Nancy is the newest member of the Caskey side of my family. My mom was a Caskey and had two brothers: Tim and John. Between my night in Baltimore and my weekend in Santa Ana, I spend about 40 hours in Omaha with the Caskey side.

Nancy is a Newfoundland — just over a year old and a part of the family since Christmas. She’s wonderful. She’s also huge. That really is a sofa behind her. (And for those who care about such things, Nana, the Darling family pet in Peter Pan, is a Newfoundland.)

I loved getting to meet her, of course. I am, after all, a “dog person” and she is a great dog who loved to play catch with snowballs in the front yard and who is a better than average foot-warmer when we were sitting around waiting for the next event.

More than that, I loved getting to see and spend time with my family. Oh, not everyone made it on the schedule (4 of the “kids” are in college and one part of the family lives a couple hours away in DesMoines), but my expectations were exceeded. Supper at Village Inn on Tuesday and then dessert back at Tim & Gladys house plus Wednesday day back out at that house and then supper back in Omaha gave opportunity to at see almost everyone.

And I got to go to coffee at McDonald’s with John and his friends with whom he has coffee more days than not and has done so for more than 15 years. He met most of them having coffee. I felt like I was a guest on Seinfeld at the cafe, except I liked these people better.

I really do need to get there more often than I do. Isn’t that what planes are for?