?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Thanksgiving

This was another year of transition. It was nine years ago or so that my parents sold their house in Portland, and we started having Thanksgiving at their house in Central Oregon. This year they finally agreed to move back to Portland, so they bought a condo in the Pearl District. Because the condo isn't big enough for a Thanksgiving feast with both my mom's family and my aunt's family, we had it at my cousin's house in Beaverton. Then my dad wasn't feeling up to snuff because of the disruption of his schedule (or maybe as a protest against the changes), so he didn't come to the Thanksgiving dinner.

Well, there are a lot of dimensions to all this, with perhaps the main one being the aging of my parents. So many of my friends have lost parents in the past few years that it just heightens the feeling of transitoriness. Plus my sister-in-law just lost a brother-in-law to a sudden heart attack at age 61, and her other brother-in-law was diagnosed with terminal cancer. That would leave me as the last of her brother-in-laws, which is a weird feeling.

Still, it wasn't actually all gloom and a sense of impending mortality. For one thing there was little Celine, only eight months old and still fresh to this life thing. She's my niece's daughter. Also, I'm looking forward to spending time in Portland again after almost a decade away. This time I took advantage of the opportunity to finally visit Dan and Lynn Steffan, for the first time since they moved out here from Virginia over six years ago. I also hope to reconnect with old college friends in future visits. A bunch of us hiked over to Forest Park one day, and walked around Oak Bottom another day. My sister is trying to build up her hiking muscles in anticipation of hiking across England next April.

As usual there were plenty of jokes and laughter, teasing and stories. My nephews didn't spend much time with us, as they had other fish frying in Corvallis and Eugene, where they are respectively going to college. My niece and great niece were around every day, but in some ways it felt like we were returning to the old family unit before marriage and kids. A year of transition, which left me feeling a weird, restless longing underneath the happy sense of connection and belonging.

Comments

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
ron_drummond
Nov. 29th, 2011 06:55 pm (UTC)
I continue to find your family tales tender and very moving. I might not read all of your work (it sometimes really bothers me that I don't read more of it), but pretty much every time I do I'm reminded very sweetly that you have become, indeed have for some time been, one of my favorite writers. Bless you, my friend.
randy_byers
Nov. 29th, 2011 07:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks, Ron. I couldn't help thinking of your dad over the weekend. Hope your Thanksgiving was a good one.
holyoutlaw
Nov. 29th, 2011 07:16 pm (UTC)
I like your meditations on family as well.

There's a book about Forest Park the library has. It sounds really wonderful.

http://seattle.bibliocommons.com/item/show/2706450030_one_citys_wilderness

randy_byers
Nov. 29th, 2011 07:24 pm (UTC)
I'm sure you'd find the park fascinating. We spotted a huge wooden contraption on a creek right before a culvert at an entrance to the park, and we wondered what it was. I guessed it was meant to trap garbage, and one of my sister's guide books confirmed the guess. I didn't spot ivy or other invasives, but my eye might not be as attuned as yours.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

April 2017
S M T W T F S
      1
2345678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Lilia Ahner