Tomorrow I leave for Spokane to visit the troops at my brother Grant's house (he's the tall one in the middle). It's going to be hotter there than it is in Portland but it looks like the evenings cool down more than they do in Portland. I hope so. I don't like heat. I think I've mentioned that before. When it's hot, my skin feels awful and I'd rather be soaking in a cold pool than sitting by the pool. There will be no pool where I'm going--only sprinklers for the kids to run around in--so I'm bringing a couple of small fans, my hat, my sunblock, and the lightest knitting I can muster and still be able to carry on a conversation: Opal Lollipop socks. If the house is cool enough, I hope to get in a few games of pinochle, cribbage, and dominoes with my siblings. I know my brother-in-law Dick is looking forward to playing cards with me. We always have a good time together.
The one thing I hope we don't do is talk politics, though if there is any politic talking going on, I hope it's with my brother Doug. He's a riot to listen to and can outargue my third brother Larry and his religious right leanings. My sister Pam stays out of such discussions, preferring to keep the peace, while my sister Shirley gamely tries to hold her own (she's on the religious right too). But if I know my brother Grant, he'll be wanting to keep the peace at his house and lay the rules down on the chief contenders. We've had gatherings that were pretty peaceful and others where some of us have taken refuge away from the chief offenders. Typical in any family, really.
I'm lucky to have the family I have. I came out to them in 1999 and none have turned me away from their home because of my orientation. My younger relatives embrace me as the fun aunt, the woman not afraid to show cool stuff or do fun things. Unless I'm at the point where I'm unable to move myself, I'll be racing up and down the corridors at the nursing home in my chair and tweaking the butts of orderlies and teaching my great-grand nieces and nephews silly songs to drive their parents crazy. I refuse to grow up to be a grump. Hee hee!