The Transfiguration

everything is sacred

Archive for the ‘family’ Category

Gathering of the Day #2622

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Day_2622

For the second year in a row, I’ve hosted Thanksgiving with my family. What that means, mind you, is that I surrendered my kitchen to Michaela and let her prepare a huge chunk of the meal, lending a hand to chop vegetables or fill a pot with water now and then. She made, I hear, I good turkey; I was sated with the baked veggies, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce and mango-topped casserole.

I don’t think I’ve ever celebrated Thanksgiving with Dad, or even – to my memory – shared a meal with both him and Mom, so it was really nice that he made it over tonight, bearing two different kinds of pies. His company made the evening feel more whole than other Thanksgiving dinners have, and I was so used to celebrating each year without him that I didn’t realize how much of a difference it would make.

We ate well and have a generous supply of leftovers for the weekend. I hope your evening went sweetly as well.

light struck from the lemon tree
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Written by Umbrella Man

November 26, 2015 at 11:41 pm

Posted in family, people

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Photo of the Day #2554

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Photo of the Day #2554

Here Dad stands outside our door, sending a photo of the two of us to family in Brazil, while Zinky slouches from the balcony to see what sort of business we’re up to. If you look closely, you can catch Laurel’s fingers clutching her smartphone; a fever knocked her down today, and her only fresh air was a short break sitting outside the glass doors on our balcony.

There are many things that must be done and many things we must distract ourselves with, and I have stayed up late attending to only a few of each.

bzzt swish flrrgh

Written by Umbrella Man

September 20, 2015 at 12:56 am

Thumbs of the Day #2541

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Thumbs of the Day #2541

It’s been another of those days with so many parts that morning feels like it couldn’t possibly be the same day.

– Breakfast with Mom and Michaela to celebrate Mom’s birthday. Mom and Laurel are comparing thumbs here. Michaela and I got Mom some nice electronics for her birthday, but they’re really just small things. I wish we could do more for her.
– Laurel and I assembled the last piece of furniture for the Library, and celebrated with a nap. The sun sifted through our curtain, and the moment was perfect.
– Barbie came to visit. She and Laurel played a terrible Harry Potter game, and then a stale loaf of bread gave us a reason to drive out to the Marina to see the ducks.
– Laurel went off to make new friends at ladies’ comic book night. I stayed home and spent some quality time with Zinky, and Laurel came back happy and tired.

unbreakable

Written by Umbrella Man

September 7, 2015 at 2:03 am

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Mom of the Day #2422

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Mom of the Day #2422

Tonight was the first time my sister and I have been able to treat Mom to a Mother’s Day dinner, and it was wonderful to see her look up with these smiles from time to time during the meal. She chose the three-course Mother’s Day special, all delicately arranged and flavored, but it wasn’t until after the first course that she realized she could document the whole experience. My sister photographed her sushi, which was wrapped in cucumber instead of rice and seaweed, and Mom looked down at her empty plate, reduced to a bit of scattered sauce. She photographed the plate anyway, to preserve a memory of a memory of the taste, which is perhaps the sort of thing I would have done myself.

It’s nice to finally be able to do things like this for Mom.

hands

Written by Umbrella Man

May 10, 2015 at 11:40 pm

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Mother of the Day #2379

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Mother of the Day #2379

We celebrated my step-grandmother Bessie’s 90th birthday. One of her sons, Clint (unfortunately obscured at the left here) hosted the celebration in a classy club beneath a building he owns in San Francisco, and a huge number of Bessie’s friends and family came to celebrate her.

It was a lovely event, with live Irish folk music and delicately presented food. I thought it was so fantastic when the caterers offered platters of deviled eggs and potato salad delivered in pretty leaf bowls with bamboo forks – the family’s traditional foodstuffs made as fancy as possible. The party was absolutely a celebration of the family’s culture, their strength as a clan (or “dynasty”, as someone put it), and everyone paid their thanks to Bessie for bringing them all up and keeping them together.

Not all of Bessie’s children made it tonight, but her dedication in raising so many people is marvelous indeed, and she certainly deserves the massive trophy they gave her before she blew out the candles.

I only see any of these people at big family events. It’s nice to see them all together like this, but I wish I could talk with them individually; all I can ever get is a short catchup, a quick conversation to see where they are in life – no chance to learn who they really are.

It’s still a bit of a miracle to witness these reunions. I’m glad to be here, even if only on the edge.

say that I’m sane

Written by Umbrella Man

March 29, 2015 at 12:39 am

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Photo of the Day #2258

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Photo of the Day #2258

Mom lives so nearby, and I see her so rarely. We at least had Thanksgiving together tonight, hosted at my place for the first time. Michaela came by early in the day, taking on the greatest share of the burden of cooking; Mom and Joe came by later on, each offering a few dishes of their own. I helped a bit here and there, but less than I expected to as host, since everyone else had so many things they wanted to throw in.

We talked about the kinds of things we often do – chemistry and little scientific curiosities, our place in life right now, nonsense about Santa Claus. We watched a movie that, though good, was very much not a family movie, and at the end of the evening we parceled out the bountiful leftovers. Now that everyone’s left, I find that I could have asked them so many more things. So it goes.

Christmas will be with Laurel’s family if things go right, so I will need more than a holiday to see my family again soon.

the magic’s right

Written by Umbrella Man

November 28, 2014 at 2:17 am

Dinner of the Day #2080

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Dinner of the Day #2080

With yesterday’s festivities done, I wanted something quieter for my actual birthday. Laurel and I spent much of the day eating fruit and tasty bread, and in the evening went to Mom’s for dinner – beautiful soup and pesto pasta, with cupcakes my sister whipped up in a mere half hour. I live so close to both of my parents, but Laurel has never met my mom or sister before. I had the opportunity to introduce her to them and to Joe, and we had a lovely evening.

Joe and Laurel both asked if I felt different today, having turned 25, and of course I don’t. We change gradually, imperceptibly slowly; imagine if you lived year by year, accumulating experiences without learning from them, and on your birthday all your new knowledge was suddenly processed in one massive chunk – a sudden, jarring shift in character.

I do feel different from last year. I even wrote myself a tiny letter a year ago, certain then that I would feel better by now, and I do. I can’t imagine what things will be like a year from now, but I’ll get there before I notice it.

when I wake up

Written by Umbrella Man

June 2, 2014 at 11:54 pm

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