Putting Down Roots


finding families
September 1, 2011, 11:07 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

When I was getting ready to leave camp, several people asked if I would be “going home,” and I never really had an answer for them. It sounds awfully weepy to talk about “not having a home,” but it’s very much true in my life right now: my mother lives in a lovely quaint town that I’ve visited but never inhabited, my father’s incarcerated, and my stepmother’s across the country. I’ve got things in storage in Wisconsin, Atlanta, Florida, and a small hall cupboard in Maine, but most of what I need is piled on top of a spare dresser (it’s in transit, too) in Libby’s family’s living room. I’ll have a job and a direction within the week (Lord willing and the creek don’t rise), but for now there’s nowhere, precisely, where I’m supposed to be.

The wonderful thing about this is that, instead of making me feel rootless and lonely and sad, it just makes me feel like the whole world ought to be my home. It’s working out pretty well for me.

Tonight, for example, was the Glenn Family Annual Fondue Dinner, which always happens the night before the first day of school, or the night after the first day of school, or somewhere nearish the first day of school, anyways. (No one can fully explain why fondue is the food of choice, except that it’s a special sort of food, and Mary wanted to cook a special sort of food for a special sort of day).

As I’ve done with gusto for five years, I’ve been making myself at home with Libby’s family. Tonigh, the two Labradoodles needed walking before dinner, so I took them through the park, and came back in time to do some cooking. Mostly I stirred the pot. There was a wonderful moment when, besides Mary (the mum), the people cooking were me, Megan (brother Matt’s wife), and Boy Laurie (sister Laurie’s boyfriend), none of whom are Glenns by blood. For dinner, we all squeezed around the table: two Glenn parents, three Glenn children, one wife, one boyfriend, one friend (me) and one other person named Rupert who I never could figure out but who may also be living in the house with us (he might be the one I saw, bleary-eyed, when I went to brush my teeth the other morning, but that might be yet another person). We dipped homemade bread and homegrown veggies in the cheese fondue, and tried unsuccessfully to keep from getting cheese drips in one another’s water and wine glasses. We had dinner table conversation that ranged from breatfeeding to falconry to the government of the Boston Harbor Islands to the potential for someone to come back to life after being frozen for a while in the mountains. We ate two desserts and had the obilgatory almost-argument about how to serve them (it was a serve-yourself versus one-person-cuts-pie-one-person-scoops-cobbler-one-person-scoops-ice-cream battle, and the second option won). It was all very family-ish.

Someday, I would really like to have a home, but for the time being, there’s so much joy in being a wanderer who works nudging my way into lots of different families.

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