Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Dispatch from Pennsylvania

Traveling from the hotel today...last night is still warm as we amble over to breakfast at Hank's Place on US Route One in Chadds Ford. Ah, last night: a spirited high school basketball game where Greg, our godson, was 'versing' (Robert's word) the team from Chester, the reigning state champs.

'We' lost by one point. I got to see Carl and Syd, my cousin and his wife, their youngest, Mike (accompanied by two of his friends), and Ashley and Lindsey (or is that Lindsay?). Short time in the parking lot passing the Christmas goodies that Sheila baked for them in the parking lot then Lee, his girls Grace and Rachel drove back here to Chadds Ford with Ashley and Esther, Robert, Sheila, and I drove back to Lee's with Lindsey, getting the lowdown on her time away at Hampshire College in Massachusetts.

Robert played a game of chess with Rae, and won! I got to talk to Ashley. Oh, and before I forget, I got to spend time with Lee's girls too. Grace, continuing a long family tradition, told me that the middle of my remaining hair line is catching up to the sides in the race to my neck! (Lovey girl, her, and even lovelier tradition, huh?) Lindsey played with Esther, Sheila rested and watched the whole affair pleased to be with the Robbins/Cuyjet clan youngsters.

Lee and I did the proud papa and brother/cousins bit.

We hung out until I pooped out and declared that anybody going back to the hotel with me better pony up and come with me.

We had a major throwdown at Hank's for breakfast, I was reminded of what real scrapple tastes like and Esther reminded us again that her eyes are definitely bigger than her stomach. But here's what strikes me now as I reflect on Christmas break.

I love my cousins Carl and Lee like they were (are?) my brothers. I grew up admiring Lee and competing with Carl in a brotherly way. Lee helped give me the opportunity to pitch in this year with Habitat for Humanity there in Chester County. The Robbins boys' children are my children in a way. So's their sister's kid, Aaron. They helped me over the years of their growing up prepare for raising my own kids. Being with them was great. We missed Aaron this holiday but spent time with him and Cecily over Thanksgiving. Next time we plan on spending more time with Carl and his crew. It was a great trip...more after we get home

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