Take me home, country road


‘You can pick your friends, and you can (urk) pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose’

Apologies for the less-than-elegant subhead, but it seemed perfect for this piece. So I just had to (urk again) pick it.

See, we just spent another glorious Columbus Day Weekend in glorious Upstate New York with friends we must certainly have ‘picked’ most carefully, since we have been together for decades now. For the purposes of this story, and to protect their identity and their feelings (though they both hate social media and are sure never ever to even glimpse this story; why, they wouldn’t even click on it if I sent them the link), they shall be known here as J & P.

Truckin’. Even the trip Upstate has its charms. Here we are in the ‘passing’ lane

We do this thing where we go to Their Place for Columbus Day, and they come to Our Place for Thanksgiving. This has been going on since The Child was an actual child — she learned how to ride a bike at J & P’s; also how to drive (sort of) in a thing they called the ‘Ute’ (for ‘utility vehicle’) — so it made me a tad Mom Sad that she didn’t join us this year.

I looked and looked for this really cute photo of The Child learning to ride her bike on this very road, and couldn’t find it. So this’ll have to do. Couldn’t find the Ute shot either, darn it

But time marches on, as is its wont. The Child is now A Grownup (though I refuse to re-nickname her that) and had her own carefully-picked friends to hang out with this nice long weekend.

But back to the picking-your-friends-to-be-like-family thing. As you Faithful Readers know by now, I do have a most marvelous family. I was exclaiming on the phone to my mother just the other day how lucky I feel to not only get along with my various and sundry family members — even my by-marriage ones — but to actually look forward to seeing them. It’s amazing to me — and my mother — how many people we know who don’t like their sister or hate their brother or can’t stand their (gulp!) mom.

So, our ‘adoption’ of J & P as honorary family members does not mean that we find our blood relations in any way faulty. J & P are rather the icing on the family cake, as it were. And as you may recall from an earlier story of mine involving my Middle Younger Brother Roger, I definitely believe that your family is who you think your family is.

Me, as the turkey in a Thanksgiving Sandwich. On the left is real-relation ‘P’ (The Dude’s sister). On the right is hand-picked-relation ‘P’ of this story

Just how close are we? J & P and We have watched the Oscars in our jammies in a hotel room in Telluride. We’ve marched around Cape May stalking birds at dawn. We’ve been jolted awake by celebratory fireworks in a farmhouse in the middle of a vineyard during harvest time.

J & P know what I look like without under-eye concealer, and either of them would be my first choice to escort me home from a colonoscopy. Granted, like other family members, even the really-related ones, they are less than perfect. They do things like eat in bed and vote for Trump. And even my idiosyncratic Uncle Arlyn doesn’t eat in bed.

Speaking of eating. Dig the Dude’s cowboy steak bone, foreground. And yes, that smiley face belongs to J

But love them we do. And look forward to seeing them on both big Days, Columbus and Thanksgiving. Any other time in between, for that matter.

So, J & P. You will no doubt never clap eyes on this post, but I thank you anyway. For another gobsmackingly gorgeous Columbus Day. And for being part of our chosen family. See you two turkeys at Thanksgiving!

May the sun never set on our friendship

New York City. October 2017


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21 thoughts on “Take me home, country road

  1. Unbound Roots

    You are lucky to have the close relations you do; with both friends and family. There’s nothing more special than love between people (yep, I’m getting all sappy here, but it’s true). I hope you’re enjoying yet another weekend in Upstate! Oh, and it’s too bad that your friends won’t read this as they most assuredly would enjoy it.

    • Yes, I am lucky! Lucky to have such a wonderful batch of “family”, some of whom I’m actually related to! Just got home from J & P’s, where The Dude and I spent another glorious Columbus Day Weekend hiking and biking and cooking and sipping. I’m thinking maybe I should just print that darned story out and send it to them, in lieu of a thank-you note!

  2. LL- Like you I love traditions shared with friends and family. We’ve just returned from a weekend away in the Clare Valley where we watch Australian football, play golf, dine out and talk. Our kids love it too.

    Thanks for sharing.

    PS- that’s a serious steak!

    • Sounds like a great time. I would love to hang out with you and your football friends! Thanks for stopping by — and yes, that was a stupendously serious steak. And I didn’t get a single bite of it — though I did have a pretty nice steak of my own to chomp on (!)

  3. I love the family that we pick. I’ve got some good friends I consider family as well. I love them and would do anything for them. 🙂 Great post. Thanks for sharing it with all of us!

  4. Deborah

    Hmmm. I have relatives who voted for Trump, but no friends that I know of. That would be a hump for me to get over. I guess it would depend on how much I loved them before that dastardly deed. Good for you for being more open minded than I would probably be.

    • Yes. A ‘hmmmm’ is definitely called for. If I hadn’t known these peeps for decades, and if they hadn’t already proved their worth as friends, they would be out of the picture for sure. But if you think Friends Who Voted for Trump is a bad thing, I know a woman whose Husband Voted for Trump. Now THAT’s frightening!

    • Yes. A ‘hmmmm’ is definitely called for. If I hadn’t known these peeps for decades, and if they hadn’t already proved their worth as friends, they would be out of the picture for sure. But if you think Friends Who Voted for Trump is a bad thing, I know a woman whose Husband Voted for Trump. Now THAT’s frightening (and a very tall hump to get over!)

  5. Isn’t that great to have such long-standing friends and STILL enjoy their company, even if they voted for Trump. We actually made new friends two years ago and just love them so much. We even built a little bridge over a ditch and through the barbed wire so we could visit more easily. Long life to you, the Dude and your friends, Alice.

    • Yes, it is great, Trump aside (!) They are such good friends, tho, that they do refrain from singing Trumpish praises in our presence. So glad you have these kinds of friends too, dear Judy. They are priceless, and well worth a bridge. xoxo

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