Jul 06

I am so glad I was getting things done ahead of time because when Dan got the call from North Dakota about his cousin going off kidney dialysis, he wanted to go visit him before he died. I am the travel planner so I made reservations for ND to leave on June 23. But we get a phone call that his nephew in Port Angeles, WA died suddenly. It was a chaotic few hours trying to sort out what to do.

In the end we flew to Seattle on Monday to then drive the two and a half hours to Port Angeles. We were able to pick up Dan’s niece at the airport who came in the day before and visited friends for the first night.

As we headed out to the funeral on Thursday, Dan called ND to see how his cousin was going. He died a few minutes before. After the funeral we changed tickets again to fly to Minneapolis. The nonstop Southwest flight was sold out so it meant we flew to Chicago first to change planes.

A dear friend in St. Paul welcomes us with open arms when we need lodging. My sister who lives on a boat in the summer was staying with friends near Edina due to high waters in their marina on the St. Croix. Severe thunderstorms cancelled dinner plans with my sister but there is always FaceTime. We did return to favorite spots in St. Paul Bon Vie Cafe and Subtext Books on Selby Avenue.

What a contrast in funerals from the informal Celebration of life after a Lions Club meeting to the traditional Lutheran funeral in a small rural church with over 80 family members. It was standing room only with chairs set up in the vestibule to watch the service on TV.

We stayed overnight at St. John’s Abbey Guesthouse to break up the five hour trip back to Minneapolis airport. It is very peaceful for me to seat in the choir stalls to sing Psalms with the monks.

It is too bad that out-of-town family member only get together during funerals and weddings, but that is what happens with our family scattered all over. Although the trip was not a vacation, we had some time to treasure moments with friends, relatives, and the wide open spaces of North Dakota.

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