This weekend we went to the cities to meet Jill and Eric for a whirlwind of celebrations for Eric’s graduation. Now, he is going to DeVry in Washington, but he was allowed to graduate here so that the family could be involved in the celebration. Eric actually has two classes left and will be finished with school in October.
Norm and I stayed at Joy’s with Peanut. Joy and family, being in Los Alamos, couldn’t make it, but sent greetings to Eric and Jill. On our way to the cities, we went up to Detta’s Spindle to collect my new spinning wheel that I’ve been paying for this winter. She is a Lenox “Bonnie,” a double treadle wheel made of cherry wood. While there, I collected some carders for Candy and some wool for Joy and for Jody (in thanks for babysitting the cats and chickens).
We met with Jill and Eric on Friday after lunch and went shopping at Target for some things, then went to their motel room, where we met with Eric’s folks and Grandma. We left Peanut in her crate with Remy, in his crate, and went to Olive Garden (my FAVORITE place) for supper (dinner for sophisticated people).
Then spent some time visiting at the motel and headed “home.” On Saturday, early, we went to Eric’s brother’s house, left Peanut there and headed to the Center for the graduation. It was a small ceremony – DeVry in the Cities is a small school so there were only about 30 people graduating, either in the Bachelor of Science category or in the Masters category. Eric has (or will have?) a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems with a Cum Laude grade. If you notice in some of the pictures, he is actually wearing two tassels. You generally wear a different colored tassel for Cum Laude, then they are designated gold and the Computer section also has a gold tassel, hence the two to allow people to know he has a Cum Laude. (For those of you not in America or for those of you who don’t know, Cum Laude means a grade point average of 3.5, or a B+ average, something rather difficult to maintain.)
After the ceremony, we went back to Eric’s brother’s house (rather close by) for a hot dog / brat lunch; we sat in the sun or under the shade umbrella and talked and played with the dogs. Brandon and Lindsey have a Chihuahua / Yorkshire Terrier mix dog that is adorable but so very, very hyperactive! She has two modes – running all the time or sleeping.
Then back “home” for a nap and then out again to Eric’s favorite restaurant – a German one. This was a new experience for me – they don’t just serve food, they serve entertainment. An accordion player wanders around playing and singing and getting the guests to join in. Those who have gone before know the routine; the musician plays and sings a ditty and the guests join – then there is a “hoy, hoy, hoy!” and glasses or mugs clink and you drink your beer. Beer is served in liters or half-liters; the food is totally German but very good. We ordered several platters and shared around. The platters were humongous metal ones on wooden trays (like the steak ones in good steak houses) and were placed on individual heating trays.
We also had a couple of deserts that were passed around for a forkful of taste each. By the time we left I was stuffed to the gills! I don’t like beer so I ordered some sparkling Asti Spumante for the occasion.
Now, as some of you (but not all of you) know, I do not do well with crowds, noisy places or late nights (or excessive alcohol, for that matter). That’s one of the big reasons why we live in the country. I can chose my “crowds,” noise and the hour of retiring. Also the amount of alcohol that is being served. But besides all those reasons for NOT having a good time, I HAD a good time. It was even FUN! I got to visit with some of the friends that I had met at Jill and Eric’s wedding (a whole ten years ago next month – can you believe it?) and with Eric’s parents, Marie and Jerry and Eric’s grandmother, as well.
Fortunately for me, however, we did leave reasonably early, as Grandma wanted to go home (hurray for Grandma!). We had ridden with Jerry and Marie and Grandma from the motel, as Norm was afraid he’d lose his way (very easy to do). The noise of the polka band in the basement was vibrating on our feet and in my head. We said goodbye to everyone and headed “home” again.
Peanut was at the door to meet us; Joy’s father-in-law, Bill came up from his basement apartment to visit for awhile. Then bed, a short night and up to get ready to head home on Sunday morning. We took a window that Ken had set aside and the spinning wheel, which made a rather crowded van. We then stopped at Mankato to collect some shingles for the barn; lunch at Culvers and then home.
A long weekend but lots of fun. And now to prepare for the NEXT one! We now go to South Dakota for Norm’s family reunion. We will leave tomorrow or Thursday and be gone about a week. I hope to be able to post while we are gone, at least a little bit. It is a beautiful day today – you have a beautiful day!