Last night I made a Shepherd's Pie.
I don't know about you but I consider
a juicy mound of meat and veggies
slathered in gravy, covered with a
cloud of mashed potatoes sheer bliss.
All I did was re purpose the other day's
roast yet "leftovers" does not describe
this culinary delight. My problem was
that it was HUGE. More than enough
for four versus two. Quickly my issue
was solved. I picked up the phone and
invited Frank's Brother "B" and better
half "S" for an impromptu dinner.
It worked out for the best given "S"
had just returned from a trip and her
cupboards were bare. So within less
than a half an hour we were sitting at
our table. What could be as satisfying
as sharing "comfort" food with those
you love? Living in Lewistown has
many benefits but the greatest is our
close proximity to family. After years
of living thousands of miles away, it's
wonderful to finally be able to share
our home with those dearest and now
thankfully nearest. What a blessing!
For most of my adult life I've lived
far from family. Immediately after
my marriage, my parents retired and
moved eight hours away. Soon after
I moved my family to Chicago. Post
divorce my career took me to many
other cities across the country. Hence
I've been geographically (and at times
emotionally) separated from my kids
for most of their lives. There is a big
difference between talking to one's
child face-to-face versus chatting via
the telephone. It simply isn't the same.
Looking back, the loss of intimacy
wasn't worth the distance. While
relocation benefited my career, it
seriously impacted my ability to
have a natural relationship with my
kids. It's normal to wake up daily
in your Dad's house but abnormal
to have to fly hours just to do your
homework. When my parents aged
we grew closer. As their primary
care giver they moved with me.
While Ethel didn't love the location,
she adored living close by her boys.
The other day my eldest child had a crisis.
After some long distance parental advice,
"E" overcame her conflict and happily
everything worked out. I was more than
happy to help. However due to the miles
apart, I couldn't give her a hug. Or see the
relief on her face once all was settled. So
instead I play the role of a mythical Santa.
Mysteriously bestowing gifts from afar.
Yes, I could hop on a plane. But that's just
be a visit. Staying in a nearby hotel will
never be the same as being thier neighbor.
If only we could all live in one place!
For years my children have slept in a
guest room. Yet they are much more
than infrequent visitors. They are my
flesh and blood - part of me. Sadly
we were separated many years ago
and hence one doubts a true familial
intimacy can ever exist. Both of my
sons angrily resent that very sad fact.
And while their purposeful absence
from my life is painful, I've learned
to live with it. You see, we can only
do our best and if that's not enough,
so be it. Gone but NOT forgotten!
Home away from home
My youngest daughter "M" and her
beau are coming to Montana for
Thanksgiving. This will be the first
time she sees her new "home." I've
planned nothing beyond gathering
our combined families for a turkey
dinner. All I really want to do is relax
and let things flow naturally. Little
things like watching a movie or just
napping on the sofa are what family
is all about. While I doubt she'll ever
move to Lewistown, at least for a few
days mi casa sera su casa!