This weekend was really really great. Maybe one of the best holiday weekends I can remember. Everybody was in a good mood - lots of laughing, lots of appreciation on both sides of the family.
I think that grandma E's near-death experience has changed things in the family. Grandpa didn't feel well enough to come over for dinner (at the last minute, unfortunately) but grandma spent a lot of the weekend with us, even going for a walk on the beach with everybody (a first!)
Meanwhile, visiting grandma S was also a lot of fun. Dad was in a great mood, he didn't try to pick any fights with me (tho his wife had a Trump bumper sticker), and visiting grandma and Aunt Sharon was full of laughs, too. I haven't seen Grandma so happy in a very long time, probably not since grandpa died. Cora was being so sweet, it was pretty touching. Even when it was past nap-time and she was getting a little emotionally unstable.
On the way back into town Nick, Andy and I went to the shooting range with dad and I fired my first gun. Despite the fact that it was cold, it was a very interesting experience. Fun, too. I was surprised to see how easy it was to hit the targets. I watched my breath expel itself in a fog as I practiced the same breathing I do when shooting a photo with low shutter speed. I figured I'd be bored after 20 minutes but we were out there until it was getting too dark to see.
It was really nice. It's been forever since I've properly appreciated my family, I think, and it felt good to do so. It made me feel quite blessed and it was easy to be thankful.