Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Best! Birthday! Gift! Ever!

I belong to an elite club. You know, the one that makes a visit from my mother-in-law qualify as not only a birthday gift, but one that is at the top of my list (note the ticker...as of today, my birthday and her arrival are 2 months, 1 week and 3 days away!). She lives in Winterthur, Switzerland and we haven't seen her for almost three years. It will be a Major Occasion in Schaererville -- plus, this is the year of her 75th birthday.

This is our last family photo...MiniMe was two-and-a-half-darn-near-three and Max was not even a twinkle in our eye yet.

Peggy is a phenomenally talented quilter, an amazing multi-cultural cook (glad I married the apple that fell from THAT tree) and has a sense of adventure developed over 40 years as an ex-patriate wife and mother. We are the tail end of her round-the-world tour that will include visits to a few of the places she's lived over the years -- including Japan and Bahrain. We're still trying to figure out what we're going to do while she's here. Last visit we toured Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Zion and Bryce Canyon National Parks.

No, she rode in the truck and not on the motorcycle, but when we stopped to stretch or have a snack she was quick to hop on for a photo (I remember laughing at the irony of this photo with her since she never learned to ride a bicycle).

I love this 3-generation photo (Peggy is 1-for-4 in granddaughters). Most of the time I think Mr. Outdoors is the spitting image of his dad, but from a profile...well, I'll say there's more than just a small maternal resemblance.

We girl-types hung out for a good portion of the visit since Mr. Outdoors gets his fill of the "yak-yak" very quickly.

Which brings me to one of the best things about Peggy. She can talk to anyone. In one or all of 5 or 6 languages. On this trip, leave it to her to have found the one person in the hotel pool near Zion N.P. who is German, has been everywhere she's been, and was heading with his wife toward Salt Lake City in another week or so.

We made friends (Joe and Lori -- a delightful couple!), invited them for dinner at our house on their way through SLC, and stayed in touch via email after they returned home from their trip.

So I'm really excited to see Peggy and introduce her grandson (also namesake of my late father-in-law). Mr. Outdoors will put up with us as long as he can before taking off into the wilderness on his bike. MiniMe loves an occasion...ANY occasion...to celebrate, so she's already making invitations. For what? That remains to be seen.


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