Thanksgiving

My first day here in Pictou has been a fully rewarding one. It’s been a long while since I was last able to see so many members of my family in one place and to spend prolonged quality time with them. It’s truly heart warming to be in such fine company.
Many of my aunts, uncles and cousins are staying in cabins here, 25 of us in all. It’s a really nice place, with a rocky beach a couple minutes walk away and rather spacious living areas. In this particular cabin are my parents, my uncle Gerry and aunt Sharon, my cousin Hailey and myself. You may recall that I’ve worked a fair amount with Gerry in the past couple months. His daughter Hailey is a sweet child who it’s been a pleasure to watch grow up. Her expanding speaking ability is a constant source of amusement.
I spent the day enjoying some of the usual Lemmon family passtimes of games of skill (today it was a homemade game involving cut boards with three target holes and large metal washers), feasting (a potluck filled with the fine but simple cooking I appreciate as a character of my family), good conversation (covering topics of politics, social issues and good humoured joking) and general family bonding. I enjoyed watching my younger cousins playand interacting with them. The energyand evolving character of young people is quite facinating to me.
I slipped off once for a short walk on the beach alone and enjoyed being near the ocean again. The sandstone cliffs, the calm ocean, the view of Prince Edward Island and the mats of seaweed provided a wonderful atmosphere that felt very distinctly Nova Scotian to me.
One of today’s highlights was talking this evening with my uncle Herald. He’s the eldest of myfamily here today (at 65 years, I believe) and one of the more interesting characters. He’s often funny, but he has a great deal of tried and true wisdom. I talked with him at great length about a number of issues, from the troubles in the middle east to troubled young people, to social troubles and found we argeed on a lot of things. I think there’s something really valuable in knowing people like him who had the opportunity to grow up in times and places where values and living tended to focus on more pure and practical aspects of life and where family was nourishing and solidly connected. I believe my family embodies a lotof the good from that mindset. I’ve been so blessed to be surrounded by love, compassion and active minds. Of course my family has some flaws and quirks, but I’ve never encountered a healthier or more connected one.

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