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We arrived late last night, the drive was long, but not bad at all. We skirted Chicago this time and that made life a lot easier (especially as it was rush hour…)

The kids were absolutely amazing. I don’t think I could have been (or ever WAS) quite so good a traveler when I was a child. We worked out a drill when we’d pull into a gas station; Gerry’d start the pump, Hannah’d get Atticus out and start him on a walk, and Max & I would run to the bathroom. Then we’d switch; I’d finish filling the tank, Max’d water the dog and put him back in the car, and Gerry and Hannah would have some bathroom time.

Back on the road, all of us respectively filled and emptied, for another 300 miles. Every two tanks we’d stop, get out of the car, and eat a meal (preferably someplace outside so Atticus could join us, but never at a place where we couldn’t leave the car in the shade.)

I did most of the driving – I like it – and I sensed that Gerry was getting pretty exhausted after his stint around Chicago.

But baby, is it EVER good to be home! Today Max is swimming with friends, Hannah’s out at Target with Gerry for a restock of perishables, and I’m sorting out the mail and laundry. The pets are happy and well cared for (thanks Jane & Charlie!) and we’re ready for some grilling this evening.

Ironically, while in NJ and WV/OH the weather was unseasonably cold. In NY they even had a tornado warning. It was as if we’d brought the MN weather with us. Now that we’re home it’s pretty warm here – warmer than it was through our whole trip – but it’s beautiful.

A bunch of fruit has fallen off our crab apple tree and is rotting in the yard, it smells like Autumn. We left a few small Al Franken signs in our front yard, our neighbor (firecracker boy) put up a much larger Norm Coleman sign the day we left.

I noticed today that the Franken folks came by and replaced our small signs with larger ones. (Unless they grew… Oy, without really trying we’re in a campaign sign-off, recycling day should be fun.)

The garden wasn’t in terrible shape – the yard could stand a mowing, and the plants need watered, but overall it looks good. The house is cleaner than we remembered, but Max’s bike is missing from the garage.

Gerry thinks the day before we left, the garage door was left open on night, and the bike may have ‘walked away’ then but it didn’t register until Max went looking for it this morning. All our other bikes are here and fine, but we keep THEM on the front porch of the house, locked up.

So we may be looking for a new bike for Max for school. We’ll have him try Gerry’s bike (which isn’t too big) and see if he feels comfortable on it. Gerry’s not riding as much as he’d hoped, so if Max has grown enough to fit the bike that would be swell.

It’s ironic, given our individual bike preferences at the start of the summer, that I’m the one who ended up riding every day…

Also on the bike front, we need to get Hannah’s bike fixed up for school. Gerry has finally admitted defeat on being able to fix her gear changer. I’m looking forward to both kids riding to school, I think it will be SO good for them, in so many ways.

Earlier today Gerry and I went to his MM support group meeting in Stillwater, a particularly emotional meeting for me for no specific reason. I left for a bit to regroup in the bathroom, then back to the meeting.

This group is wonderful because it’s SO information driven, folks sit in a big circle and really DISCUSS their drugs, their schedules, what protocols they may be on and what side effects they’re feeling. We usually have a guest speaker (the last two meetings it’s been folks from two drug companies, before that a doctor of accupuncture) and there are some snacks. Gerry felt like a star today talking about the MM Conference in NJ, and I was proud of him.

I still felt like I was driving, though. Even though I’m just not here, yet, it’s still good to be home!

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