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family gathering

It's a relatively big thing (so to speak) when one of the out-west brothers makes it home.  So we had a family gathering of sorts at Minnesota brother's house.  Sis came too, and Mom of course.  The nearby brother didn't join us, because he and Minnesota brother don't get along, but he's taking out-west brother boating this week.  And other out-west brother...well, even if he were up for it, I'm not sure how airline security would react to the lingering effects that past drug abuse and homelessness have had on his already-colorful personality.
To make up for absent relatives, we had 3 of Minnesota brother's adopted/sponsored Vietnamese/Finnish college students.
Games were played.  In Quilt Show, Mom crafted a huge quilt with well-balanced colors, but a bit too late to win the game.  Sis brought her copy of Survive.  I got a few people hooked on The Downfall of Pompeii - nothing brings family together like flinging doomed people into a volcano.
It's a good family.  There are some rough spots - like the brothers who can't set aside their differences - but as families go we're one of the better ones I've seen.
That was all yesterday.  I took today off, intending to make an early start from Rochester and have the afternoon at home.  But jtj608 bought tickets to Doctor Who in the theater - which was cool, but meant I had to be in town by 7pm.  I didn't want to drive home, then drive back into town, then home again, then back in tomorrow morning to go to work.
So instead I spent the day on a slow wander toward home:  Lark Toys, a scenic drive down hwy 35 along the Wisconsin side of the Mississippi, then a little hiking at Trempealeau NWR.
I'd hoped to do more hiking, but I had 131 miles left to get to the movie theater, and only 2 hours before show time.  All freeway, speed limit 65, many cops and a generally law-abiding nature.  Okay, I like a challenge.  Made it to the movie with ten minutes to spare.
Today, out-west brother will take Mom in for chemo.  Too early yet to say if this one is doing any good.  Mom's not pleased with the side effects, but is handling them well, and she seemed in good spirits during the gathering.
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