Saturday, August 5, 2006

wooster when it sizzles

Mat, Dad, Rachel and I have flown in for the weekend to Wooster, Ohio. This is a little bit different than our normal milieu, it is the middle of Wayne County, one of the top agricultural counties in Ohio. Lots of corn fields stretching off to the horizon, tall trees and farm houses, as well as the sprawl of new suburban houses eating up old fields. This is where my father's side of the family is from, Ohio mainly and Wooster partly, and where Alice Noble, my great-aunt, lives still. So this is where we have all gathered to celebrate each other and honor her, who at 91 is still the matriarch.

It is perfectly lovely to be here, though of course a little tiring, with so much planned. We got in last night after flying all day from Cape Breton (and seeing CB from the air at 7 am as the sun rose over the Highlands and we flew over North River was absolutely priceless) and went over to David and Gayle's, a big new home in a nice area. All the guests were there, getting name tags, having a few drinks and milling about. The kids lit sparklers and danced around the lush lawn, looking like the fireflies that were also flitting through the air. I drank a nice Pinot Noir, ate a few squares and caught up with cousins I haven't seen in a year or so.

Today, we got out of our oh-so-comfortable beds and headed to the baseball field, playing a game of softball. We had tee shirts and hats for the Red Sox (gotta be on the East Coast team) and played against the Mid-Westerners, the Cleveland Indians, who trounced us after a 2-2 tie. Then it was lunch at the Alice Noble ice arena ( and ice skating. I came back here to the hotel to nap, and now I am going to take a quick swim in the hotel pool before getting ready for the big dinner. Finally, a reason to wear those shoes from New York!

We're having a good time but also learning to pace ourselves. With such a short time and so many people to see and catch up with, you realize that you can't do it all. Gayle Noble can, though. Kudos to her and the rest of the gang for putting all of this together.

Tomorrow: flying home! Mat and I are going back to work, and Dad and Rachel are staying on for some travel to Michigan and parts of Ohio. One of these days I'll stay here longer, I'll drive around (in a biodiesel van, hopefully) looking up old ancestral sites, checking out farms, and enjoying more of Wooster, when it sizzles.

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