Monday, September 03, 2007

The Ties That Bind

Saturday night was the centerpiece of this long weekend. We gathered at my brother- and sister-in-law George and Krissy's place for the big party, celebrating my father-in-law's 80th birthday, sister-in-law Pam's 50th birthday and Kim's upcoming 40th birthday (September 15). It was also the first time in five years that Kim's immediate family was in one place.

The night was very pleasant. A couple of Kim's old friends from high school, one of whom she hadn't seen in years, showed up. I happily schmoozed with her family and Adam made a bunch of new friends with family members, including Kim's brother Gordon, who's a great guy. They talked politics, finding lots of common ground as fellow liberals, though Gordon's a Hillary supporter, and Adam's an Obama supporter. They happily agreed that any Democrat would be preferable to any Republican.

We did our traditional karoake, and called it a night pretty late.

The next morning, we went over to my in-laws' condo, where Kim and Mel hung out with Kim's mother, and we went with my father-in-law to a Minnesota Twins game. I got tickets the day before, and I couldn't believe my luck-- there were tickets left in only one section, but that section was right behind home plate. The Twins lost to the Kansas City Royals 8-1, but we had a great time anyway-- we're probably the three biggest baseball fans in the family. Going to a baseball game with my father-in-law and son was something I'd long wanted to do.

This was the first game Adam had seen outside of Wrigley Field. Even for me, who has seen games in several other stadiums, it was unusual to be in a stadium with a roof. Adam was pleased that they had "Chicago-style" hot dogs (beef hot dog, onions, relish, mustard, etc.) at the park.

My father-in-law mentioned that the Metrodome's days are numbered: they've broken ground not too far away on a new stadium. They are haggling over the funding for a retractable dome, something that is kind of a necessity giving Minneapolis' weather.

That night, we gathered one more time at a restaurant, and said our goodbyes until the once-every-three-year reunion next year.

On the six hour plus drive home today, I had a lot of time to muse about family and life. I was thinking about one picture in particular-- a picture my in-laws George and Ellie wanted with all of their grandkids. Looking on, I realized that nearly half of the grandkids were not actually related to George and Ellie by blood, including Adam, but are considered just as much their grandchildren as any of the others. I could list a couple of dozen reasons why my in-laws are great, but if I had to pick just one thing, that might be it. They are a couple of the most fundamentally good people I've ever had the opportunity to meet. I lucked out in getting them as in-laws and family.


Erik Donald France said...

Happy Birthday to Kim! It'll be the same days as the 50th anniversary of On the Road's publication.

And Go Twins! I last saw them play nearly forty years ago ;)

Chris said...

Kim's birthday is the same as my dad's. Cool!

Your in-laws sound like wonderful people who defy the whole in-law stereotype.

Skylers Dad said...

Another great post JY! George and Ellie sound cool, and George is rockin the shorts! Way to go George!!

Metrodome trivia: I used to travel there a lot, and when they opened it they had the greatest fund-raiser/competition ever. A local car dealership donated a high-end 4 door Mercedes and they parked it out at mid field with the windows down. You could buy a piece of their official stationary for a buck a sheet, and make a paper airplane, write your name and contact info in it, and try and get it into the car. If you made it, the car was yours.

It took about 3 weeks and several thousands of dollars before somebody finally made it.

Beth said...

What a great weekend! You are lucky to have landed a great extended family.

Natalie said...

I always wonder about people when they don't accept children who are not blood relations into the family. They are children and they need people to love them. Glad to see it isn't a problem in your family.

Hot Lemon said...

mmmm... you know Erma Bombeck wrote a book, "Family, the Ties that Bind... AND GAG!"

first thing that came 2-mind...

Coaster Punchman said...

As a former Minnesotan I will tell you that I hate that Metrodome. Glad it's going away. But glad you got to see it.

cheer34 said...

Can I be adopted into your family? They sound like wonderful people.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Brian that was such a nice thing you said about George & Me. We Love you and Adam very much you are real People

Johnny Yen said...

How funny that you mention On The Road-- I finally started reading it during this trip. It was one of the things I took from my late friend Mark's house. So far, it has justified the hype.

My in-laws are great-- full of love and acceptance.

Skyler's Dad-

The weird thing about being in the Metrodome was the lack of wind, especially since The Friendly Confines is our regular venue.

Thanks! I am a lucky guy.

You are so right about that. Kids are kids, and need and deserve love.

Hot Lemon-
Erma Bombeck was a pretty funny-- and caustic, at times-- lady.

Yeah, it wasn't my favorite park for sure, but yeah, I'm glad I took Adam. It's a park with a lot of history, for better or worse.

I'll start the paperwork right away!

I don't know if you overheard the couple of times Adam referred to you as "Grandma." He's very fond of you and George.

GETkristiLOVE said...

Dude, those are great seats. I've never been to that stadium but I've been to a couple others with a roof. It's kind of freaky.

Nice tongue, Adam!

Anonymous said...

That was quite an experience. Something I will not forget even as I journey thru that part of my life in which I am supposed to forget everything. It was truly awesome ... at times almost overwhelming ... and good, just very, very good. Well, as Bob Hope crooned to Shirley Ross,in the movie of the same name, c.1938, THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES. And,thank you, Brian for all that you bring to the family. Popster

Dale said...

Sounds like you won the centrepiece at the wedding! Glad you had such a fun filled weekend with a great group.

sexy said...