A week of family

by dixie

“The Boston flight is tight and I’m exhausted. I think I’m going to choose the path of sanity for once and stay [in DC]. Also, I need to cook my hosts meatloaf.”
— my journal, 14 April 2014

The Monday after Baltimore I’d planned on taking a day trip to Boston to see a friend and offer the city a slightly longer hello than I’d been able to offer the last time I was there. When my alarm went off I blearily looked at boarding totals and decided it was close enough to the line that it would be way better to take the morning on sleep, yoga, and running than chance spending the day in IAD.

Taking a day to breathe was refreshing. I noticed the seasons starting to turn in DC. On my way to yoga I could smell the thunderstorms in the air.

Baltimore kicked off a week of family: big celebrations, small celebrations, connections, and reunions. When people ask why I don’t visit the US often, I mention the fact that everyone is scattered everywhere and it becomes a problem of where to go and who to talk to. I got to go everywhere on this trip, seeing most of my immediate family and getting to reconnect with people I’d lost touch with, what I’d call “chosen” family.

Closer than friends but not related by blood, chosen family encompasses people I have known for a very long time as well as people who have more or less stuck to my life through the years. There’s nothing I wouldn’t do for this group of people, even though they aren’t related by blood or marriage or anything other than shared experiences. It might be because one has to have something in common to start off with before this kind of relationship forms, so you already have something to talk about. This isn’t always the case with standard family.

So I went from Baltimore, with an excess of blood relations, to a quiet Monday evening with my sister in which I finally cooked dinner as promised. (It was my award winning meatloaf with haricots verts and mash.) I enjoy spending time with my sisters now that we’re all grown up. The next day I visited someone I consider just as close, but who I actually did a lot of growing up with, part of my chosen family instead. Thursday (this time it actually will publish on time) I’ll tell you about my brief trip to Denver.