A quick post today as we’re busily packing for our annual October trip out to Omaha to visit Carolyn’s niece and family.
We’ll be hitting the road by 6:30 tomorrow morning for the 420 mile drive. Enroute, we’re planning to meet up for lunch near Iowa City (just off I-80) with Dennis, one of my first students in my first class when I began my teaching career way back in the fall of ’73 in a tiny place called Mulberry Grove, Illinois, fifty miles east of St. Louis. Dennis now lives in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and it will be good to see him once again.
Dennis was from a family of Holstein dairy farmers, and they (the family not the Holsteins) became good friends with Carolyn and me, taking us under their wing since we were total strangers to the area. We managed to stay in touch through the years, even after I moved on to another teaching position in the Chicago suburbs. Dennis’s mom and dad have since passed away, but the good memories remain.
We haven’t seen Dennis in several years, so it will be good to spend a lunch time with him, catching up on things and doing what we’ve always done best: reminisce and laugh at those times past. After a time that will pass much too quickly, Carolyn and I will bid Dennis farewell and get back on the road and continue on to Omaha.
This time of the year is always a special time for our annual visit there because it’s when we join her niece, Kim, and various other family members and friends on Sunday morning to walk in the Race for the Cure for Breast Cancer.
I don’t know how many consecutive years this has been an October “staple” for Carolyn and me, but it goes without saying that it will always be one.
Kim, herself a breast cancer survivor (twice!), is the daughter of my wife’s older sister, who was taken by the dreaded disease back in 1987. Obviously, it goes without saying that the annual event has great significance and importance for all of us. Afterwards, we’ll enjoy coffee and some other treats, and then it will be on with the rest of the day and week ahead: nephew’s baseball games, visiting their lake house, relaxing, reading, and simply enjoying the fine Nebraska atmosphere.
Yep, the week will fly right on by, and we’ll head back to northern Illinois on Thursday. As the miles click off, we’ll think about—and remember—those who lost out after their gallant battles against the evil foe that is cancer. And we’ll also celebrate those still battling and and winning and surviving!