Rain clouds hang over the valley where my parents live, and I realize my little Ford Ranger is nearing 65mph on the gravel road that leads to their house. Oops. Guess that means I’m excited. Warm lights, dogs, family and lots of happy voices all talking at once pour out of the open door to usher me inside. My mum’s freckled face is shining from heat coming off the stove and hands me a glass of white wine and an apron. To work, then. I all of a sudden remember that it is dark outside and that I have not eaten yet today and decide that I just cannot think of carrying on until mums feeds me. I eat pot roast until I truly feel sick to my stomach. Now to work. Cranberry salad. 4 sets of pie crusts. Mashed potatoes. Talking….lots of talking. Tell me again how you and daddy met and what do you think of this mums??? We all gather around the table and eat stew and fresh baguettes and when we’re done the mums literally throws ice cream sandwiches at different people from across the room. The noisy lot of us move into the living room…wine, whiskey and coffees in hand. The mums has decided that she wants to resurrect a family tradition; each person will teach the rest of the family something. Josh and I decide that we don’t particularly care for this idea. Dad paces back and forth and teaches us the fundamentals of Critical Thinking. The mums pulls out her MAC and teaches the PC literate of us how to make a video with music using your photos. It’s actually totally cool. Reluctantly, I explain the process involved in making a reata. Josh, our token townie and a pastor at our church, looks at me with disgust when I talk about pulling the hide off a cow...everyone laughs when he exclaims “that is just horrible!” Gun safety, dealing with the death of a spouse and a new song are all brought out next. I realize with a start that with every passing year I become more and more nostalgic…my mother is the most nostalgic person I know. Dear Lord, I’m becoming like my mother! I take another sip of wine and decide that this is both good and possibly frightening. Five of us diehards stay up until 1am, discussing theology, arguing the merits of the more peaty, smokey whiskey from the island of Islay (aptly translated Island) and watching Eric Clapton’s Cross Road Festivals DVD. It’s wonderful and amazing and I’m glad to be home. My dad takes me aside as I’m stumbling off to bed and gives me one of those pep talks that only a father can give…those of you who are Daddy’s Girls as well know what I’m talking about. I fall asleep in flannel sheets next to my sister and am thankful to be home.
xo xo Liz