Grandma Marilyn: queen for a day

"Happy birthday. You owe me a Fudgesicle." -Aunt Paula #queenforaday #sisters #allthescotchtape

Back in February, on flights that were thankfully between snowstorms, we headed back to Kansas for Grandma Marilyn's big 85th birthday celebration. Our early morning flight landed in Wichita just before lunch. We stopped briefly for tacos before driving our rental car halfway across the state to the land of Gunsmoke. The next two days were a flurry of food, family time, decorating (like her last big birthday bash, it involved a lot of purple), and celebration.

We had so much fun hearing more stories about Grandma Marilyn. Her younger sister Paula let everyone know that Marilyn still owed her a Fudgcicle, promised as a reward for not telling their parents that Marilyn left Paula alone at home to hang out with friends (the original Fudgcicle was eaten by one of said friends). One of Grandma's school friends told a story about a prank Marilyn pulled on another classmate, her identity betrayed by the fact that the package (which contained "flopper stoppers") was sealed with tape, an item only Marilyn's newspaper-printing dad could procure during WWII shortages. To this day, you can pick out Grandma Marilyn's cards in the mail just by the amount of Scotch tape used to seal the envelope.

Too soon, the festivities were over, but the adventure of getting everyone home was just beginning. Ren and Emily had flown in from Denver, but their puddle-jumper flight was cancelled due to impending weather. Instead, we drove them halfway home, where they were picked up by Emily's dad. I got a quick visit with my parents thanks to the drive (hi, Mom!), but the ride back that evening would have been terrifying if it wasn't for four-wheel drive and Dane's expert driving skills.

The storm was better by the next morning, so we ventured out to drive back to Wichita for our flight. Kansas snowstorms are much different than Boston ones. There's less snow, but that snow blows for miles so it doesn't take much to make travel difficult.

Ian got us safely all the way back to Wichita, only for us to get (barely) rear-ended by a high schooler just a mile from the airport. The snow packed on the bumper came in handy as damage protection.

Driving in a Kansas snowstorm. #windoutofthenorth #itwasworselastnight #homeagainhomeagain

Grandma Marilyn, thanks for letting us help you celebrate. We're already looking forward to seeing you again! #loveya

See (a few) more photos from the weekend on Flickr.