Friday, May 29, 2009

New Family

At the time of this writing, I'm a couple hours away from heading off to a cabin with my wife and daughter for the weekend. The occasion is Eric and Zoe's wedding. For those not in my circle, Zoe is my sister-in-law, and Eric is her fiancé, Liberty's former boss, and a budding friend to myself.

My other sister-in-law, Dominique, came down with her husband Willie, daughter Sequoia, and son Arlo and stayed with us for a few days. They live in Vermont, and came down for the wedding. Liberty offered them lodging, naturally, and I set about a day-long frenzy of getting the mainly unused downstairs bedroom and bathroom in tolerable shape to handle guests, washing dishes and clothes, cleaning grout, vacuuming, and stocking the house with food. During the early stages of that I managed to throw my back out, and I had previously told Liberty to go hang out with her sister and play while I did all the preparation. So it was very exciting when I was alone and faced with pulling mattresses and boxsprings out of the basement one handed while scooting myself slowly up the stairs, wincing in pain all the while - the ordeal reminded me of countless bad action movie sequences where the hero is injured and crawling slowly to the just-out-of-reach weapon while the villain rants and spouts soliloquies. Not being a big sissy boy, I got through it and the house was in tolerable shape by the time our "company", as we say down South, arrived.

Over the last few days I've been attempting to bond with the new family members. We hung out at the zoo one day, had a nice dinner at Carrabba's (with Mom Allerding, Zoe, Eric, and his two sons), took a walk with Heidi, went swimming, and spent a lot of time chatting over the kitchen table. While the girls were out, I shared some brew with Willie and we talked guy stuff. When the other adults, Scout, and Arlo were all out, I took Stacey and Sequoia out shopping, where they frugally spent about $50 between them on clothes either "cool" or "cute", talked about boys, and ate ice cream. It was fun to watch my daughter and niece interact, and I'm glad they got a chance to meet each other and hang out while they're both still kids. In fact, things went so well between them that I felt no need to perform my usual attempts at being witty and charming to entertain kids - there was hardly any dead air to fill anyway.

Today Dominique and the rest of our guests are headed up to the resort where the wedding will take place (I'm assuming it's some sort of resort - I know it has cabins, at least), so the house will lose the charm of being filled with vacationing family. We'll be concentrating on celebrating the new marriage for the next couple of days, and then saying our goodbyes, but I look forward to a future trek up North for us to see them again.

The poetic, insightful prose is just not flowing out of me today, but I think I've said everything well enough. Everyone had fun, we did things, there were no emotional upheavals beyond tired kids. Some Mario Kart was involved.

Lastly, check out the awesome-town that is the Pirahã people

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