Ed’s motto seems to be: Have Gas Card, Will Ride. He’s already accumulated quite a few frequent rider miles in the past year, and he’s redeeming them for deeper family connections.
Part of the motivation is to spend some time with his siblings, and part is to flesh out the family history he began working on almost 30 years ago. I think there’s also some wanderlust, a desire to revisit some of this country that he’s traveled in the past. He and his wife of almost 65 years managed to visit every state of the union at least once, by car, train, motorhome, and airplane.
Last October, Ed rode with me to Iowa to visit two of his sisters, a couple of cousins, several once-removeds and second-removeds. In February, he rode with me and Mark to Colorado and spent time with another sister. This spring, he went with his daughter, Mary Ellen, to Iowa to see sisters and some more cousins; this summer, with his daughter, Jane and her husband Kevin, to see another sister in Duluth. Also, this spring, Kathleen, Mary Ellen and son, Paul, coordinated rides to Illinois to visit a brother.
When his son, Paul, mentioned that he might be going to a conference in New York City, Ed was interested in going along to connect with another relative he’s only met by mail and email. She’s my second cousin, a first cousin once removed for Ed, a second cousin once removed for his grandchildren. (Did you get all that?) That trip didn’t pan out, but Paul offered to drive him east. As long as they were going, Ed decided to add a few stops along the way, and spend some time with another sister. I heard about it, and hoping to join the adventure (having been infected with wanderlust myself), I meekly offered my services as an extra driver. Tomorrow, it commences.