Sunday, April 8 – Heritage
Billy Joel, “River Of Dreams”
Wynton Marsalis, “Black Codes (From The Underground)”
e had a very nice
day today. Very, very nice.
We went up to my grandma’s to visit, along with my parents, my sister
and her fiancé.
(Just a side note here – did you know that there are actually two distinctly
different words to mean “someone to whom you are engaged”? A female
who is going to be married is a “fiancée”, but a male who is going
to be married is a “fiancé” (without the extra “e”). I usually
use the first word interchangeably for both circumstances, and I imagine
most people do. How embarrassing – it’s like calling a guy a “waitress”….)
Anyway, we didn’t really have an agenda for the day, no real reason
to be there – we just went to say “hi”. But of course, when going
to grandma’s, there’s always plenty of food – even when she says she’s
not going to cook, she cooks. I think she cooks a bunch of stuff
on a regular basis just on the off chance that someone might drop in unexpectedly.
So, amid the breaded steak (very good stuff, by the way) and ham barbeques
and cake and cookies and everything else, we all just sat around and talked.
Mostly we talked about our family, which was kind of fun since two of the
people (my wife and my sister’s fiancé-without-the-extra-“e”) hadn’t
heard the stories before (for example – the relative of ours who makes
the Beverly Hillbillies look civilized).
But the day got even more fun after we left. We drove around
the area just for fun, and my dad showed us his stomping grounds as a kid
– where his elementary school was (alas, it’s not there anymore), where
he used to play baseball, where the old fishin’ hole was (yes, there really
was one). Then we all stopped at a candy store – I know; real mature
of us – and bought was too much chocolate and jellybeans and those funny
edible wafer things that have tiny candy balls in them (my wife’s choice).
Finally, we finished it off at Hardee’s, which is basically the same restaurant
as the Carl’s Jr.’s that we hadn’t seen since we left San Diego – that
burger pretty much satisified any longing we may have had for anything
I think my wife was really impressed with the whole day. I know
she’s really felt like she has become a part of my family-of-origin, even
from before we were married. But I think today really solidified
it for her. I think it solidified for me, too, that I have a place
in this world that is far beyond where I go to work every day, and even
beyond the baby that tags along with us – that we’re all really part of
a legacy. And hopefully someday that baby will think it’s cool when
I show him where I used to play little league baseball, or the places we
used to hang out before our high school football games.
And he’ll certainly think that we’re both insane – at least until he’s
old enough to appreciate it. Kind of like I am now.