photo by Sheri Dixon

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Family Dinner

Two tables were pushed together at the Indian Restaurant to accommodate the six of us.

Myself, Ward, Alec, and our friends Jordan, Ben and Jason.

And even though our blood relatives are scattered far and wide- my older son, brother and my parents in Wisconsin and my daughter in Virginia, there was a sense of family that can't be denied there at the table.

My mom had called yesterday since she was headed out of town today and through the weekend.

My brother winged me on Facebook this morning.

Dinner with the above cast of characters is like one of those Olive Garden commercials, but not as trendy, and much more irreverent.

The laughing and sharing of food and drink (both offered and snitched), staying just quiet enough to avoid being bounced to the curb, and remaining juuuuuust tactful enough to keep the diners at the other tables from turning green- all made for a sure-enough genuine family dinner that rivaled anything from The Waltons.

When older son Dave and daughter Erika called me during dinner that made it better- because for just a few minutes we were all at the table together if only through the invisible thread of cellular technology.

It's been a long day, in some ways a stressful day as I bang my head against the Social Security "I'm sorry, we've made a mistake- could you please send us $13,000 back" wall. A worrisome day as I watch my 20+ year old little lap-warmer poodle suddenly and alarmingly deteriorate, health-wise. An exciting day talking to the designer and banker about getting things lined up to start long last.

But I've got Ward- getting stronger every day- now and always my Knight in Shining Armor. And Alec- who received his 2nd degree level 3 black belt tonight before dinner, our friends/adopted sons Jordan, Jason and Ben, my son Dave and daughter Erika who both make me proud each and every day, my parents still healthy and feisty, an entire herd of friends (really family) around the world who sent me love and little notes, and life is good.

Last year I made it to the tippy top peak of the half century mark and am officially tipped to the other side, but I'm ok with that.

I'm bullheaded, ornery, impatient, and sarcastic. Yet for some reason I'm surrounded by people who love me in spite of myself. Who could ask for a better gift?

Happy Birthday to me.