It Doesn’t Get Much Better

My first “general” surgery is behind me now. My recovery continues as the simple tasks that I took for granted 9 days ago have actually become “simple” again. When it became apparent a few days ago that I was feeling better, my first thought was to go visit our children before work reasserted itself as my primary focus.

Late February at college is a busy time. Heck, everything but the first two weeks of a semester are busy times. (“Don’t be seduced by September”…great advice from a Michigan professor.) Our visits to the kids are always qualified by “unless it’s a bad time” or “no pressure if it doesn’t work for you” or some other opportunity for them to opt out. Circumstances don’t always work out so that we can see all of them so it’s always a bonus when the stars align and we can spend some time with each of them.

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Our visits are a combination of meals, trips to Meijer or Sams Club, and walks around the beautiful campus of whatever school we’re at. Visits to a bookstore to buy spirit wear are also pretty common.  Starbucks isn’t a part of our visits. It’s a part of our lives…not optional.

We were spoiled on Friday by a clear blue sky and temperatures in the upper 40’s. We detoured a bit on our way to Mount Pleasant by taking a shortcut (which took longer) through rural Michigan. Wet, muddy farmland was broken up by lots of water (VERY squatchy!) and collections of houses that defined many small towns. It was only when we reached Morrice that we actually passed a McDonalds.

cmuvisit-shortcut

Our visit went like this:

Friday Night:

Dinner at Olive Garden in Mount Pleasant:  This is our go-to restaurant…for now. Lizette, Melissa, Alexander, Cecile and I enjoyed appetizers and a very filling meal. Olive Garden is a popular restaurant on Friday nights in Mount Pleasant (and probably most other places if our experience in Ann Arbor is any indication) but our wait was pretty short. Regardless of the crowd, dinner with family was great.

Cecile, Melissa, and I took a beautiful night stroll around the Central Michigan campus. There was very little light pollution and a clear night sky let us enjoy a very bright Venus in the west and many stars overhead.  We missed the opportunity to take pictures…mostly.

Saturday:

Breakfast at Bob Evans with 5 of us: How much food can you take in 12 hours? A lot. Bob Evans and the Baeza family go back a long way.  Soccer trips to Ohio and family trips to Traverse City have frequently included waiting on a weekend morning to get in to Bob Evans. The food was good. The sun was out again and the temperature rose to 64 degrees…in February.

The walking club (Cecile, Melissa and me) took another stroll around CMU.  Lizette’s been there since August 2010 and I still love that campus.

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Lunch:

Chili’s in East Lansing: Phillip, Samantha, Cecile, Melissa, and me.  A quick drive down 127, a stop for gas and cash (no, we didn’t rob a gas station), and we picked up Sam and Phil so we could grab lunch (because how much food is “too much?”).  By this point in the day, many MSU students were out and about enjoying the insanely beautiful day.  The view through the big windows at the restaurant was stunning.  Still, it was hard to ignore the elephant in the room:

cmuvisit-phillip

He’s always had beautiful hair:

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He’s always been a good sport as well.

Afterword

We just got back from 11:30 mass at St. James. The church has changed a little bit since the last time we went. No surprise there. It’s been a while. Since mid-winter break just started, there were a lot of empty seats.

We really enjoy spending time with all of you.  Every minute with each of you is pure gold. There’s just no way to tell you how proud we are.

Love you.

Dad & Mom

 

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