It’s All About Us

We left Charlotte Thursday afternoon and headed north to spend the Fourth in a cool place and a cooler climate. I mean… with my grandparents at their estate in The Virginian, Bristol, VA.

My parents did a pretty good job containing their excitement at seeing all five of us leave, but we knew they were practically holding their collective breath until we were out the door, down the driveway, and on our way out of town.

The temperature was 95 degrees as we left Charlotte; an hour later it was 85. An hour later, 75. Since the drive is four hours north, I started to worry Bristol would be in the 50’s.

I suggested having a gluten-free oatmeal cookie for dinner, but that didn’t go over well with the passengers, so we were forced to stop along the way. Julianna insisted we couldn’t eat fast food. “No,” she said, “definitely not fast food. Something like Chick-fil-A, or Arby’s.”

We arrived pretty much on time. My grandparents were surprised to see us. “Wow,” they commented, “we didn’t expect you yet.” Last time we came the drive took about six hours. I don’t know why. Maybe we were going the speed limit or something.

In our initial conversation Thursday evening, we were encouraged to elope. Just saying. So if we ever do, everyone will know whose suggestion it was… Nana.

Interestingly, both of my grandparents have books in the making. As in, ones they are writing or planning to write. My grandfather has started his memoirs, cleverly titled “It’s All About Me,” purportedly containing the vast wisdom he has gleaned over the years.

Nana, on the other hand, is planning a fictional novel called “Lagoon,” to be a thinly veiled autobiography of her fascinating life and adventures; somewhat, I imagine, in the style of Nicole Ritchie and Lauren Conrad, although hopefully with a little more intrigue.

We can’t wait to read both.

Our first full day has been delightful. We visited “A Likely Yarn” in Abingdon, which didn’t remember us, and then the infamous 50-foot cliff in Holstein Dam, which did. The water level has changed so drastically since we were here last year that the cliff we jumped from (or rather, fell from – and it felt like a 10-story drop… speaking of which, anyone know the rate of free fall? 32 feet per second squared. Trivia courtesy of my brother.) is now a mere 15 feet from the lake, and the small island we climbed on is… gone. Only a few brave trees poke through the water.

Everytime we try to help around the house we are told firmly to stop. We know this will later be translated into, “We had to wait on them hand and foot…”

At this point in the early evening, Mary is reading a cosmology book that none of us really understand; Christine is writing thank you notes for the myriad of graduation gifts she received; Julianna is flipping through her London/Paris scrapbook; Peter is playing a diverse selection of contemporary piano pieces, and as usual I am observing the group.

(I included that paragraph for the sole purpose of using the word myriad.)

To close this post, I asked Pete if he knew a Pengal proverb that meant, “so far, so good.” He didn’t.

So instead, we’ll have to conclude with a most apropos statement.

Happy Birthday to Me!


6 thoughts on “It’s All About Us

  1. Hi! I am what we can refer to as “one of ur followers” on twitter! LOL!
    I just read ur comment here and just had to leave a note.
    We have a place in Kingsport(besides Ky.) so I am very familiar with the Bistol/Abingdon area. We love to go to the Martha Washington Inn for lunch. I just love this part of the country. Everyone is so friendly. Just reminds me of the small town where I grew up in Western Pa.
    Thanks for sharing ur trip and personal insight. I really enyoyed reading it.

    • Hi Elaine, it’s nice to hear from you!! Last time I was in Bristol we walked over to the Martha Washington for dessert after seeing “Evita” at the Barter Theater. =) You’re right, what a lovely area! And the people are very friendly. =)

  2. I feel that I should comment on this wonderful experience that we had with all 5 of the Squicciarini siblings visiting at the same time. It was a joy to see them in action and to spend time with them. It was even great to wait on them ” hand and foot” as we always do.

    Some clarification is in order on the “elope comment”. There was some discussion of past events and the kind of young people that they were coming in contact with and it naturally included men for the women that were getting on in age. There was some comment that if a few would get married there would be more parking spaces at the family home in Matthews. Evidently there are some trips planned and the question was posed, maybe you would return with a husband? While no one discounted this, I don’t think it would happen.

    We had 2 birthday celebrations here as Morgan and Kathy had birthdays. Morgan is actually Monday but we celebrated on the weekend. This will extend her birthday for at least a week.

    While weather was against us we still managed to do quite a few interesting things, but the best was just seeing them for the 3 days. We were justifiably proud to bring the grandkids to our second church home here in Bristol, where they were mobbed by everyone who wanted to find out who they were and were impressed with their participation in the service. There was a personal aknowledgement by Dr. Light as we exited the service. It made me feel good, and underscored the excellent job done by their parents.

    Thankfully they had a safe but slow trip home and were safe. Also I am thankful for their love for us and that they like us enough to do this. I trust they will return.

  3. Just to be engineerical for a bit, 32 feet per second squared (or 9.8 meters per second squared for those of you who don’t speak SAE) is the gravitational acceleration (rate of change of speed) of earth (at sea level), so your actual rate of descent (speed) once you hit terminal velocity is going to be determined by your relative aerodynamic shape. I could get into the math but it’s been about ten years since I’ve done any kinematic physics and I’d likely mess it up 😛

    Glad you all had fun 🙂

  4. Pingback: 20:20 Hindsight « The Squicciarini Family

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