Jennifer Brozek | Thanksgiving Excitement

Thanksgiving Excitement

I spent the last week in Ogden, Utah, visiting with the Husband’s family. I must admit, it was an eventful trip—mostly, but not all, good.

Visiting with the In-Laws: I like the Husband’s family. We stayed with his parents. They are so cool. And his 93 year old Grandma Ruby who is spry and talkative. We crocheted together. We spent a day with Jeff’s sister and her husband, who are, unabashedly, our favorites. The four of us get along so well. Thanksgiving day gathered the whole clan and spouses to an amazingly good meal. Got to see both brothers and spouses and the new baby. It was a really good afternoon. Full and fun.

Illness: My pink-eye from a couple weeks back returned with a vengeance. So, I had to stay well away from people. Fortunately, my MIL had antibiotic eye drops that fixed things up and made it so I wasn’t contagious. Bacterial pink eye sucks.

The stress that induced it: my mom ended up in the hospital with viral RSV that caused pneumonia and a host of other complications and bad things. For a while there, I thought I was going to have to fly out from Utah to North Carolina. Mom is doing better now but she’s still in the hospital. So, I’m still worried. Dad caught a really bad cold and my sister has been the champion keeping everything altogether between updates, visits, and making sure Dad eats. I’m grateful for that.

Travel: Travel there was a piece of cake. It’s a 14 hour drive with stops. I always start. I usually go about 4-5 hours. Then Jeff takes the rest of it. Going, there was a tiny bit of slush in the pass that made me tense. Driving it in the dark (5am start), around curves, means I need to keep all my concentration on the drive and feeling the wheels against the road. But, all in all, it was a really easy, pleasant trip.

Coming home was another matter all together. Utah has a post speed of 80mph on the highways now. That’s fast. Even through the winding passes. There was no ambient light. No moon. There was no messing around. At 80mph, coughing at the wrong time could get you killed. After white-knuckling it for an hour, I decided I had faced my fear enough and asked Jeff to drive we got to Oregon. Then I would drive through Oregon and he would take over at Washington.

We did that. But, oh man, am I ever glad that we left 30 minutes before we had planned. I fought the wind for the last hour of Oregon. Then Jeff fought the wind from the border of Washington (through a dust storm even) almost to Snoqualmie Pass, he had to fight with rain, sleet, and snow. If we’d been 30 minutes later, it would’ve been so much worse. But we made it.

Added insult to injury: my iPod nano died within the second hour of the drive home. Fortunately, my Windows phone has almost all my play lists.

Oh-So-Flat: As an aside, I cannot get over how flat Ogden is. It’s a huge lakebed surrounded by mountains. The whole city is set up on a very regular and logical grid. You drive down one road and you can see for miles down the side streets. Coming from the Bay Area and the Seattle area, this both amazing and freaky. I’m so used to hills and turns and one-way streets. No wonder people from Utah have trouble driving in Seattle when they first get here.

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