Sunday, November 22, 2009


One of the worst things I do in this blog is generalize. My cousin Jimmy (always Jimmy, never Jim and certainly not James) said the broad strokes were basically right. My caveat is always that I am not a writer but a liar, and so keep myself off the inevitable hook of accurate historians (not Jimmy, he was great about reading my account of his family's history and mine.) Anne Lamott says she is careful what she writes about the living. As people pass, they fall under the pen, which we all know, is mightier than the pencil.

I am in Arcata tonight, attending the funeral of my aunt tomorrow, spending the days and the evenings with cousins I haven't seen since the last funeral. I look at thier children, some named for those gone before, everyone looking more than a little bit alike. I am the only one from my shrinking clan who is present this evening. Allegedly, my brother will be here tomorrow. I hope so. We say things like: We've got to stop meeting like this. But this is how we meet, we 50 somethings. This is the social calendar of an aging family. And I wonder if the younger among us understand what a family we were, what spectacular people preceded us in death, how blessed those of us left behind are to have been a part of this whole.

I talk alot about the differences between my side and their side of the family, but what I usually forget to mention is that it never mattered. For instance, when my cousin Gary showed up and I told him I had moved to Portand and he said, "That bastion of liberalism." I just said, "Yeah, buddy!" and we both laughed. What is true is that I have no idea the politics beyond those who make it my business.

On a different note, Duffy is learning to poop while leashed. He isn't very happy about ithe indignity of it all, but as I was about to give in and let him off-leash, four fat raccoons slipped under the fence and stood drooling, still as stone, awaiting a single moment of inattention and a late night snack. Duffy, a ratter by trade, was thrilled to see them, and wanted to attack. I'd always heard that terriers are big dogs in a little dog's body, but didn't realize what that level of fearlessness would look like in action. He does not seem to think taking on four adult size raccoons is imbalanced.


asha said...

"I am not a writer but a liar"

Exactly. Reminds me of a group of mystery writers I met at a writer's conference. They told me that they wrote because they like to kill people but didn't want to go to jail, not that I'm saying you're a killer or anything.

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