June 23rd was a truly exciting day. Terra picked me up and took me to a family reunion where I got to meet all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins that I had never even seen before! It was so much fun to finally meet all of these people. I think my favorite part of the day was surprising Uncle Jack. Terra had sent him an email telling him I was coming, but he never got it, so he had no idea that I would be there. He was so happy that he started to cry. Uncle Jack and I have never met, but my grandfather told him all about my brother and me. Actually, he reminds me very much of my great grandfather. II also met my cousin, Jimmy David, my aunt Pauline, and my cousin Suzie. I know I met other people that day, too, but there were so many people and so many new faces that I just can’t remember all of them.
After the reunion, Terra took me to meet her husband and father, and we all went to Outback for dinner (exciting for me because I’ve never been). Adam (Terra’s husband), is so nice, and was way more talkative than I expected from what everyone has told me about him. We spent almost the entire meal talking about our favorite science fiction shows, characters, etc. He was so excited that Terra brought him a “Sci-fi buddy” since Terra hates sci-fi.
I spent the night with Terra and Adam, and their cats. Sadly, the cats don’t seem to like me much. I like them, so I wish they liked me more than they do. Oh well, that’s the way it is with cats, and that’s why I’ve never been much of a cat person. They’re too moody for me. Before I went to bed, Adam made me some popcorn in their fancy movie-theater pop corn popper. I honestly think it tasted better just because it was popped in such a cool machine.
The next morning, Adam had to work, so Terra and I went to church by ourselves. It was the smallest church I’ve ever been in. There were 15 people, including Terra and me, and we were visiting! It was a completely different experience than anything I’ve ever experienced before.
After church, we picked up Uncle Jack and went to Forest Park for a picnic lunch. It was so nice to have that extra time with him! I got to learn a lot more about this side of the family, and got to enjoy some quality time with my uncle and my cousin. We got some good pictures together, too. It was sad to say goodbye to Uncle Jack after so short a time together.
Before heading back to Purdue, Terra took me to see Aunt Pauline, who had some pictures to show me. She has more pictures than anyone except my mother can imagine. I saw pictures of all of my aunts, uncles, and cousins when they were kids (and when they were older), and even got to see a picture of my grandfather when he was 18 years old. It’s easy to see why my grandmother fell for him! All in all, it was a great visit.
All too soon, it was time to come back to Purdue and get ready for another week of research. Although I was sad to leave my family, I truly enjoyed my visit and now feel a deeper connection to them and to the state of Indiana.