Happy 1st Birthday, James!

Over the last week, we’ve enjoyed quality time with family. While Jeremy started teaching classes at Siena College, Cindy and I hung out with Fran and James. One afternoon we drove downtown to meet Jeremy for lunch and then enjoy a nice walk around town, gazing upon the beautiful architecture.

The Grotto at Siena College is modeled after the famous shrine in Lourdes, France

Socrates, Plato, Descartes, Kant…. Carey

Training these young malleable minds to think.

Cindy, Fran, and James on their downtown walk.

The distinctive, Albany City Hall

The inspiring neoclassical New York Dept. of Education building

The northwest side of the unusual, yet lovely, New York State Capitol building.

George Washington stands before the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services building.

The modern Egg Center for the Performing Arts building. I can’t figure out where the inspiration for the name came from.

The southeast view of the State Capitol building

On another afternoon, Cindy and I met James and Fran at the Riverfront Park at the Corning Reserve (also in the downtown Albany area). The weather was delightful and the scenery inspiring as we walked along the Hudson River enjoying the fresh late-summer air.

Walking through the Corning Preserve

Yia Yia and James on the bank of the Hudson River

Pathside foliage

Riverside flowering plants

In anticipation of the celebration of our grandson, James’, first birthday, Julie and Tracy made the seven-hour drive from western Pennsylvania. It was great having them visit us on the RV again. Lilah came too, of course, and (I’m happy to report) was not in the least bit afraid of me this time. We were best buddies! We enjoyed dinner at the campground and a two-plus mile hike along the trails on the campground.

Our very welcomed guests in our home.

Julie and her canine, Lilah

Enjoying a hike in the woods on a beautiful day.

Kids!!! If only we had Mariah and Murilo with us!

Campfire in NY

September 10th was the big day. James turned one! It is cliche, but it seems like yesterday that he was born. Cindy and I were blessed to be in Oakland, California when he made his grand entrance into this world. We saw him at 5 months, and now we were able to celebrate his first anniversary of being alive. We had pizza and cake and lots of presents.

Pizza party!

Our handsome grandson

It’s gift time!

James enjoys some of his birthday gifts

Sorry for the lighting, but… the birthday celebrants with the birthday boy.

James, one year ago.

Unfortunately, the joy was tempered by a touch of sorrow. The day before James’ birthday, Fran’s father, Tony, was taken to the emergency room in south Florida. He was admitted to the intensive care unit with septic shock and his life was in the balance. Prior to this incident, he had been enjoying life with his usual good health. Life is fragile and we should cherish every day. We, and many others, prayed fervently for his healing. Hurricane Irma presented insurmountable obstacles to Fran’s hoped-for travel to see her dad, but finally, earlier this week she was able to make the trip. He is still in critical condition, but he has made significant strides forward. Cindy and I were to fly out on Thursday, but she was able to rearrange her flight and depart early next week to watch James while Jeremy is at work and Fran is with her Father. Our grandson has definitely fallen in love with his Yia Yia (as Cindy is called).

Cindy and I had dinner at the Towne Tavern not far from our campsite. I had the excellent BBQ Brisket. Mmmm!

On Thursday, the 14th, I flew from Albany to Minneapolis, and from there drove a rental car for a four-hour drive into north-central Wisconsin for my next spell of shift work in a brand new (to me) emergency department.

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