Along the Blue Juniata
It had been far too long since we'd visited my family - not since Christmas, actually - and on this day, we finally made it back! We arrived in time to join them for lunch from the local Creme Stop, which has been open weekends now since early March. You may see my lovely meal in the extras: a steak hoagie, onion rings, and a vanilla shake. Oh, yum!
And then we spent the afternoon visiting with family. And in fact, I got to see most members of my immediate family. Just two of my sisters, the oldest one and the third sister, were not able to attend. The third sister is in assisted living now, about 15 minutes from my parents' house, and several of us visited her there on our way home.
We got to catch up with everyone on what's been going on in the past few months. My parents (you may see their dear faces in the extras) are 88, quite happily married for 68 years. Overall they seem to be doing pretty well. My mother has kidney stones and her doctor wants her to have kidney surgery, but she says she does not want to do it.
My dad had heart surgery back in 2012; and now he has an appointment set for April 8 to begin some prep work for an additional surgery to replace a heart valve. So we appreciate any well wishes and/or prayers you may send their way.
To get to my parents' house, we usually go "the front way," which is to say, down route 322 past State College, through Potters' Mills, past Lewistown and Mifflintown, and from there to McAlisterville, where I grew up.
The travel to get there is sometimes a story in and of itself, and it was on this day. The quality of the roads is poor. They are lumpy and bumpy and altogether bad. To add to this, there is road construction set up at numerous points along route 322 - there ALWAYS is - and getting safely there and back again often feels like running a gauntlet.
On the way down, we had 10 minutes to spare, so we stopped briefly along the Juniata River, which as I've said before, I consider to be my family river. It is especially pretty along this spot in autumn (see prior blips here and here). On this day, the clouds were doing amazing things, and the water shone with the blue of the sky. It was so pretty, but the wind was BITTERLY cold, and the light coat I had on wasn't nearly enough!
Our drive back home seemed to be going quite swimmingly, until we got to the spot where 322 comes up over the Seven Mountains and then narrows down to two lanes just before Potters' Mills. There was a traffic accident in our lane, and so there we sat for 20 minutes. Then they allowed a few cars, including us, to go through, before closing the road again right behind us. We felt lucky to make it home!
And so there is the story of our visiting adventure! It was complete with family, food, and fun, as well as a tiny dose of travel peril, just to liven things up a bit. My soundtrack song is Roy Orbison, with Coming Home.