Monday, August 5, 2013

Remembering Buffalo

(On the eve of our family trip to Buffalo, my cousin Melissa was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. While the trip still went on, a few of the planned events were postponed for the time being. If you are interested, you can follow Melissa's journey at her new blog Melissa Beats Lymphoma).

When Gram passed away a couple of years ago, her body was donated to the University of New York at Buffalo medical school (per her request). I thought, and still do, think that donating your body to science is an excellent idea. Gram didn't want a funeral or anything big. She just wanted her cremains to be scattered in a garden and life would go on as it always did. After she had passed, and it was made known that there wasn't going to be a family get-together, many of the grandchildren protested. We all never got a real chance to say goodbye to our Grampy (we were all between the ages of 8 and early teenagedom), and this didn't seem fair. In the end it was decided that once the cremains were given to my aunt, there would be a celebration of Gram.

So over the last weekend in July, those of that could made our way to Buffalo to do just that. Friday evening we all met for dinner and enjoyed beef on weck (see? Buffalo is not just known for their wings!), and to catch up. Steve got to meet my Aunt Sue and Uncle Tom, and I got my hands back on Chase (he was in Delaware for two weeks and came up with Dad and Fara).

Now to back track just a bit: A couple of months ago Fara did some research and found out that you could do a helicopter tour over Philadelphia. Knowing that Chase is quite interested in aircraft and helicopter design, she thought it would be a great idea if she and Dad took Chase for a tour. As the time neared for our trip to Buffalo, Fara instead arranged for them to do a tour over Niagara Falls in a helicopter (Chase has never been to Niagara Falls before so this was an extra special treat).

Saturday morning Steve and I watched as Chase, Dad, and Fara went up into a helicopter and toured Niagara Falls. Chase took video of the entire tour (which he really needs to upload!) and was thrilled to have had the opportunity to do so (leading up to this point we had joked that he was going to go over the Falls.. in a barrel.. ahem).


After the helicopter tour, it was my turn to designate the next "Remember Gram" stop. One of the many things that Gram was interested in, or loved, were carousel horses. In Tonawanda, there is the original Herschell Carrousel Factory. One particular memory I have was going when I was little and there was a thunderstorm at the time and I could hear the thunder above the music. I didn't know if they still were open (they were), and I wasn't sure if anyone else wanted to go (they did).

Steve loves anything historical. While riding the carousel is a highlight of the tour, for me, I still love the music.

Saturday evening we all met at Aunt Sue and Uncle Tom's home for a celebration party. My aunt took on the task of making many of the items that Gram used to make for all of us (homemade pizza, bread, her apple crumble..). We joked, we told stories, and we had an all around great time. While there Uncle Tom showed me his apiaries(!) and Chase got to see his chicken coop. Chase and Dad set off fireworks and in the end we all parted after having a wonderful evening.

Sunday morning we gathered up Chase, said our good-byes, and we all parted ways. Steve and I have decided that we want to visit more often. I love my Aunt Sue and Uncle Tom and feel badly that I haven't been back more often to see my extended family.

Of course any visit wouldn't be complete with a visit to a yarn store! I did a web search before our trip and decided I simply had to visit Have Ewe Any Wool. I was on a mission to find unique buttons (or toggles!) for my newly completed sweater. Plus some new yarn doesn't hurt, either. ;-)

I saw those fish buttons and fell in love. They actually match my sweater quite well and I love the blue tinge they have. The yarn is actually a sage green (when I took this picture it was rather cloudy out and the light wasn't working with me inside. Okay, I admit it, I don't have the name of the yarn handy (I'm finishing this post up while at work), but it's 100% alpaca and that skein is almost 700 yards of delicious squishy goodness. I plan on knitting myself a really awesome scarf, and perhaps a hat, for this winter. Some time when I vish a yarn shop out of town, I am going to carve some time out of my schedule to sit and knit with the locals. Next time!

We are all home and safe from our little weekend trip, living on the memories (and the honey and farm eggs Uncle Tom sent us home with)

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