Friday, January 30, 2009


My middle brother celebrated his birthday on Tuesday. He is now 31 years old.

There was a birthday celebration for him on Tuesday night at my parents’ house. My mother gave everyone a nice dinner—steak and potatoes, with all the trimmings—and my brother’s birthday cake was a Black Forest Cake, pursuant to his request.

Josh and I were the only family members not present at the birthday celebration, but we talked on the phone that night to everyone, including and especially my brother, and we confirmed that he had received our birthday gifts: a DVD of the film, “Downfall”; a DVD of the film, “Stalingrad”; and a travel book about Scotland, a country my brother keenly wants to explore in some depth.

My niece is doing fine. She is now seven weeks and four days old, and growing, and starting to respond to sounds. Except when she is sleeping, there is someone available to hold her around the clock, and she is receiving mountains of attention. Her parents send us new photos of her every week.

My older brother and his family recently bought a house, and settlement is scheduled for the third week of February. Until then, they will remain at my parents’ house.

My nephew does not want to move into his new house. He wants to remain at my parents’ house, which he now thinks of as his own home. Of course, that will change as soon as he moves into his new house, but he was genuinely quite concerned when he learned that my parents’ dog would not be joining him at his new home. Even when it was explained to him that he would nonetheless see the dog every couple of days, he did not like the idea of living without the dog.

Of course, I don’t like the idea of living without the dog, either.

It’s been cold in Minnesota, and everyone has been staying in most of the time. I don’t think Josh and I have been missing out on much back home. The biggest events of the month of January were my brother’s visit to Boston over the January holiday weekend, his birthday earlier this week, and my older brother’s purchase of a house.

Nonetheless, I am extremely homesick, and I think Josh and I will have to go home soon. Our earliest opportunity will be in March, when we may try to go home on one of the weekends coinciding with Josh’s Spring Break.

I want to see my niece again, and before she grows much more!

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