It occurred to me after I left that I wasn't sure if I had mentioned my now-finished trip. I did, however, albeit when I really could only have been considered conscious in a very narrow sense of the word.
The visit with the grandparents was good, though shorter than I really would have liked. As my grandparents get older and their health deteriorates, I really hate being away from them and seeing them so infrequently. My first sleepover was at their house when I was 2, and I stayed for 2 weeks without the least hint of homesickness. Their home has always felt as much or more like home to me than my parents' home, much like my paternal grandparents' home here in Maine, where I spent so many childhood summers. This is probably because we moved around too frequently for anywhere else to give me quite the same sense of place. It doesn't hurt, either, that my grandparents are wonderfully loving people.
When I last saw them in March, though, my grandmother was in the hospital, and in the interim my grandfather has had a mild heart attack. Given that, it was good to see them in relatively (we're talking very relative here) good shape and in good spirits. And although I won't be there for their 70th wedding anniversary in a couple days, I was there for my grandmother's 87th birthday on Thursday, which I helped them celebrate by cooking lasagne and coconut cake (actually yellow cake from a mix with coconut and sour cream icing, but it's her favorite and mine).
Because it was a short trip and I wanted to travel light, I only took bare essentials - a few changes of clothes, minimal toiletries, and of course, knitting. Because I left my camera behind and because we have what I think must be the only cell phone in the world now without a built-in camera, I have no photos from the trip. This means no photos of the new Vend-A-MOO at a nearby dairy, where my grandfather had me buy them a gallon of milk (It really does "moo" when it dispenses the milk). My cousin Heather promised to try to get pics to send me, so I'll share if she comes through with those.
I took along the socks for my niece, which I had only barely started prior to leaving. I finished the first sock in very short order and was left fearing that I would finish the second too soon to have anything to knit on the trip home. So I decided to knit my always-cold grandmother a pair of slipper socks, which I figured would a) be something nice to do for her birthday and b) give my hands something to do. The catch is that the only options for local yarn shops are Wal-Mart and, well, ... Wal-Mart. So I bought two size 9 circs ('cause they didn't have dpn's big enough) and a ball of their least crappy (actually almost respectable), chunky weight ack-rylic. And though I still think the 2 circ method is too fiddly for me, I cranked them out before I left, leaving me with a second sock to start on my way home. I started sock #2 in the Charlotte airport and got all the way up the foot and past the heel flap before I got home and before my fingers told me to call it a day, so it's a good thing I waited. Once I've had a chance to sleep and have time to get the camera out, I will have photos of the socks.
And in response to Kit's question (though I believe David's already filled her in), we did celebrate our pending domestic partnership (which will be official once the state processes the form and check and sends us copies of the official certificate). We dressed up nicely to go get said form notarized and send it and check off in the mail, then we went out to dinner at the schwank French-style restaurant in town and talked about more proper wedding plans (June 2008!). Then we bought a tree to go on top of the dog crate and David decorated it while I collapsed in a heap from going 36+ hours without sleep.