Fun times dining with family...Cold, cold, cold...Veteran's Day event...

Out to dinner at Stella's Fish House, charming granddaughter Maisie sat next to me.

Introspective grandson Miles wasn't interested in fish and had a burger instead.

Always-smiling Madighan was loving being with her family and eating seafood along with a taste of Grandpa's barbeque ribs (who like Miles, didn't eat fish). 
We knew it would be cold in Minnesota, even as early as November but we had no idea it would be as cold as it has been today. As of this moment, close to 2:00 pm, the temperature is 15F, -9.44C.  That's cold. 

Considering today's windchill is bitter cold -1F, -18C, walking outside downright uncomfortable. For the locals this is normal. We remember living here seven years ago.

This bitter cold weather takes our breath away with a cold grasp that sucks our lungs dry. Yesterday, a light covering of snow fell which melted a short time later. Upcoming on Wednesday, the snowfall could be substantial enough to cause congestion and accidents on the roads. I've yet to drive a car.

I wasn't a good driver in the best of conditions and I doubt I'd be any good in this slippery weather. We're doing everything we can to avoid the necessity of me driving either the rental car or the SUV offered by Greg and Camille (son and DIL). 

We'll see how that goes since it seems we're always on the move and often finding we need to split up on several occasions to spend time with our respective families. That's how it goes with "blended families." Very few situations allow for the two separate families getting together.

Our grandchildren are delightful and the parents happy to see us at long last. We feel bad about being away for so long but my health issues of this past year kept us away for an additional seven months, over and above the time we'd originally planned to be here.

The price we paid for the unavoidable delay has been being in this cold weather which will only worsen during our remaining time here, depending upon when we decide to leave Minnesota to head to Nevada to see son Richard in Henderson and sister Susan in North Las Vegas.

How's it going here? Very well. It's wonderful to spend time with the family and look forward to plans together over the next few weeks. Thus far, we've been extremely busy, more than we ever have while traveling since my surgery in February.

I'm working hard to keep up with everyone and all the planned events. Previously, we had many more hours a day to lounge and lay low.  Now, its a fairly consistent level of activity and I'm striving to stay in tune with everyone else.

At night, after a long day and evening, we wind up back at Karen's gorgeous home to relax and spend more time catching up. Over these years, Karen and I have stayed in fairly close touch and now our conversations are similar to those wonderful chats we had together, day after day, for many years. 

Tom and Karen's significant other, Rich, get along well. Late last night, they watched the winning Minnesota Vikings game while I wandered off to bed for much-needed rest. It's all going quite well.

This morning at Maisie, Miles and Madighan's charter school, Agamim Academy, a school devoted to educating eager students about US history, the Constitution, and the American way, we attended a beautiful presentation for Veteran's Day commemorating many veterans in attendance and recognition of service provided by our armed forces.

It couldn't have been a more inspiring presentation. Seeing the smiling faces of our three grandchildren and all the other almost 400 students, so proud of their school and country, was inspiring in itself.

At the moment, we're back at Karen's working on today's post and reviewing the prep necessary to apply for our visas for India which we'll need in a little over 60 days. 

That is quite an undertaking as we heard it would be. We'll be using the services of a visa company to assist. Also, we're applying for additional passports...for two years. Our current passports don't expire until 2021. We'll explain more about this later.

Tonight, Tom has plans with grandson Vincent and daughter Tammy while I am going back to Greg and Camille's home to spend the evening with sister Julie (she leaves tomorrow to return to LA), Camille and the kids while Greg is out on business.

We are happy to be here with family and will muster our way through the bitter cold weather and the busy family activities.

Happy day!
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Photo from one year ago today, November 11, 2018:
"Little" came back for more pellets on the veranda.  He feels quite at home here.  Who knew pigs climb stairs? For more details, please click here.

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