Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider

Training the Mind of the Horse and Rider
Click on Logo (Original artwork by Lanie Frick for Messick Quarter Horses. Not permitted to be copied)

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Trip Home to PA with Makenzie!

We came home last week to visit parents/grandparents in Pennsylvania. My daughter, Sara, wanted to come home to PA with her husband, Jake, and 1 year old daughter, Makenzie. Great Grandma “G Ma”, Tom’s Mom, has not seen Makenzie. Jake has not seen the western part of the state where I grew up. I love the Appalachian mountains.

Last Thursday morning, Sara, Jake and Makenzie flew from Denver. Tom and I left from Omaha. We were lucky enough to meet up in Chicago! We haven’t seen Makenzie for almost 6 weeks and I was anxious to hold her. Tom and I arrived first and we were at their gate when they got off the plane. How much fun is that to see them walk through the gate, and I was snapping pictures!

We found our gate for our flight to Pittsburgh. Sara said I could watch Makenzie. I think they just needed a break. That girl can sure cruise around, looking at everything and everyone!

Makenzie sat on my lap for the 1 ½ flight. She sat between Pop and I to eat a snack. She stood and looked between the seats to talk to the people behind us. As the plane started moving to the runway, she was excited and talked non-stop, watching intently out the window.

Once we arrived at the Pittsburgh airport, and retrieved our luggage, we found the rental car company. When the sales person saw the 5 of us, including 1 baby, and saw the amount of luggage that we had, including a car seat, she said we wouldn’t fit into a Fusion! With the car seat, umbrella stroller, our 3 pieces of luggage, Sara’s 2 “huge” luggage bags, there would be no more to sit. So we upgraded to a minivan, which had front end drive. That was a lucky thing, as we would eventually need it.

We met a college friend of mine for lunch. I hadn’t seen Barb for at least 20 years, so it was fun to reminisce for an hour. Then we piled back into the van to drive through Coraopolis, a small town where Tom and I lived for 2 years. The roads are steep, the front yard is steeper. But after many years of not seeing Sara’s first home, the home and back yard seemed smaller than I remembered.

The forecast was for snow for western Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh was to start getting snow later Thursday afternoon. We wanted to be in and out of the area before the weather turned worse in those hills. We drove across the Sewickley bridge and headed north to Interstate 80. An hour north and 1 ½ hour east, we got off the exit at my home town of DuBois.

My parents had a great time visiting with Makenzie. And she in turn, loved playing with their Bichon, Cassie.

Great Grandma and Great Grandpa surprised her with a little foam chair that turned into a lounge bed. She loved it!

She would lay on it and drink her sippy cup.

She would run to it and flop down.

We would make it into a chair and she would turn around, back up, and sit down!

I played peek a boo around the edge of their sofa, and she would run to her little bed and lay down. What fun!

My sister, Val, and her husband, Ed, visited Thursday night, Friday, we drove towards Clarion to drive through Cooks Forest. We wanted to see a museum that showed items from the area. We did not take into account that we were in the hills, in February, and on back roads. Surprise, but there isn’t much open in February in Cooks Forest!

That evening, my brother, Ray, and grandson came to visit. Makenzie had a lot of fun playing with her 3rd cousin. I believe that is what they are, as Makenzie’s mom, Sara, is a first cousin to Ray’s son, Ray, and the little boy is his.

Saturday morning, we woke up to about 9” of snow. We had planned a family potluck from 10-1, but we thought we should cancel it. Grandma, Grandpa and I started calling people. Then within an hour, with some discussion between Sara and Tom, it was back on from 11-2. We called people back! Arriving at the fire hall about 10, we started sitting out the food, paper plates, and silverware. We made coffee and filled a cooler with bottled water. And we waited for relatives to arrive.

Front Row: Grandma and Brenda
Back Row: Grandpa, Uncle Bryan, Uncle John, and Uncle Ray

Sara, Jake and Makenzie met Grandma’s sister, Aunt Ann, and 2 of her daughters. They also met Grandma’s half-brother and half-sister, who I haven’t seen in 20 years. My three brothers and their wives were there, as well as 4 of my nieces and nephews, Ray, John, Joanna, and Lisa, and their kids. Grandpa’s brother had passed away about 5 years ago. Two of my cousins were able to come, and some of their children. I had fun introducing my granddaughter, Makenzie, to many of my relatives.

Later that day, we traveled to Tom’s mom in Middletown, PA, near Harrisburg. We drove through State College, and visiting with 2 of our college professors. We toured the meats lab where Tom worked for 3 years.

Across the road was the Penn State stadium and a statue of Joe Paterno!

We just had to take pictures.

We went to the Penn State book store, and headed to Tom’s mom’s house, about 2 hours away.

We had clear roads all the way to Middletown. But they had so much snow the evening before and during Saturday morning, that many of the side streets were full of snow.
Great-Grandma Messick, "G-Ma", met Makenzie for the first time:

Sara with Makenzie, Tom and Tom's Mom "G-Ma.

Church was cancelled for Sunday morning, but our family gathering that was planned from 3-4 was still on. We met many of Tom’s Aunts and Uncles, as well as some cousins.

Tom’s cousin Cathy and sister-in-law, Judy, helped his mom to organize and set up for the party. We had a nice cake and snacks for everyone.

Monday, we went to Kuppy's for breakfast. Makenzie had her first Dried Beef Gravy.

This is typical PA Dutch Cuisine, as well as Scrapple, Sweet Bologna, and Pot Pie (which we didn't have).

We went to visit Aunt Florence and one of Tom’s cousin, Fern, who had broken and leg and was in rehab. We went to the PSU store in Middletown. Tom took Sara and Jake to see Uncle Jake and Aunt Helen. Makenzie was tired and stayed at Grandma’s with me.

We were to fly home on Tuesday. Monday evening, snow was accumulating in Chicago, and the airport was calling for delays. By Tuesday morning, Chicago was closed down. Being that we had a change in planes in Chicago, our flight was cancelled.

Sara, Jake and Makenzie were able to fly direct from Baltimore to Denver, and arrived home about an hour later than planned. I will blog tomorrow about the February Fury here in Pennsylvania and what that meant for us!

But for now, I had to say good bye to Makenzie. Bye, Sweetheart. I love you. Thanks for playing with me and making me laugh!

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