A little backstory. Wednesday’s entry was complete fiction, but it was something of a tribute to my sister-in-law, Holly. (Don’t worry – again, this was fiction. My father-in-law’s health is fine.) Holly just spent the last long weekend hosting between fourteen and fifteen people, most of them actually sleeping at her house every night, and only four of them actually belonging to her on a regular basis. She somehow pulls together this amazing three-day-long family gathering every Christmas. Every. Single. Year.
I remember the first year, watching the adult siblings, the three sisters and their brother interact. Watching the family protect careful peace between their divorced parents while making sure their Dad’s wife was also welcome. Watching cousins with anywhere from two to six years difference in age find common ground.
I remember my own tension in comparison to their peace. I remember waiting for it to all explode. After all, in my experience, you couldn’t even lock up my parents, my sister, and I in a house for a whole day without fireworks. Scott’s family had eleven or twelve people the first year I attended the family Christmas. Even though I loved each of them, it was incomprehensible to me that disaster wasn’t imminent.
We’ve gathered every year since (as they had done every year before). Our numbers have only increased. And somehow, things have only gotten better. A large part of that ‘better’ comes from Scott’s eldest sister, who hosts every year. Every. Year. She organizes and plans and makes it mesh. Another part is that Scott and his sisters are genuinely close, in spite of geographical distance and rather drastic political differences between the four of them. And that even though there are thirteen years difference between the oldest cousin, who is eighteen, and the youngest, Sam, who is five, the cousins (all six of them) somehow STILL find common ground. They put on this hilarious annual play (original each time, script written by the kids) that could entertain far more than just our little group.
Anyway, Wednesday’s story incorporated another of Holly’s many characteristics into its body. She’s not just a family gathering planner extraordinaire. She’s also a vice president at her company, the mother of two daughters (eighteen and fifteen), and a creative lady. She did this scratch painting in high school. She did it from a photograph. It’s a picture of their great-grandfather reading the newspaper. The painting is so intricate that it could have been done by a professional, but she made it in high school. Everyone loves to look at it. (No trains – those are because, why not do a train?)
So Wednesday’s story paid homage to those talents. The tale itself is, as I have mentioned twice, COMPLETE FICTION. None of the events or people are real, and the main character really only has those two things in common with Holly, the professional achievement and the scratch painting. So, I hope your holidays were grand. Ours were the best ever this year. And I hope the story resonated with you. (PS – if not, at least there were trains.)
Jessie Powell is the Jester Queen. She likes to tell you about her dog, her kids, her fiction, and her blog, but not necessarily in that order.