Friday, May 28, 2010

University-Days Friend and University-Bound Nephew

We had three important reasons to go to Bismarck and Mandan, ND today:
  1. shop for summer clothes for Abigail and Suzanna (Hillary has plenty, inherited from her older sisters),

  2. visit our friend Travis, and

  3. attend an open house for our nephew Arron, who is graduating from high school on Sunday.

Travis, his wife Sedie, and their son Vladimir live in MA, but Travis and Vlad are currently spending several weeks in ND visiting his family outside Mandan, where Travis grew up. We met during our university days when we were in plays together. We also have directed each other in plays, and Travis acted with me in a serial theatre production that I co-wrote; he played Ole Bubke, the husband to my character Peggy Bubka-Bubke (which must sound especially odd to anyone who never saw Blood Red River!).

Now Travis is a professor and screenwriter, and he's getting in some peaceful writing time in ND while his son enjoys the attention of his doting grandparents and the freedom to play with all the animals in the wide-open space and the fresh air. We arranged to meet Travis and Vlad today for dinner at Carino's Italian. With our delicious food, we enjoyed easy conversation, hearing stories about Travis and Sedie's jobs, their new home, their adventures with Vlad . . . just generally catching up. Sedie will come to ND later this summer, so we plan to meet up again and see her, too, before they all return to MA.

Vlad and his daddy, Travis

It took Vlad awhile to "warm up" to us strangers, but after eating, he and the girls played together outside while waiting for the adults to finish visiting. Here he is with (from top to bottom) Suzanna, Abigail, and Hillary.

As we waited for our table, the ladies posed for some photos. Do you see a family resemblance?!

We did more shopping in the afternoon and then headed to the home of Arron, the stepson of Susan's brother Jerrett. Arron's mom Cheryl held an open house for Arron today, freeing him to attend his classmates' open houses after the graduation ceremony on Sunday. They had the garage set up with tables and chairs and a buffet with tons of food and beverages. The temperature was in the 90s, but the east-facing garage provided shade on the driveway, and there was a nice breeze, making it a fine day for this event.

It had been awhile since we had all seen each other, so we parents made several "Oh my, how they've grown!" comments about the children, sounding thoroughly like grownups. Cheryl had a special table set up with memorabilia and scrapbooks and photos of Arron from throughout his childhood, and perusing those items made it all the clearer just how much he has changed in the years that we've known him--he's a young man now! And, of course, we have photos for proof:

Arron with his proud aunt and uncle.

Arron and Cheryl with his cousins/her nieces: Abigail, Hillary, and Suzanna

Congratulations on your upcoming graduation, Arron, and best wishes for the start of your university years in the fall!

1 comment:

  1. Wow....handsome lad. I didn't really see him much growing up but do remember him as a small boy...I think.