering on through Ohio and up to Michigan.

My sister lives in a charming shall town in southern Michigan. We were delighted to have several days together with few obligations. We drank good wine, ate yummy food and shopped! I went to a movie in the middle of the day in the middle of the week! 

These statues in front of the Art Center always make me smile..
And I love any town that has one of these.

On Friday, my sister and I set off for Indiana to meet up with our brother and his wife and our niece and her family.  We visited, ate pizza and watched the movie, Billy Elliot.  I think I loved it even more than when I saw it originally.  Plus, it segued perfectly into my next day when I headed to Indiana to see my fabulous granddaughters.

The biggest reason for my road trip was getting to attend Olivia and Emily’s dance recital. I didn’t know until I got there that two-year old Elizabeth would be making her stage debut! After a week and a half of lessons, she was ready to go out there and perform to Animal Crackers in My Soup! All three girls did a spectacular job and melted my heart.

The dancers and their grandmas!
Grandpa’s Emily…

On a solo road trip, you have all the freedom and all the responsibility.  You chose when to stop and where.  You chose music or no music.  Traveling alone, I thought about how spoiled I am when I travel with Mr. Smith and never have to think about whether I have enough gas or keep track of the car keys.

Many hours alone in the car also gives you time to think.  I thought about how my road trips are always about the destination and not the journey.  I’m going from point A to point B and while I do admire the scenery, I rarely venture off the route.  I hope that one day soon on this highway of life, I manage to take the road less traveled.

C’est la vie.