On Sunday Xy and I drove out to my parents’ house, and then the four of us drove to Naperville, Illinois for a surprise party. My aunt and uncle’s 40th wedding anniversary was a couple months ago, so I think it’s safe to say this party took them by surprise.

Surprise

The party took place in an airplane hangar. My cousin’s family lives in a subdivision which at first glance appears to be a typical upscale suburban setup — but in fact each house is equipped with airplane hangars, and there’s runway on the premises. I’ve never seen such a thing.

Taxiing

Quick trips up into the sky were offered to all the guests. I opted to stay on the ground, but my parents went for a ride.

As soon as we arrived, a number of people asked us about the status of our house in New Orleans. They meant well, but Xy was tired of talking about it. The repeated questions depressed her, and then she felt guilty for being depressed. She was miserable for a time. Then one relative opined that Bush was being unfairly criticized for his response to Katrina. Xy exploded and went on a rant about race and class inequities in New Orleans. A bit of a non-sequitir, it took us by surprise, but I think it was all for the best. It shook her out of her funk, and my relatives seem genuinely interested in hearing about the experiences of a teacher in the public schools there.

Karen & Xy

It was good to see my relatives. I’ve been out of touch with my father’s side of the family for far too long. I hadn’t seen many of these folks since Xy and I got married — twelve years ago.

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