Every reunion needs a moment to tuck away for laughing over together at the next one.
We were not far from a ski resort. The cabin had a small square patio overlooking a noisy rocky creek below (I heard it. I heard it! It was loud, too!) and in our childhoods that patio was hemmed in by iron railings whose top rail bowed halfway down at the center as if it had been designed to scallop like that. Gram explained to us back in the day that that was from the weight of the snow.
Those railings are gone now and instead there was modular outdoor seating along the three outer sides. We filled it up. Another square of it was put at the fourth side closer to the cabin with a small round table top placed on top; throw in some folding chairs next to it and we were able to squeeze everybody who was there that night into the space for a barbecue. (More cousins arrived the next morning while some had to leave. Me, I went down the mountain for the night and back up the next day, that altitude was pretty high.)
Two of the men were sitting on that table top and then one got up to refill his dinner plate.
Which is how they found out it wasn’t nailed down: the instant see-saw flipped Grant and sent him flying across me, food airborne and fruit juice down my side. I, at the same time, for once in my life managed to gracefully move my own cup of juice out of his way in time so as not to nail him in kind. He is so not a klutz and I so much am and the role reversal was quite the show. He picked himself quickly off my lap while making sure I was okay.
We all guffawed (since it was clear nobody was hurt). Grant, between laughs, apologized for soaking me and I told him, In this air? I’ll be dry in five minutes.
I knew I should be taking pictures of the aspen and spruce towering around us, the majestic trees of the rocky mountains, so gorgeous, but I just couldn’t pull myself out of the moment to focus on a camera lens. I just wanted to breathe it into my bones, the love, the place, the memories, the new ones we were making, to bring it all home and always have it.
Saturday night there was another barbecue, this time at my niece’s with all her cousins’ generation invited who could come as well as her mom and me. Where I saw for the first time in my life monster Campfire marshmallows, big enough to make any kid happy for a long time. I told my skunk story. Eric asked me how I wanted mine cooked–and then went, Oh, of course: burnt!
Yes! I laughed.
And then dinner with my son, my sisters, and more of our kids at our parents’ for one last meal together Sunday night, celebrating a niece’s birthday before my flight.
Richard always gets to the airport a bit early to wait at park-and-call but this time he wasn’t there yet. I didn’t wait too long but I was a little surprised. One person who’d been on the plane walked past me, still dressed for a hundred plus degrees as she walked into the chilly Oakland breeze and I caught her eye and nodded, Back to the cold.
She laughed–and then stopped and asked if I needed a ride home. I thanked her but I was fine. She totally blew me away with her kindness–I was a long way out, not that she knew that. But she had decided on the spot that it wouldn’t matter if I were, she would do it. Wow.
Richard pulled up a few minutes later asking if I were up to driving. Sure!
Turns out he’d had to pull off the road to barf. RICHARD! Oh I’m SO sorry! I could have called Phyllis or someone and gotten a ride, you didn’t have to…!
It actually hadn’t occurred to him. He’d been so focused on doing right by me that he hadn’t been paying any attention to himself.
He’s a sweetheart and I got him home and put to bed quickly while I typed out that brief post to say I was back.
And that will be a story to tell the next time, too. He missed me. I missed him. And we took good care of each other.
2 Comments so far
Leave a comment
Leave a comment
Line and paragraph breaks automatic, e-mail address never displayed, HTML allowed:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>