neyronrose (neyronrose) wrote,

visit to northern New Jersey

We went up to visit Aunt A., as planned.  I had gone to bed relatively early Friday night, and was able to get up okay in the morning.  Mom and Dad weren't too bad on the trip up, except that they'd picked terrible music to play.  I tried a few moments of the CDs and cassette tapes they'd brought, and couldn't stand it.  I'd brought along the speaker I'd gotten for my iPod and played some pop music from my iPod.

Aunt A. had other visitors, Aunt P. (S.) and cousins of Dad's.  Aunt A. looked better than I thought she would, considering what she'd said.  She was able to talk without coughing much while on the oxygen. 

We got there at 1:00, and Aunt P. and our cousins were just heading out to lunch.  We went along, to let Aunt A. rest.  We all went to Panera Bread, and I sort of got an idea of how those new-to-me cousins were related.  There were three sisters, Aunt C., who had three children; Grandma S., who had four; and Aunt A., who didn't marry.  I don't remember ever meeting Aunt C.  She lived in Florida for many years before passing away last year(?).  Aunt A. had e-mailed me about it.  One of Aunt C.'s children, D.M., was there with his son, J.M., also known as "Moose," apparently.  Another of her children, J.M., had a son also with the initials J.M.  The son had flown up from Florida to visit with Aunt A.  There's a third child, C.M., who also lives in Florida.

So D.M. and his brothers C.M. and J.M. are Dad's cousins.  J.M. a.k.a. Moose and the elder J.M.'s son J.M. are my second cousins or third cousins or second cousins once removed.  If anyone knows how to figure that out, let me know, because I'm curious how I'm actually related to them.

There was some conversation about e-readers.  Aunt P. says she likes print books.  She said she'd only consider getting an e-reader to load books she'd otherwise bring back from France in her luggage.  Aunt P. is a French teacher, and goes to France every so often.  I think she said that there weren't too many e-books in French?  I don't know.

I said most of the e-book publishing companies I knew of published romance.  Moose said he read a good bit of science fiction in e-book format.  "From Baen," he said.

"Oh, yeah, I've heard that Baen is way ahead of other print publishers as far as publishing e-books," I said.  So I've read on some blogs about reading and publishing.  I said that you could download quite a number of books free from Google Library, older books.  Aunt P. still expressed disinterest in the concept of reading books on the computer.  I think the instant gratification and ability to get the kinds of books I wanted were among the most important factors for me for getting into reading them.  Space for books is also a consideration, as we have thousands of print books in the house.

We got back to Aunt A.'s apartment after about an hour.  There were too many people to have much one-on-one conversation with her, but I talked some more with Moose.  He recommended several science fiction books to me.  I explained that Changeling publishes "super-hot love stories."  I gave him the web addresses for Changeling and JCP Books, and a few of the other e-book publishers' websites where I just like to shop.  He has my e-mail address and I told him that my LJ name is Neyronrose.  I e-mailed him.  I don't think it will take him long to realize that much of what I post about touches on LGBT topics.

Aunt A. said she'd had a fall the other day, and sprained her arm and broken her glasses.  She showed Aunt P. her black eye.  Aunt A. said she's going to be moving into the skilled care section of the retirement community on Monday, that it's time.  I told her not to worry about anything, to just rest and let others take care of it.  "That's all I can do," she said.

We took pictures of all of us together -- Moose had a camera with a timer.  Aunt A. sat in a chair in the middle, and started to cough badly after a few moments without the oxygen on.  She hung in there, though.  D.M. said it was perhaps the only time we'd get a picture of those relatives together.  Two of Grandma S.'s children, one of Aunt C.'s children, Aunt A., two cousins and me (their second cousin or whatever).  There are plenty of pictures of my first cousins and me with Aunt A.

We headed out around 4:00 p.m.  I would have liked to stay longer, but it gets dark so early.  I could see why Mom and Dad didn't want to drive the whole trip in the dark.  Mom got a little teary once we'd left that building of the retirement community.  "Give her a hug," I said to Dad.  He was puzzled, but gave her a hug.  He really doesn't understand the emotions that more neurologically typical people have and express.

Mom wanted to go on the major highways rather than on the backroads and roads with traffic circles we'd taken on the way up.  When we stopped at a rest stop on the New Jersey Turnpike, I took over and drove about two hours, down the New Jersey Turnpike and on the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  We stopped for dinner very near our exit from the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and Dad drove the rest of the way home from there.

I was glad we went up to see Aunt A., even if we didn't get to visit for long.  She seemed very tired anyway.  I hope we get another chance to go up and see her soon.

We got home at just about 8:00 p.m.  I got onto A.'s FTLNewsFeed channel, and chatted with KC on and off for a few hours.  I watched the subtitled clips from AWZ, of the Frank and Florian plot, and had some comments to make.  The Eskimos seem to be relatively approving of what I say, for the most part.  I have the same opinion that many of them do on the plot, I guess. 

Tags: family, travel

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