Day 41 – And Another Reunion

We awoke to chilly temps but bright sunshine and leaves turning on the trees as we watched. It was as if Fall had suddenly arrived.  A significant number of the cousins on the Goeser side of the family gathered at cousin L’s house and enjoyed a casual, happy and prolonged reunion. A buffet was spread that would be the envy of any famous brunch establishment. As expected, everything was extraordinarily delicious – and didn’t last long. We ate and talked and laughed and shared our stories about what we were doing and what we planned to do. There was such a comfort to be in the midst of the cousins enjoying themselves. Truly, one of the joys of this trip has been to see everyone again and get reacquainted after the passage of time. Three years have passed since we had seen everyone.About mid afternoon we said our good byes and set out across Western Iowa’s ready to be harvested fields to find DeSoto Bend along the Missouri River. DeSoto Bend is a wildlife refuge and is a major place where migrating birds stop on their travels both North and South. Since it’s not quite the right time of year for migrations, there were only a few Canadian geese along the river today. But, the sun shining, the leaves turning, and the river reflecting the deep blue of the sky, made it a perfect picture post card day. I photographed to my heart’s content.

As the sun began to set we made our way over to Omaha and planned to catch a small bite to eat before visiting cousin PS one last time. We ended up in “Little Italy” and scoped out a tiny place that smelled wonderful, but we rejected because it was “carry out only.” Too bad, as I’m sure it would have been better than what we actually settled on. We found a place in the Old Market area called Chicago Pizza that didn’t seem too crowded and after we began our meal we could understand why. Pasta and salad sounded so good, but was oh, so ordinary and barely lukewarm! Very disappointed, we realized that sometimes we need to acknowledge there are substandard establishments so we can revel when we find an outstanding one.

Back at the assisted living home, we said our farewells to cousin P and made our way back to our Comfort Suites under a clear, chilly, starry sky. I did some sorting of the contents of the car; put in a load of wash; and did a little repacking. We are off to Northwest Iowa tomorrow to see some relatives on my side of the family.

Along the way today we both commented how enjoyable, enlightening, and essential this trip has been for us experiencing it together. So many people have asked us how we can stand each other in the car all day when we travel. Our answer is, “How can we not?” None of this exploring, visiting, or traveling would be worth anything if we could not share it with each other. We love to be together – through thick and thin; through long hours in the car and through new and different places; through family gatherings and old high school reunions; through outstanding dinning experiences and those that seem sub-par; in short, through it all! And that, my friends, is nothing but grace.