Family Reunion

Trip Start Mar 26, 2007
Trip End Apr 29, 2007

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Flag of United States  , Pennsylvania
Thursday, April 5, 2007

We drive along spacious well organised Motorways thru flurries and icy cold to Red Lion. Tracey graciously drives (very efficiently) thru sleet and rain at twilight so that son Davo can catch up with Sis Christy and Mum from Ozland. We arrive in Red Lion at 9 pm in darkness. Warm home and I meet my granddaughter at last! Nostalgia, rest, loving reunion with family. Peace.

Good Friday Market day at Ephrata: Snow flurries and the emerging spring. Meet the rest of the family for breakfast at local diner and I embarrass myself by asking for a Latte! Doh! Chris and Terry, Boog and Amy are welcoming, natural and cheerful. I sense David's fondness for this place, these people. There is a camaraderie that is cocooning, predictable and unassuming. I am at ease myself. Loved the drive thru the gentle and dignified countryside.

The market was so varied and fascinating! The market, the stalls, the people just being themselves in a rural town.

Occasional glimpses of Amish community. I buy clothing and an old book from the local archives tendered over by a cardiganned professor character with rounded specs on the end of his nose. Quaint! The book is called Sojourner. It is a story written around the early days of settlement and I am intrigued. Tracey's brother Boog and his fiancé Amy, keep tabs on me as I am wandering around in a daze and not keeping up with the tribe. They are protective and caring people with a tolerance that is very comfortable.

It is soooo cold! The body is not not accustomed to this!

Saturday is the local Easter-egg hunt.
Stark and naked trees hung with coloured eggs, snow flurries and bursts of winter sunshine. Christy is prepared for the cold from her trip thru Scandanavia. I am slowly acclimatising my bod from balmy Hawaii to icy Pennsylvania! The locals are geared up.

This is my first experience of a Northern Hemisphere Eastertide and the emerging spring. I notice families and a strong sense of a local community. Houses are ordered and neat amidst gently sloping hills.
There is a calm truce here. I am told about Pennsylvania being a Keystone State - the second to have settled the pioneers. One can feel the solidity of a settled-in new world here.

At dinner that night I am challenged to tackle a New York steak - I meet it. Americans eat heartily. Entrée serves are quite sufficient thank you! I discover American Indian cigarettes - Chemical free 100% tobacco grown on reservations. Enjoyable! Processed in Canada. $US12 a carton! Daughter gives heart rending speech. Tears. Family pic, salt of the earth, stability and oneness. Flurries as we head home - they fascinate me!

Easter morn we link up with Dad and his family in Sydney, Australia. The families chat over Skype, interfacing with delayed responses across time and space. Love the technology. The IT infrastructure is so munch faster than in Australia and inexpensive. Tai (7) has her own computer. Tracey and David each have theirs. All set up in curved cocoon in the main lounge. David and Tracey developed their relationship in International Cyberspace and their story was written up in Wall Street journal. It's definitely a new world. I ponder on my grandmother's stories of her childhood when gaslights in the streets were replaced by electricity and cars began hobnobbing along cobbled roads. I recall my own early teenage years and the introduction of television. I wonder what Tai's adult world will be like? Make an Earl Grey cuppa and into warp!

Next day we shop at local marts - get DVD's not available in Ozland -yet! Wal Mart fascinates me. Humungous! So much in one place. The modern hunter/gatherer instinct is fulfilled.
Seven year old Tai is bored by it all so we sit one visit out in the car. Fooling around with her crystal from the Market, taking pics with Gran from Australia is more interesting than shopping. The digital camera means we can have fun and delete what doesn't work. Instant creativity recording time/space. Modern granma play.

I discover Tracey and Davo's American basement and laundry - yay! Organise clean clothing, the self and the suitcases for travel. It has been sooooo good to be in a home base for a few days! Send home stuff to Ozland via postal service. It's easier than carting unnecessary baggage in transit. Make a mental note to thank friend Gwen for lecture on light travelling.
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