I am sitting here typing this with one hand, because I have a cat draped across my shoulder. Sherman is hanging on for dear life, trying to reassure himself that we have really returned and all is well again.
He and Buffy and the deer have all been well cared for by our cat sitter. She comes in twice a day to feed all who are hungry and does a great job. It is such a pleasure to arrive home and find an account of how the cats and deer have been doing in our absence.
We had a visit from an eight point buck just before dark today. He is the first we have seen since hunting season began. I think he has finally realized that this is a no hunting area. Tonight there has been a steady stream of deer visiting the feeding station. I could see their eyes glowing in the darkness while I was barbecuing steaks for supper.
Our Thanksgiving holiday was filled with all of the various activities that ten people can come up with. Feasting and shopping and reminiscing and telephoning all who are in far places filled the hours from early in the morning to late at night.
We gathered in Raleigh from distant places for two days of constant activity and feasting. Most of us ate more than we should, but we all had a great time. We all departed this morning, leaving our hosts to enjoy relative peace and quiet again.
This southeastern branch of our family is close geographically but widely disparate in careers and attitudes. Two days of togetherness is plenty of time to explore our current mutual interests. We are somewhat like orbiting bodies whose paths are linked to some distant center point established long ago and since vacated. We come together and recall what we can of the past, but do not attempt to recreate it.
There are other branches of my family where the family members keep much tighter orbits. More than fifty family members in northern Massachusetts lived within a twenty mile radius and they used to gather almost every summer weekend for a family barbecue. Although I love them dearly, I visited them infrequently as my career path took me on much wider swings around the country.
My immediate family is linked mostly by phone. My sister and I lived at great distances from each other for many years and led very separate lives with little contact for months at a time. As we moved into our golden years, we found we have much in common and are often on the phone to each other at the first impulse to call. Her children and my children lead interestingly varied lives that have taken them to all corners of this country. We hear from them as infrequently as our parents heard from us.
In future Thanksgivings I feel we will see them more frequently as they begin to have children of their own. I know that’s when I started connecting back up to my family.
Time to end this off. I have a cat who is trying to coax me to leave. He wants to sleep on my office chair. See you all later.