Today is my last free day before Tuesday when I'll put myself through the humiliation of airport security, get on a big plane, then a small plane, and at last find myself standing on the Oregon landscape, greeting my siblings - all of them this year! - their spouses, my niece, nephew-in-law, and their two kids, plus the three dogs, of course. My sister has rented a "party van" so we'll only have to take two vehicles up the mountain to the cabin where we celebrated Thanksgiving last year.
We have two cabins this year, within walking distance of each other. This should help everything since as I remember from the last time we all gathered, my family generates a lot of collective energy. Sometimes there is hilarity, sometimes head bashing, sometimes both at the same time. It will be nice to have a way to escape the intensity, if needed.
The last time I saw all my siblings was at my nephew's wedding. It was a really fun weekend seven years ago. Last night I was thinking this is our first gathering as old people. Last time we were definitely middle aged.
Time whips by so fast. Nothing illustrates it as clearly as gathering with people you've known all your life. Just like everyone who has ever lived, I don't feel as old as I am. I like the way I look these days better than I ever have even though I am quite a ways past juicy, slender or pretty. I feel like at last I look like myself. I definitely look like a woman in early old age, a baby crone. So do my sisters. They look great, but you can definitely see the passage of time in their faces, too.
Life is short, yes it is. This is the prevailing thought form as I gather my wits prior to this journey.
Ah the holidays! I'm proud, also relieved, that I've learned how to actually celebrate them, rather than hiding in my room all resentful and bitter like I used to. For heaven's sake.
I greatly look forward to seeing my family, and to the beautiful air, the gorgeous views and the stars up on the mountain.
Feasting, toasting, brawling, boasting - this is what happens when my family gathers. The holiday season is here. Bring it on!
|The trees at Crescent Lake, Oregon, taken last year. We'll be in the same place this year. I can smell the air already.|