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Location: Northern California

Read all about the adventures of the Tsao Family during the summer of 2012

Sunday, April 08, 2007


With all the frills upon it

Happy Easter to those of you who celebrate this day. We're still in the Midwest, Lakewood, Illinois to be exact. "Quality living in a natural setting." This morning the kids learned that the Easter Bunny paid a visit last night and left them each a basket. Emily got a lamb basket with a stuffed bunny and some candy; Thomas got a puppy basket with a stuffed duck and some candy. Thomas named his puppy Godfrey. Interesting.

We've had a nice couple of days visiting with family. On Friday we drove to Oak Park, birthplace of Yours Truly, my twin sister Barb, and Ernest Hemingway, and met my aunt Davida, sister Barb and family for lunch at Pete's Red Hot's. The kids got their first taste of Chicago-style hot dogs and I had a Gyros salad, non-traditional but still very yummy.

After lunch we checked out Wonder Works, a children's museum. It was lots of fun and exactly the kind of place my preschoolers love, love, love. I'm so glad my sister Barb recommended that we go there. After hanging out for a couple of hours, we hit the road back to my mom's house. She's letting me use her car while we're here, and I'm getting the hang of driving a boat Crown Victoria. But I do miss my little Prius and its ability to go 400 miles between fill-ups.

Yesterday we spent the day at the Catholic retreat center that my uncle runs. The adults attended a conversation on the experience of grief and loss in the context of Easter joy, while my niece Jessica babysat Emily and Thomas. I was happy to be able to attend the conversation because my uncle Jim spoke about his experiences after being hit by a car in December 2005, an accident that left him blind. My aunt Mary spoke about being his caregiver, and others spoke about their own experiences with grief and loss and caring for those they love who are suffering. The general idea is that it's okay to be in a grieving state and that it's possible for that state to last a long time, longer than others may understand.

And here we are on Easter Sunday, getting ready for a large family celebration. We're leaving soon to meet with aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews, and family friends (Hi, Virginia!) at Maggiano's Little Italy. We've rented a private room and we're going to eat ourselves silly. Happy Easter!