Thursday, November 26, 2015

Road Trip


Thanksgiving 2015 included the ritual drive north, just me this year.  I'd thought seriously about bringing the aging, no-longer-ambulatory dog, however Mr. Bridges kindly agreed to look after her here in Portland.  I drove to my cousin's house, north of Seattle (Everett latitude), departing Portland about 11 AM the day before TG, and arriving about 5 PM.  Traffic from Seattle to Everett was especially thick, with people rushing to get home.  The usual 25 minute commute was 70 minutes, including in HOV lanes.

This morning, on Thanksgiving itself, I followed cousin Mary's Volkswagon south to the University of Washington area, where we picked up Uncle Bill.  We transferred his walker to my trunk at that point, and he rode with me, on southward to Port Orchard, near Bremerton.

The family convened here last year as well, at a pancake house restaurant, but Tara and I, driving north from Portland, got jammed in traffic and met up with relatives later, at Uncle Howard's.  That year it had rained and Howard's old machinery was glistening.  I took lots of pix.

This year, brothers Bo, Howard and Bill were all together.  Their sister Evelyn, my cousin Mary's mother, has passed away, as has Eddy, one of her brothers.  The three uncles were not actually my father's brothers, but by grandmother's sister's sons.  Grandma Esther's sister, Elsie Lightfoot, had five children.  Esther had only one, my dad John Bailey Urner, who went by Jack.  The Urner name comes through my grandpa Carl.

Mary's sister Alice and her husband Steve, another two hours north, were unable to make it this year.  My mom and daughter, as well as stepdaughter Alexia were in their own scenarios.

Bill and I yakked about Boeing some.  They build the 777 in Everett.  Renton builds 737s.  We were not sure where the 787 was being built, but saw one as we drove by Renton.

Carol was most fortunate in that David DiNucci noticed the decrepit state of her walker when she attended Wanderers on Tuesday last week (I had to stay home, as I was teaching a class over optical fiber).  David happened to have a spare walker, ordered somewhat by mistake for his aunt, one with working brakes that met her specifications quite closely.  She was happy to switch to red for awhile, getting the day before she left for California. 

Uncle Bill and I did not remember about his walker in my trunk however, after we left the pancake house and I drove it all the way home before remembering.  He was good humored about it on the phone, having come to the same realization.  I'll send it back to him by UPS.

I tend to think about big picture history and emerging reality (becoming) around this time of year (other times too).  I'm studying about N8V Americans and the history of American peoples through a couple titles on my Amazon reading list.  Meditating on the various narratives is what TG is a lot about for me, starting with my own family's and quickly branching to the world, as all our stories inter-twine.