Fun evening with Lyman family members…

In Madeira, the musical vegetable truck came by a few times a week. We were always ready to greet him and make our fresh-from-the-farm purchases.

Yesterday afternoon, in the pouring rain, we embarked on the 40-minute drive to Anoka to Billy’s Bar & Grill for the weekly Lyman family get-together. Often, the group consists of Tom’s sisters, Mary Ellen (husband Eugene), Colleen, Patty, and Margie. With us included, there’s often the seven. (Tom has two more sisters, Rita in South Dakota and a nun, Sister Beth, in Milwaukee).

At times, other family members, such as adult nieces and nephews, daughter Tammy, Tracy, and grandson Vincent, join us. Yesterday, there were 14, including those mentioned above seven, plus four generations for some: even Tom’s great-grandniece, almost two-year-old adorable Addison.

However, this group is only the tip of the iceberg for the Lyman family. When they all get together, it could easily be over 100 relatives. It’s not easy to get everyone together, but at times, it gets close to being the full group on special occasions.

The Lymans are lovely people, warm, friendly, and very close. There is never any evidence of animosity. They all get along well. Conversing with any of them is filled with wonderful stories and good humor, and they easily invite two-way conversations that never include gossip or negative comments about one another.

I sat at the round table with Tom on my left and sister-in-law Margie on my right. We consistently arrive at 3:30 pm, in time for happy hour. Most enjoy a cocktail or two, but no one drinks in excess, and everyone figures out safe ways to drive home.

It feels fantastic to be a part of this sizeable group of people when I come from a small family: my sister, my two sons, and their girlfriends, my three grandchildren, and on my father’s side of the family, my cousin Phyllis and her two adult daughters whom, unfortunately, I rarely see. We haven’t all been together in years.

Yesterday, as the size of the group expanded as more arrived, extra tables were added, and we could all sit together. Some of them moved from one seat to another to converse with others. It was pretty fun, to say the least. By about 6:30, we all began to filter out and head to our respective homes. It was still raining hard, and no plans were made for the remainder of the evening.

Once we arrived back in Eden Prairie, Tom dropped me off at a liquor store to see if I could find low-alcohol wine. After asking for help, I found white and red, of which I purchased two. It is funny how readily available low-alcohol wine is in South Africa, with few options in the US.

After the liquor store, we headed to Cub Foods so I could purchase a few items to round out what we had on hand. We plan to dine in tonight and tomorrow night. On Monday afternoon, after my lunch with old friend and business partner Theresa in Coon Rapids, we’ll head to Mary and Eugene’s to play Buck Euchre. Nephew Kevin is coming to town and always enjoys playing cards with us. No doubt, we’ll have another enjoyable evening.

During this extended period in the US, we’re having a great time with family and friends. On past visits, we stayed for two to three weeks, but now, with the remainder of the summer before us, we’ll have plenty of time for more enjoyable times ahead.

Thanks for all the positive feedback after yesterday’s post, which encouraged us to keep posting, even during these quiet times, as long as it doesn’t cause stress. No, it doesn’t cause stress. It’s a joyful experience sharing our lives with all of you each and every day!

Be well.

Photo from ten years ago today, June 1, 2014:

Many little shops were found on the side streets of Ribeira Brava, Madeira. For more photos, please click here.

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