... I can talk about our summer trip.
We put over 2500 miles on the car, visited 3 sets of family members and at least drove through, if not visited, 11 states. And maybe the District of Columbia, except that I don't think the Beltway counts. Anyway, we visited Barry's parents in Western Pennsylvania first. That's where we took all our pictures. I forgot all about pictures after we left there. So it doesn't even look like we made the other stops.
Here are my parents-in-law, Jane and Ron Stahl, relaxing on their front porch swing.
And here they are with their son.
Now I want to put in red currant bushes at our place. They are just so gorgeous on the bush! And delicious little critters, too.
Then, on Friday afternoon, Barry got to help the neighbor bale hay, using the same tractor, the same baler, that Barry helped out with when he was a kid - and indeed, the same one that the neighbor's grandfather used. It's been in the family a long while.
This was still the first cutting of hay. It's been so wet there they could not make hay till July! That is not a good thing. This should be the second cutting already.
This photo was taken at night and it's not very good, but I'm including it anyway. This is the neighbor's grown son who took my son on a ride in his hot rod. It is loud and fast. I know nothing of hot rods but I liked the paint job: Matte black. He says it's just primer, but I liked the effect.
Lastly, I took way too many pictures of the hummingbirds at their feeder. These little guys are so quick, it's very hard to capture them even digitally.
Great, huh? Tons of pictures of a bunch of hummingbirds and none of my nieces and nephews. Ugh.
Anyway, from there, we drove east to Staten Island, New York, for a couple of days with Barry's younger brother Wayne and his wife Roseann and their daughter. They have a lovely 1920s home made much lovelier by their beautiful landscaping, which has progressed phenomenally since our last visit. We got to worship with them Sunday at Bethel EFC and then they had a lot of friends, family and neighbors (who also count as friends, of course) over for an Independence Day barbecue. Little kids leaped in and out of the wading pool all afternoon, we all moved from shady spot to shady spot and talked and ate and ate and ate, and Wayne presided over the grill. It was a great day.
The next day we headed down to Northern Virginia, Woodbridge to be more precise, to visit my brother Aaron, sister-in-law Vania and their three kids. Another great, though short, visit. The kids played, we talked, Vania and I took in a used book sale and hit the Salvation Army store, I wheedled the kids and their father into putting on an impromptu instrumental music contest (M on violin, C on trumpet, D on recorder, and Dad on classical guitar) for us. And Barry worked on the back patio for awhile, cleaning things up and trimming plants. He doesn't like sitting around, hence the hay-baling and vine-trimming.
Then we headed back home, with a night spent back at Ron and Jane's and then a long push from Western PA to home. Over 2500 miles in 9 days. A real blessing.