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Great weekend in St. Louis. The occasion was Ellen's 50th birthday so there was an air of celebration — any excuse to pig out on Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, a family tradition. Families are connected with traditions, like conversations around the crowded kitchen table, but this weekend had a few firsts, too:
Ellen and I spent the day together Saturday, driving nearly 200 miles along the Mississippi River and the Great River Road in Illinois, a great way to catch up on decades of conversation. It's always interesting to discover how much you have in common with your siblings aside from a set of parents.
Spent time fixing half a dozen or so tiny corruptions that made my mom's computer annoying to use. Way to my mother's heart.
My brother's grandchild Gabrielle is a determined 2-year-old who has just discovered the joys of playing on stairs. She's done with scooching on her butt and makes her short legs carry the load. I gave her some lessons in hanging on to the bannister on the way down. She gets it.
We saw my dad's newly placed headstone. We reverted quickly to tradition, speeding away to visit my father's favorite pub.
My nephew John gave me a hug.
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Photo: Gabrielle on the stairs, 6/24/07.