This weekend I attended a very nice family celebration, so reminiscent of my entire childhood. Back then my mom presided over the family activities; she was the glue that held us all together. All that was missing this weekend, beside all those old familiar relatives, was a lively card game around the picnic table.
Here is a picture Shelly's best friend took for me. From left to right, my daughter, Shelly; my sister, Janice; myself, the long time writer of this blog; and my daughter, Beth.
We were at Shelly's house to celebrate Shelly's graduation from Ursuline College with an MSN degree; she is a nurse practitioner. The state boards, her last requirement, are set for a month from now.
Shelly is the mother of four of my grandchildren, one of whom lives here in this house where I rent a room. Kay, the house owner, has become the ad hoc guardian of that grandchild, too old to legally need a guardian, but her attention is appreciated. Many long time readers will remember I had custody of those three youngest children until each became 18 years of age.
Beth is the mother of my other two grandchildren, Francis and Caroline. France begins his second year of college in a few more days and Caroline starts her first year in a few days. Some of you followed France on his hiking and biking adventures. He wrote a blog, Summit, on a difficult to access platform, covering his trips on trails in this country (the Great Divide Mountain bike trail, Canada to Mexico) and the Ho Chi Min trail in Vietnam, all before he turned 18. That one made his mother crazy.
Caroline begins college at Macalester, in St. Paul, Minnesota this year. She's the one for whom I took up sweater knitting again, though France in Colorado College in Colorado Springs, Colorado, probably qualifies for cold, too. I have no current pictures of these two, or of any grandchildren, these days. I perused Facebook for some old pictures.
Here are Francis, Beth, my dear friend Ruth, who is the mother of my son-in-law, Bill, to Ruth's left. They met France somewhere in the Appalachians, at the end of a Francis bike trip, to drive him home. Or perhaps they met him for lunch and he pedaled his way home.
I thought I had a current picture of Caroline, a camera avoider, but I cannot seem to find it. Here she is a few years ago, on one of her father's backpacking trips. She lost no time finding other places to go, like to Grandma Ruth's house.
Her mother is taking the picture. Caroline is the epitome of enthusiasm here. She has grown to a sterling young woman who would have a place in that very first picture. I named that picture The Lytle Women, as each of us is unquestionably a descendent of my parents. Beth named her daughter Caroline Lenore, in honor of that grandparent, and Caroline is my mother's great granddaughter, for sure.
When Ruth, Caroline and I go to lunch this Tuesday, I'll do my best to get a picture of the three of us. I bet Caroline can do selfies.