We got up at some ungodly hour of the morning to leave for northern New Jersey. I had this long list of things to take with me, and I think I remembered just about everything on the list. What I forgot, and remembered when we were halfway there, was my cane. I haven't been using it in the house, and a few times I've gone out as far as my car and gone back to the house for my cane, but this was the first time we drove off without it. It's still icy in spots around here, and there's a fair amount of snow still around, so I wasn't too happy with myself, but Mom remembered hers, and was kind of sharing it.
We got there on time. Dad dropped us off, then went ahead on to the motel where we're staying, which is near Aunt A.'s retirement community. He took the better part of our luggage in, then he and his cousins went to Aunt A.'s apartment to see what they'd want as heirlooms. Aunt A. had said that her relatives could fight over what they wanted. Dad got the printer, which will probably join the other six printers in the closet in the computer room.
I didn't know many people at the shower, and mostly ended up with the older generation. I was keeping an eye on Grandma S. to see if she needed anything, as was Aunt P.T. R. got a lot of very nice things for the baby, so that was cool for her. It was nice for me to catch up with Grandma S.
Family went back to Aunt P.S.'s house, and met up with the men in the family. Dad and his cousins told lots of stories. We were going through Aunt A.'s pictures to find some for a poster-sized board of her with family and friends, at work and at holiday celebrations. Aunt P.T. made up a nice collage of the photos. She has a real talent for it. She'd done a scrapbook, too.
Grandma S. was telling us who the people in the older pictures were, pictures of her grandparents, and her father as a boy and then in his Army uniform from when he fought in World War I. I guess that would have been the American Expeditionary Force? It was so interesting to see pictures of relatives in Victorian or Edwardian dress. I think Grandma S. and Aunt A.'s grandparents were the ones who had come over from Germany. I'll have to find out when in the nineteenth century that was.
I hung out with my second cousin or third cousin once or twice removed or something, J.M., a.k.a. Moose. Our grandmothers were sisters, whatever way that makes us related. We're staying at the same hotel as them, so he came over when we got there. I showed him my new toy, the e-reader. He helped me get on the wi-fi at the hotel. He was a computer science major and does video editing. He showed me a way to download videos, though I doubt I could do it on the laptop. It's nice to be related to a technology geek.
We discussed how our family seems to have the "nerd" gene. It's a little spooky to see it in more distant relatives, too. I thought it had come from my grandfather, Dad's father's, side of the family. We had quite the talk about genetics and what quirks we seem to have inherited. We've e-mailed back and forth a couple of times, though I owe him two or three e-mails. I'm two or three behind with just about everybody, not just him. He's reading this every so often, so, like others, he can see well enough how things are going for me.
Tomorrow is Aunt A.'s memorial service. I expect there will be an awful lot of people there. At least I'll know Grandma S. and Dad's sisters and brother and their families, and now I've met some of the descendants of my great-aunt C. I'll get to introduce Moose to J. and our cousin J.T. He'll be able to talk much tech stuff with them.