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Wednesday, 3.30.05: Week in Review (St. Louis)

Went to St. Louis to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday.

Tuesday (3.22.05). Event-free flight on USAirways via Philidelphia and speedy car-rental from Thrifty. I packed optimistically, expecting spring. The magnolias were in bloom but the rest was cold rain. I was happy to see my father had maintained or improved upon the mobility progress he made at Christmas. I sat up close to him so he could hear me and we talked about family history.

Wednesday. We made an excursion to the Arch to do some research in their City Directory collection. Turns out the collection wasn't actually at the Arch, but uphill at the Old Courthouse. Treated Jim to a ride up to the top of the Arch, which he had never done, then hiked up to the Old Courthouse. The librarians were nice and pulled out about a decade's worth of City Directories. We were looking for Moses Flanagan and some clues about when a fire might have taken place in the Flanagan household.

Today is my mom's birthday. There is nothing of an old lady about her -- still has the peachy complexion and vigorous posture of a woman decades younger. We celebrated with lots of chocolate and brought in dinner from the tony Italian restaurant across the street.

Thursday. Visited the cool shops. I bought a couple scarves and Jim got intrigued by an African sculpture.

Birthday party at my brother-in-law's brother's new restaurant -- a comfortable setting for a small group of A-list family members to relax, chow down, and have some good conversation.

Friday. Morning sortie to an antiques mall out in Warson Woods. Paid my brother his earnings for his ebay sales -- a few sawbucks, but cash is cash. Finished scanning a few old photos of my mother's family.

P.M. -- hung out with my sisters and their families. Kathleen sold us on buying an iPod.

Saturday. IPod buying trip and set-up (see aftermath here). Jim gave into the temptation to buy the Bakota sculpture, a cool birdlike reliquary from Gabon, on the west coast of Africa, near the Congo. Luckily, it was small enough to fit into his suitcase.

A final evening with family took a traditional shape: woman around the kitchen table, men in the living room watching basketball, kids upstairs making a mess.

Sunday. Awoke at 5 A.M. to return the rental car and get to the airport on time. Uneventful flights home. Everything safe and sound at home -- furnace clicked on, computer clicked on. Life is good.

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