The family is once more intact.On Friday, I drove down to the Washington area in preparation for collecting Kate. But first, I stopped in Elk Ridge to see my old pal Howie. Howard Weinstein and I have known each other since 1976, celebrating our 30th anniversary back at Farpoint in February. He’s semi-retired from writing but is working on a Star Trek eBook as part of the 40th anniversary program from Pocket Books so that’s cool.He’s a wonderful host. I had to do nothing and could just sit and chat. We also took his adorable welsh corgis Micki and Callie for a nice walk. He subscribes to a digital cable baseball package so we got to watch the Mets get whupped by the Brewers.First thing Saturday, I was up and on my way. I did pause to help a family with a flat tire and correct their directions since they had made a wrong turn. Then I parked right in front of The Dakota at 9, right on schedule. Kate was ready, having spent much of the previous 12 hours packing. In just under an hour, we made repeated trips until her dorm was mostly empty and the car was mostly full. Good thing we have the mini-van – she has a lot of stuff.Our drive home was pleasant, with a mix of music from Bruce Springsteen to the Who to Southside Johnny to Elvis Costello keeping us going. She happily knit and chatted as I drove. We got home in plenty of time to have Robbie help us unload before he got ready for his senior prom.Robbie owns his tux and looks pretty cool in it. His date, Kira, was equally cool looking and together they made a wonderful couple. He reports it was a terrific time and he had a memorable experience, returning home at 4 a.m.As a result of Kate’s completion of her sophomore year and Rob being out late, our Mothers’ Day was a quiet affair. The weather kept us from working in the garden, the best gift for Deb. It was also her birthday so we showered her with love, cards and some much appreciated gifts. The rec center was unexpectedly closed so our day was largely chilling as the women knit, I read and Rob was a vegetable. Our dinner was nice and we reverted to form and followed the meal with a few hands of cards.It felt very nice to have everyone together again and all four of us all enjoyed it.