Well, not lost, exactly. You see, a fan belt came off the blog and I had to send to Dubuque to get a replacement. Can’t post without a fan belt, otherwise the thing overheats and melts my hard drive.
No? Not plausible? Ok, the real story.
Two events transpired in the very recent past which necessitated a trip to North Carolina. Bro Paco was diagnosed with prostate cancer a little over a month ago, and had surgery last Tuesday. We (Mrs. Paco, #1 son, granddaughter Maggie and I) drove down to NC on Friday and had planned to go visit him in the hospital in Charlotte Saturday morning. On the way to the hospital, he called and said he had convinced them to discharge him, so we collected him and carried him home. He is still experiencing some troublesome side effects – bloating, intense pain and his abdomen looks like someone was using him for target practice with an AR-15 , plus he was readmitted to the hospital yesterday because of a suspected blood clot – but, except for all that, his prognosis is good.
The other event was the biennial Paco family reunion. Because of the trip to the hospital, we were a couple of hours late, but that’s kind of the way I like it, since whenever you get a large number of Pacos together, you have to worry about the possibility of some kind of law enforcement sting operation, and I always like to make sure I’m not walking into an ambush. I met a man with my same name who turned out to represent the Texas branch of the family. Frankly, I didn’t know there was a Texas branch of the Pacos until I met this gentleman, who told me that a contingent of Pacos headed out that way in the early 1850s. He was a little vague on what the original bunch did out there; I asked him if they had anything to do with the cattle business, and he just smiled, shrugged and cocked his head to one side, as if to say, “something like that”. Anyhow, I hope to follow up with him in the near future.
Little Maggie – a genuinely sweet-natured child, vivacious and fun-loving (even if it is her grandfather who says so) – was a big hit, the food was excellent, and, as always, it was good to see those far-flung members of the family whom I encounter only rarely (and what a treat to see them all at liberty!)