First of all, I won't even dwell on the fact that I haven't written in ages.
In the wee hours of Monday morning, I returned from a whirlwind weekend of travel, emotions, and visiting with relatives back in Chicago/Minnesota. My Opa passed away last Monday and his funeral was on Thursday in Chicago and the burial was on Saturday in Holland, Minnesota. The weekend was a rollercoaster of sadness about Opa yet happiness to see my relatives, visit the tiny towns of Holland (pop. 215) and Pipestone (pop. 4300) where my mom grew up. With mixed emotions, I returned to my reality, back to work, back to ironing, back to the drive up the Trail.
The 21-gun salute was powerful, stories of the war were fascinating, my brother receiving our Opa's ring was incredible, and a 9-hour ride in a piece of junk Jeep Commander with my very, very long-limbed family from Chicago to Pipestone was pretty much terrible. In a way, we probably bonded over that trip, but it's hard to tell when you can never get comfortable.