After an all night drive across South Dakota, 4 hours of sleep, and a day of flying, we arrived home to Lexington about 8:00 Sunday night. Weary, but glad to be home to a clean house and a fed dog (thanks, Christo!), we relaxed in our familiar environment before going to bed at 9:30, 2 hour time change be dammed! Even Sophie adapted back to her old routine after days of late nights.
We had an amazing time. I felt like I had been gone a month. So much was crammed in to one week!
As always, the people. In addition to seeing my wonderful family and adorable niece, Ella, I was able to reconnect with my greater family in the International Society of Weekly Newspaper Editors (ISWNE). My family attended our first conference in Calgary, Alberta in 1994. I met the most amazing people and every time I see them it's as though no time has passed. I'm also pleased that every conference I meet new, amazing people!
My 10 year class reunion. It was so great to see everyone again, play some cornhole (bags to you northerners) drink some beer, and catch up. Everyone seemed to be doing so well and it was just wonderful.Crazy Horse. Wow. Just wow. Dad arranged for us to go to the top, or arm, of Crazy Horse and then Korczac Ziolowski's widow, Ruth, joined the group for an open conversation that went for nearly 2 hours. It was a rare opportunity on both fronts and the highlight of the trip for me, Roy and Riley.Oak Lane Hutterite Colony. For me, the tour of the Colony was a close second to Crazy Horse. On Tuesday morning, we drove to the Colony about 30 miles east of Freeman. There, John ("the boss") met and gave us a tour of their hog, cattle, and turkey operation, the biggest garden I have ever seen, their schools, and their way of life. Then, Frieda took us through the kitchen and answered very interesting questions about shoes, glasses, and Newsweek Magazine. (Newsweek is allowed, but she isn't a fan. "There are pictures in there no one should see") We were then treated to a lunch of potatoes, turkey, carrots, broccoli, bread, and homemade milk, butter and Raspberry jam. Everything was grown on their land, by their hands. It was fascinating and we were all grateful to have been welcomed in to their home. I was impressed (but not surprised) by the respectful, intelligent questions posed by the people I was with.Johnny Cash. ISWNE is a very family friendly organization and there were kids all over the place. One little boy, Conrad, is the biggest Johnny Cash fan I have ever met. This 3 year old knew loads Johnny Cash songs, played air guitar to his hero any chance he got, and at one point commented to Roy, "do you know June Carter?" His enthusiasm for such a great musician was so adorable.
Sophie and Ella. By the end of the week, the cousins would squeal at each other on sight. Sophie would steal Ella's pacifier and Ella would steal it back. They shared puffs and toys and books and grandma and grandpa's laps. Ella learned to walk at the conference and I think it inspired Sophie to at least TRY and crawl, although she really has to want something dangerous, like my bedside lamp, to creep forward.Watching Riley at the water park. We spend Saturday afternoon at a water park in Rapid City. Every time Riley hit the water, he'd turn around and run back up the hill. About half way he'd slow to a walk, then run again. Watching a dripping wet, skinny 9 year old, having the time of his life was such a joy.
I can honestly say that this was the first vacation I've had in a long time and the first EVER Cornett FAMILY vacation. While there were times that I was overwhelmed running after two kids, it was so enjoyable. And, Roy and I got a much needed night out.