"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Our Family of Friends

Over this weekend, I've had opportunities to experience and cherish the familial qualities of friendships.

On Friday night, the Chap and I attended a dinner party in the new home of a friend--who, a mere three weeks after his moving day welcomed nineteen people to his abode. The group consisted of bishop's canons (one of whom is a former monk), a priest, a future priest, diocesan staffers with spouse or partner, a pre-teen, two little girls, and a mom-to-be with a lovely round belly. The food, frivolity, fondness, and fellowship was definitely that of a family group. We shared jokes and histories as we indulged in delicious dishes. The woodstove kept us warm, candles burned everywhere, and the house was blessed with laughter.

Included in this gathering was a pair of young Border collies, visiting from Massachusetts--only seven months old yet extremely mature and well-behaved. On entering the house, we were greeted by Basil, the black one with white markings.

Here's his litter-mate, Willow, the white one with black markings.

They were the calmest young Border collies I've ever seen, comfortable with adults and children of all ages, as patient and sweet as they could be.

Yesterday everyone at the Lodge slept late. It was a quiet, catching-up sort of day. In the afternoon, when I put the girls outside they--and I--spotted our friend the snowshoe hare. Our "big brown bunny" is now completely white! But it's a dangerous colour to be at the moment, because he stands out a little too well against the present brownness of the surrounding landscape. I worry about how vulnerable he is to predators.

Last evening, the Chap and I drove to the city to see a performance by The Capitol Steps. It was the annual fundraiser for an affordable housing nonprofit. And because I happen to be married to the Chairman of its Board of Directors, I was privileged (and required!) to attend the pre-show reception.

There I encountered more than a few members of my new political "family". The notables included several current and former State Representatives, at least one State Senator, a former U.S. Ambassador, the daughter and grandchildren of a U.S. Congressman, and various local luminaries. The sell-out crowd departed with sides aching from constant laughter. The performers were in excellent voice, their sketches as fresh as the week's headlines.

This morning we joined our parish family in our little church in the neighbouring village. Our priest's sermon, coincidentally, touched upon exactly the sort of relationships that enhanced our weekend activities. With our blood relatives so scattered and distant, we truly have built a family from our circle of friends.

Right now Ruth and Lola are waiting for me to step away from the desktop computer and curl up on the sofa with Sunday papers and my portable keyboard.

The world outside is grey and cold, and a storm is closing in. Time to light a fire and snuggle with warm beasties and plan a "comfort food" menu for tonight's dinner.

For the safety of our snowshoe hare, the pleasure of the ski enthusiasts, and our state's weather-dependent economy, we welcome the snowfall predicted for the next 24 hours. Monday will be a wonderful day to hibernate, and if I don't get lots of writing done, then something is very, very wrong with me!

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