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.