reflections on visiting friends and family back east

This past week I took my first trip to the New York area since my accident nearly sixteen months ago.  It was really great to see everyone back there, and it also felt good to be there on business as well – first time away on one of those in about twenty months. 

Some pictures from the trip are here.

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I got to visit with my good friends, the Krakow family, and to spend time with my cousins.  We spent a bit of time talking about my accident and recovery.  I’ve never had trouble talking about these things, particularly with good friends and family. 

I got lots of hugs, and warm words about miracles. 

One thing that I become more mindful of over time, is that I don’t want the visits to be just about me or my accident.  I hope that I didn’t ramble on about myself too much.  It was definitely wonderful seeing these people who mean so much to me.

I visited the Krakows at the home they’ve lived in for (I think) about forty years.  My family spent quite a bit of time there when I was young.  I remember spending two weeks there back when I was about seven, with my friend Doron’s parents and my parents swapping week-long kidless getaways while the other couple watched all of us.  Doron and I are both over forty now, and we have kids of our own.  But while I was in their house, I felt the memories washing over me, particularly when I looked at the many pictures on the wall.  Spending time with Janet and Doron’s kids was a lot of fun too – they’re very smart and engaging.

I spent the weekend with my cousins Sandra and Chris (who had come up from NC for the weekend for cousin Julia’s confirmation).  They were wonderful indulging me with a trip to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  There’s so much to see there, I had trouble deciding where to go next.  They have excellent collections of old European masters, American ‘heritage’ pieces, and more modern pieces.  We capped the first day with a nice Chinese meal. 

Sunday morning found us in Connecticut for Julia’s confirmation.  It was a beautiful service, and I got to join the other family members in going up for the laying on of hands to Julia, showing love and support for her.  Then we went back to the house, and enjoyed a day of visiting and (lots of) eating.  I may have consumed about five days worth of delicious ziti and pie. 

Seeing Art and Cheryl’s kids is always a pleasure.  Art’s son was able to answer one of the more difficult technical questions I ask interviewees.  The kid’s not yet sixteen, but I’d hire him :).  Their eldest girls were home from college (whoah!), and it was great catching up with them.  One is doing crew and studying biomedical engineering.  The other is studying English Lit, and writes.  And Julia is a sweet, thoughtful, smart (and very athletic) kid.

I’d been able to get back there probably once or twice per year before the accident.  I always enjoy spending time with the people back there.

Although I’ve not lived in New York for over 35 years, it still feels like home in a way.

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