If there's anything a quadruple bypass will do it's get the family to spend time with each other again. At least in our family. Mostly we're pretty content to just read one another's Twitter feeds and, apparently, Meebo or whatever is the instant messaging tool everyone except me uses. But for getting family members to actually be close enough to punch one another, yes, the quadruple bypass did it.
This weekend my brother, his girlfriend, and their daughter came down. We thought they'd come to the house first and then go up to the rehab clinic, but this was really just bad geography given they were coming from Massachusetts, and staying with a friend somewhere in the northern part of the state. Instead they met with and picked up my sister, went to my father to spend several hours --- he was delighted to see his second granddaughter, and they were amused to see our old family psychologist (whom I only ever saw once), now partner with my mother the clinical psychologist and frequent employer of my father because his house keeps falling apart and he can't fix anything, hanging around, and my brother affected indignation that the clinic wasn't keeping to the posted maximum number of visitors per room --- and then came down here.
This meant, first, that I was able to unload the saddle on my sister. It was older than she thought it would be, but about what she expected, which is good as I hadn't got any photographs so was just guessing that I was buying the correct one. And she paid me, using more small bills than I expected, so I'm not going to be short of singles for about the rest of my life.
My young niece has reached the point she's almost able to pull herself up into a sitting pose, and I was allowed to hold her for the first time. I ended up holding her about the same way I hold the cats, but she seemed satisfied; my brother said, she'll let you know if she's uncomfortable. I think I held her about three minutes before a concerned parent found a reason to take her back. My mother got much more infant-holding time, and showed how she still remembered how to eat a whole meal single-handed.
I'm not jealous, especially considering how many parts of an infant can secrete simultaneously. Also, I think that a couple hours of having a granddaughter in reach was just about what my mother needed for her subtly expressed but tangible worry about my father.
Trivia: The landing sites for a trans-Atlantic Abort site for the STS-51L Challenger launch in January 1986 were in Casablanca, Morocco; and Dakar, Senegal. Casablanca's site was not equipped for night landings, making the morning launch window the primary window, as this allowed both sites to be used in case of emergency landings. (However, the afternoon window and giving up Casablanca was accepted earlier in the month, as it would allow for some observations of Halley's Comet which were not possible by the 26th.) Source: The Challenger Launch Decision, Diane Vaughan. [ And I didn't forget about the Apollo 1 anniversary yesterday; I just couldn't find anything fresh and interesting among my references, indicating I need more source material. ]
Currently Reading: The Best Science Fiction Of The Year #4, Editor Terry Carr.