Over the weekend, we returned to Indiana as out-of-towners. I had already been back with David for my friend Rachel’s baby shower, but that was only a week or two after we moved. Everything seemed a little more real this time.
The reason for our visit was our friend Brandon’s 30th birthday party. We packed the weekend: Thursday night we arrive and went straight to The Tomato Bar for a late dinner with one of Michael’s ex-coworkers. Friday morning, we did some relaxing and played with David at our host’s house, ran by the steel mill to pick up some $600 ear plugs (that’s another story), and met Rachel for David’s one-year-old photo shoot. Having a photographer for a godmother definitely comes with benefits. She got some fabulous shots of David at Sauerman’s Woods and the Lake County Fairground. After that, it was time to head to her and Brandon’s house to get ready for the party. We reconnected with so many friends that night.
Saturday morning we slept in a little before heading up the beach to dip our toes in Lake Michigan. We hiked on the dunes, climbed Mt. Tom, got our picture taken by some guy doing a magazine story on NWI trails, and got lunch at the state park concession stand. David had a blast pushing chairs around inside the concession building. We put sunscreen on him for the first time (previously, we had just tried to keep him shaded and covered). It was quite the ordeal in the beach parking lot, while onlookers laughed as we kibitzed at each other and slathered white slime all over our wriggling baby. Michael said his hair looked like it was covered in Elmer’s glue. But he didn’t get sunburned, so it was a great success. We sat on our hosts’ back deck and chatted while David had a nap, then it was off to Lowell for a high school graduation party. Michael and David braved a very chilly pool and our catch-up time with friends continued. From that party, we headed to the house of another former co-worker for drinks and conversation fireside on his lovely patio. Another wonderful, late night had us crawling into bed satisfied and exhausted.
Sunday morning we worshiped with our friends at our old church, where we are technically still members. Michael was impromptu voluntold to help serve communion (he used to be an elder). Brandon had asked him to play guitar for the services, but he wouldn’t have had time to make the Saturday practice and do everything we had planned. It was good to be back. After service, David showed off his new walking skills. We finished out our trip with an afternoon of grilling and swimming at Brandon and Rachel’s house. We said our farewells and loaded up the car for the 5 1/2 hour drive home from…home.
We are where we belong, but we won’t ever forget where we were. Til next time, Indiana. It was fun.