Fond Memories

We’ve just spent the weekend up north visiting with Michael’s family. We drove up on Friday hoping to make a stop off at one of the National Trust properties along the way. The drizzle made us make a slight change to our plans–instead of a NT property and tea room, we stopped off at Ikea for lunch. It’s just off the highway; the food isn’t terrible and doesn’t cost a fortune, unlike the sandwiches at the rest stops. Plus, you can have a wander around and stretch your legs. We made it to the hotel at about 3pm and then went to his folks house.

Michaels Gran had had a slight stroke at Easter, so we wanted to go see how she was and spend some time with her. She has recovered a bit, enough to complain about the doctors and the hospitals and to fight about going to every appointment. She refused to go to the hospital when she had the stroke, as she’ll only see ‘her’ doctor and she will not stay in one. In 88 years she’s only been in the hospital when Michael’s dad was born (medically necessary) and as that was a complete misery, she doesn’t want to endure anymore of their hospitality. Hazel noticed that her speech was off a bit, but I think it passed by Kieran. The kids haven’t spent much time with her as we do live quite far, but they really do love her. Kieran just loves to hug her—they are just spontaneous hugs that only little ones can give. Hazel had fun going over the photos of her Great-grans life. I loved that she was wondering what was wrong with the photos because they were all gray!

Saturday was spent visiting between the Grandparents and Great-grans for the early part of the day. It helps that they live 5 houses away from each other. The kids cousin came over for the afternoon and the three of them played outside-they on their scooters and J on his bike. They all get along very nicely and have fun with each other.

For dinner the four of us went over to Michaels brothers. The older daughters were at their mom’s this weekend, so we only got to play with baby Abigail. Not that any of us were complaining-less people wanting to hold the baby! We had a lovely dinner and left just before 9pm to get the kids to bed.
We were up and on the road by 10am. We decided on a trip to the Buxton to visit our favourite bookstore, Brierlow Bookstore and to have lunch at the Peak View Tearoom. We were a bit earlier than we thought we’d be, so we just had soup for lunch or else we’d be too full for cake. They all had chocolate cake and I had a date and apple cake—not much was left on any of the plates! The bookstore was depleted of just over 20 books from its stock by the time we left. The only bad part was I didn’t actually get any—so we’ll have to go again! Hazel wanted some cook books, so she bought one on cookies and one for summer fruit recipes. I’ll have to let her do something by Wednesday-she is so excited to make something.

After our two hour shopping spree, we had a two hour drive home. We just made cheese on toast for dinner and mooched around for the evening. The kids and Michael watched part of Scrap Heap challenge before their bath time.

As to the fond memories, today would have been my dad’s 71st birthday. It is just too hard to imagine what he’d be like in his 70’s, though I really wish I could have had the opportunity to see the real thing. I was happy that Hazel had remembered that last year we were able to be by his graveside to wish him a happy birthday. It’s always been easy to tell them stories about him; he was such a fun and happy guy that the silly stories are limitless. I still choke a bit when they ask about his death and how I found him-that is still a bit too much at times, but getting easier. So it was a weekend for the kids to create some memories of their own, and for me to share some of my fondest pre-children memories with them. Happy Birthday Dad!

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