13 Hours – But Not Overtime

Yesterday we spent a very long, but enjoyable, day away from the home. Waking at 6 AM, we had a good breakfast before loading up the van and leaving around 8 AM. We picked up my sister, Shelly, and then had the pleasure of visiting with a high school buddy of mine, Joe, who moved to Pennsylvania a few years ago but happened to be somewhat local to visit some of his family. In spite of his distance, I still count Joe as one of my most trusted friends, and I don’t let many opportunities to visit with him pass me by unnoticed.

Clouds are fun, and these ones got my attention for some reason.

We had coffee at The Depot Coffeehouse in Urbana, a place I may have to visit again because even our son enjoyed it, and we just hung out there and talked for a couple hours. The coffee was really good (when is coffee not good?), and my son had some sort of “frozen hot chocolate” which he seemed to like pretty well even if he did prefer my sister’s smoothy.

Dalton and Shelly doing some drawing; Jenny watching.

Afterward, we returned Joe to his family so that we could go visit ours about 30 minutes north of there. We spent something like five hours there, mainly talking with my Dad. For those readers who didn’t follow the old blog, my dad is ill with nodular melanoma, a particularly aggressive skin cancer. He actually seems to be doing fairly well, in spite of the obvious spread of cancer throughout his leg. He didn’t seem too bothered by it, was completely mobile, and talked economics and politics as fervently as he has at any other time in his life. I was comforted that he seemed pretty upbeat in general.

Dalton explaining what the places on his "map" are. Hickersonia resides somewhere near where he is pointing, but the rest is ruled by the Daltoneese...

That said, I didn’t take any photos of him while we visited… He’s always been a sort of private person anyway, and he didn’t have himself at a level that I think he’d consider “presentable” for photographing, so I didn’t bother asking. He really didn’t look bad though, but I can say with some certainty that his hair is the longest I’ve ever seen it (and mine is shorter than his for the first time I can recall).

After hanging out with the family for several hours, we did dinner at House of Szechwan in Bellefontaine (sorry, but they don’t seem to have a website). This has always been one of my favorite dining establishments (Chinese or otherwise), and it only seemed right that we have dinner before making the two-hour drive home.

Shelly drawing fictional places and characters for a roll playing game her and her friends are starting.

Alyanna didn’t much appreciate the drive home — I think she had gotten somewhat fed up with not being held, so we did have a fair amount of crying and sniveling from the back of the van. I always feel bad that we can’t do much to help, but clearly we had to get home — I even had to turn the wheel over to my wife because I was getting too fatigued to concentrate.

We made it home around 9 PM, so a solid 13 hours out of the house. It wasn’t long before my head was reunited with my pillows and snoring undoubtedly ensued. It was a really awesome day out.

Thank you for reading, and I hope you are at peace today, friends.

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