Back in October Daniel's girlfriend and Daniel's roommate from last year came down here for a surprise visit to Daniel. He knew Collin was coming, but not that Kelly was coming. The Saturday that they were here, they parked their car in the Park-n-Ride, which is free on weekends, and took the metro into DC where they had a fun day sight-seeing.
When they arrived back at the Metro Station at around 10:00 p.m., they discovered that Collin's car had been stolen. We loaned Collin Daniel's car to get back up to Ohio, since it is just parked in our parking lot. We start it up once a week and sometimes I take it shopping, but mostly it just sits there. Daniel has no place to park it in downtown DC. (Long story short, it was so complicated to get Collin's car back as he had to appear in person at the police station to get a Police Release Form. After 21 days the car belongs to the tow-truck company, so they got a free car. By the time Collin would have traveled back down here, paid off the tow-truck company their fees for towing and keeping the car on their lot, and paid to get the ignition switch redone (it had been popped and hot-wired), it just wasn't worth it as it was an older car.)
So, Daniel had already planned to go up to Ohio to surprise Kelly and Suzanne. He would have driven his car, but since it was already in Ohio, we decided to all go. We could visit everybody up there and then drive both his and our car back.
We stayed at my sister's apartment. Unfortunately they were gone to NY for a wedding. But it worked out nicely as we just spent a lot of time there chilling out as a family. Suzanne had just come through an extremely busy, tiring week and was ready for some down time. Her boyfriend, Theo, spent a lot of time with us, too. We got to see Kelly, but not as much as she had an overnight babysitting job.
My sister's current project was laying out on the little table in the living room. When her oldest daughter left home, Natalie had made her a box of all their favorite recipes. Now the middle child just got married, so she is making her a box, too. And the youngest just got engaged and is getting married this coming summer, so my sister has a huge winter project to do! I asked her why she didn't just type them into the computer and then she could just print out two copies and it would be much quicker. She said she wanted them to be in her hand-writing and she puts little notes on some of the cards. It's a very personal gift from Mom that way. It also shows how my sister and I are different....Natalie tends to be more sentimental and I'm more practical. Not that she's impractical, but I just wouldn't sit there and write each recipe by hand when there is a faster way to do it! I love the way her box is all dinged and scratched....it's been to Africa and back, after all! Her husband made this box for her and you can probably see her initials etched (not sure that that's how he got her initials in there, but you get the idea) into the lid. They are backwards and upside down in this picture because the lid is open.Anyway, I just loved walking in and seeing this labor of love spread out on the table.
Saturday we went out for breakfast and that was where we surprised Suzanne. Theo brought her to the restaurant and we came out the door. Daniel grabbed her and she couldn't figure out what random guy had just grabbed her. After breakfast Daniel went to where Kelly was babysitting and surprised her. After breakfast Suzanne and Theo came over and everybody studied or worked on a project. Later we watched a movie and Daniel came for supper. Then they all went to a party and John and I watched a movie. The kids watched another movie when they got back, then Theo and Daniel went back to the college and Suzanne spent the night with us.
Sunday we went to church together, then just hung out in the afternoon. We played Trivial Pursuit most of the afternoon. We all stunk at the entertainment questions, but did pretty well on everything else. Kelly came later and we all (except Suzanne who had already arranged to have supper with somebody) went to my niece's house for supper.
Monday John and my brother-in-law did a little work on both cars, mainly tying up the muffler on Daniel's car. Then we got in the cars to go over to Cedarville to pick up Daniel. We didn't even get around the block when I stopped and told John there was no way Daniel's car was going to travel to Maryland. The brakes were very squishy and took forever to stop the car. We managed to get it into a garage. By 1:30 they still weren't done with it, so Daniel and John went on to Maryland as Daniel had to be to work Tuesday morning. I stayed in Ohio and waited for them to finish the work. It was finally done by 4:00, but that was too late for me to start out. I left Tuesday morning around 6:00 and after eight and a half hours of driving, made it safely back to Maryland. Anybody who has traveled with me knows that getting in a car is like taking a sleeping pill. I'm out. Thankfully God kept me awake and alert driving all that way. And we are VERY thankful we noticed the brake problem at the beginning of the trip. I just hate to think what it would have been like if it had happened to Collin on his way up or to us on our way back down. (Daniel had this same problem exactly a year ago at Thanksgiving.)