The Gang’s All Here

While I was recovering from surgery, I had the good fortune of having most of my family out for a two week visit ending on July 8th. I spent a boatload of frequent flyer points and brought out everyone I could get my hands on. Above is a picture of the whole gang as we were about to get on board the General Jackson riverboat for a trip down the Cumberland River. In the back row, from the left, is Emily (daughter), Wendy (sister-in-law), Dan (brother), Jake (nephew), Shirley (mom), and Chuck (step-dad). In the front row, from the left, is Katie Jo (daugther), Anna Lynn (daughter), and Dylan (son).
We got to hang out a lot, but I was still pretty weak at the time. So we didn’t go out a whole lot while they were here. We spent an evening downtown listening to music at Mulligan’s Irish Pub. Dan and Wendy browsed some antique shops and 2nd hand stores, which are evidently few and far between in Alaska. I know that Wendy loves to geocache, but I’m not sure if she did any while they were here. Otoh, I did get her to help out with pressure washing my deck. She sort’a went into a Zen-like state and finished half of the deck before long. You can really see the difference in the dirty and clean wood in the picture of Wendy pressure cleaning. Thanks Wendy!

I especially enjoyed getting to spend time with everyone. I really loved getting to spend time with my nephew, Jake. I wish we could’ve had more one on one time, but it was great to see how much he’s matured and, frankly, what a fine young man he’s become. One funny story about Jake – I now call him “the wrecking ball”. He’s grown so much in the last year that he’s not used to where his head, hands, and feet are. So there was more than one occassion where he mashed up something in the house by accident. I know he was really upset about the path of destruct he wrought, but I hope he know that I don’t really mind. That’s simply what happens when a young man grows 6″ in one year. It happened to me too!

The kids all seemed to have a really good time with the family too. They got to do several fun excursions, such as the riverboat ride and a trip to the Hermitage. Katie and Anna really enjoyed having their entire family here. Katie and Anna also really looked forward to spending time with “Fungal Dan” and having a “fungal toe” painting extravaganza. When it was all done, I, Dylan, and Dan all had our right big toenails painted. And Grandma and Grandpa were a lot of fun too. Grandma was a little disappointed not to have a nice big TV to watch, since I hadn’t been able to replace my stolen TV. Grandpa, though, was as vigorous as ever and even spent several days in the backyard practicing shotput for an upcoming Senior Olympics event.

Dylan and Emily were really helpful while I was on the mend and helped keep everyone fed and comfortable. With as many kids as I have, we didn’t have extra beds for everyone. So we made use of these new deluxe aerobeds that are just awesome. They’re inflatable, but just as big and comfortable as a regular queen-sized bed.

My only disappointment about the trip was that my brother’s oldest son, Sam, wasn’t able to come down for the trip too. He’s preparing to depart for Depauw University and had a trip to Spain and Equador that conflicted with the trip to Nashville. Depauw is about 5 hours drive from our home in Nashville, so I hope to see him on holidays and during breaks from school.



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