Friday, November 23, 2012

My Pie Family

(A cat on the lap and all is well.)

Deep mist suffused everything today, blotted out any vision farther than a few hundred yards in any direction. Everything dripped — even the gold-finches at the feeder. Even the sole hummingbird sipping nectar. This is full-on autumn, with winter beginning to show its blue light at the horizon.

Yesterday, at a Thanksgiving table with sixteen others, I listened to the waves of conversation alternately ripple up to a passionate roar, then trickle down to near silence. Someone suggested we name our favorite movies, and a title would be announced, with the ensuing discussion and good-natured arguments: again the tide of voices cresting, then easing off.  In such a crowd, it was easy to slip into silence unnoticed, easy to be the observer.

But of course, I had my dramatic moments, as when I wrestled (so to speak) the crow/cat/fir-cone story away from my son. (It was my story.) With a few emptied wine glasses trailing behind me, I performed (I think) a fairly good impression of my very large cat pressed up against the glass panel of my front door in his attempt to escape being lobbed-at by a cone-pitching crow.

When it was time for dessert, seven pies were laid out down the center of the table along with a VERY LARGE bowl of whipped cream: one cranberry-apple, two sweet potato, two pecan, one pumpkin and one pumpkin with a pecan streusel. Be still my pie heart!

I lapsed into silence again.
I slipped into my invisible dessert bubble so that I could eat pie undistracted. 

This was yet a new version of family, a rearrangement of old friends and new, of friends that I consider family, of sons, and friends of friends. It was as if someone took a good portion of the people I've known/met during the past 26 years, put them in a bag, and shook out sixteen of them to sit together for Thanksgiving dinner. I was delighted to be among the invited.

In the middle of it all (and sitting at a middle seat at that long table), I was reminded of something that my late mother-in-law used to say:

"You reach a certain age, you get to choose your own family."

Indeed.
She was right.

But the really lucky part, for me, is that my "family" is a big one: blood, near-blood, not-blood, near, not-near, breathing, passed-on.

And then there are all of you.
You know who you are.

Shall we have pie?

17 comments:

  1. Oh dear. I see you have a spam invader above!!!

    I've never seen the appeal of Pumpkin Pie. But give me a Lemon Meringue Pie, and I'd follow you to the ends of the earth.

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    1. Cro, Lemon Meringue Pie is a slice of heaven, for sure.

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  2. I remember as a child sitting in the m midst of the wave of voice, letting it wash over me, while I ate my mashed potatoes or my punkin pie.

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    1. Joanne, sounds like a wonderful memory. Felt like I relived a bit of my childhood Thanksgiving this year!

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  3. I lapsed into pie coma myself -- merely the tried and true pumpkin. And it makes a wonderful breakfast as well. With a cup of fresh group Columbian beans from the local shop.

    Sounds like a good time all around, T. I am, and have been, thankful for our friendship for quite some time now. oxox

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    1. Tara, that's my kind of breakfast! xo

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  4. your mother-in-law's words remind me of what a dear friend, now gone, used to say to me when i agonized about family, Christmas, etc etc. "Suze: when we were young, we thought we could change the world. and now we know better. seems to me, the very least we can do, is make our own holidays..."
    Amen. pie R us.

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  5. As a friend said once, "Turkey, pie -- really you don't need anymore than that for it to be Thanksgiving!"

    She really loves both turkey and pie.

    I'm so glad you had a splendid dinner - day.

    Love, C.

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    1. C., that's why I love T-Giving so much: it's all about, and only about, food.

      Yum.

      T.

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  6. Friday was pie for breakfast, pie for lunch, whipped cream galore. A little pie madness is good for the soul. xo

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    1. Marylinn, pie madness is the best kind imaginable. My younger son managed, somehow, to take home the remains of the larger pie. Harumph!

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  8. I'm late here to the pie but hope there's still some left for me! And your description of your raucous Thanksgiving dinner was awesome --

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    1. Elizabeth, there's always pie for you!

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  9. Such a beautiful rendering of the day. I can see, hear, taste.

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    1. Ah, Angella, lovely that you've stopped by!

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