We took a road trip to Manitoba.
It was beautiful and hot - and there were no mosquitoes there - much to my surprise. We went for a family wedding - Neil's side. His side of the family is incredibly tight, and it has been fun as an outsider these past 15 years to watch them operate.
Honestly? i left my computer at home on purpose... Too much on my mind to be able to sift & blog coherently. Sometimes you gotta live before you can digest & tentatively choose if you're able to put out your embryonic ideas for the world to see in all their vulnerability.
So this week, i lived.
But i took notes - hastily scrawled bits and pieces as they came to me: country music, divorce, marriage, children, wonderings, a small bit of a character sketch for my next novel - if it ever decides it wants to be written.
i wondered about leaving off this blog forever... if maybe now was the right time to put an end to this tiny honest wondering place... But now i have been home for less than an hour - and as my boys sleep around me, and my brother in law's family finds spots in our home to lay their weary bones down for the night - i decided that maybe it's not quite time yet. Maybe there are more words to say - more ideas to explore - more of His Goodness to declare... here.
So in this quiet pitta pat rainy night - as midnight creeps closer - i'll tell you one tiny story from my days away.
We got to see Elmer. And for whatever reason - with Elmer, i'm not an outsider. His still strong hands are getting old, and the hair i used to trim for him is becomming more white than grey. i noticed he had put on a little weight, but for the most part, it seems Elmer never changes. (Neither do his neices and nephews, for that matter - as they gathered for a picture, Neil grabbed the white cane out of his hands to smack his brother with).
Elmer's a popular guy at these family gatherings... but i managed to squeeze in and steal his attention for a minute or two... After a moment, he commented casually, "Hey, Paige - i wonder why those two got away on you? If you hadn't lost those two babies, you would have nine, wouldn't you?"
And sometimes - family is predictable in a comforting sort of way... Sometimes the sameness of your conversations become like a well travelled road. There is a certain sweetness in the familiarity of exploring that shared past with someone who remembers. And so i took that walk with him.... there in that crowded backyard as his words lifted me to another time and place - because even still - i know those babies changed me, and i think on some level, he must know that too - & that's why he'll never, ever stop bringing them up.
The next day as he left the hotel, he tossed over his shoulder, "i'll talk to Cairo next week..."
And he will.
And they'll talk about what we all had for dinner and what instruments she likes to play, and if she helps around the house. And they'll prune that tiny familar conversational path as they meander along it, building memories of their own....