Diane and Per are an amazing, warm couple. We all agreed that we'd felt as if we'd known each other for years, and not a day or so. Diane had known that Steve existed, as she had known his mother many years ago, but Steve did not discover her until this past summer when family tree searches led him fortuitously in her direction.
Samantha and Cousin Diane, bonding, playing doctor.
There was a lot of this on Day 2 - Steve going through his Ancestry.com pages, adding information passed along to him by Diane, and making mental notes of the stories being recounted. She was very close to her uncle, Steve's birth father, and she was able to shed much light on who he was. Time very productively spent.
On Day 3, Saturday, we woke up to snow. Yep, that's right. After sitting outside of our house at 6am, waiting for a taxi in 61 degree weather two days before, we now viewed a heavy, wet snowfall that did nothing more than to frizz up carefully flat-ironed hair. And yes, I'm that vain.
Steve, Samantha and I took the opportunity to give our gracious hosts a bit of a break and to meet up with my Facebook friend, Shannon and her gorgeous children, Ruby and Grady. I still chuckle (okay, can I add that to the list of words I hate? I use it only because it describes exactly what I did...) when I think that if Steve had chosen not to come with us that morning, Per had planned to follow me and Samantha discreetly, just to make sure we were safe when meeting a stranger. How sweet!! That tells you a little bit about the kind of guy he is.
We had a great time at breakfast with them, meeting up at the Black Bear Diner and coming away with some new human friends and a cuddly stuffed black bear, appropriately named, "Bear." I love meeting my "friends" in real life! Shannon was so sweet, and Ruby was a knock-out. Grady, the most charming infant ever, slept through most of the meal. I have to apologize sincerely for the awful quality of the photos - two active little girls in a dark room do not make for clear images...
Later that afternoon we were joined by Steve's brother, John, and his wife, Cynthia, and we had a wonderfully English dinner of steak and kidney pie and chips (french fries to my fellow Americans), followed by strawberry-rhubarb tarts and custard. Oddly enough, I was the only one in the house with an American accent (well, besides Samantha, but the jury's still out on hers) - Diane and John both retained their English regional dialects, Cynthia is Canadian, and Per, despite spending the last 40-ish years in the US still has a very strong Norwegian accent.
I'd love to write more about those first two days, but in the interest of actually posting something during this personally difficult week (more on that when the time feels appropriate), I'll leave you here. The next installment is Day 4: Seattle and A Successful Bloggy Meet-Up.