Thanksgiving. It was an eight-dishwasher-load feast to clean up, a multitude of children running through the house, playing games in the stark attic, all reappearing to ask politely for glasses of milk to accompany third-desserts of pumpkin pie or brownies or something else totally sweet, and not normally allowed.
When you are at Aunt Mary's, you can have whatever you want. No parents are asked for permission. I am happy to report all went home fat, full and foolish.
My sister Kathy also brought a gift, clothed in a Hefty sandwich bag. Our mother's pearls, scooped from the cleansing of a now-retired safety deposit box. The ones our mother left to me.
I am not a pearl person. But I remember when my mother bought this necklace, soon after my father Frank J. passed. She loved this band of jewels. And I know she bought them with a bit of the money Frank J. bequeathed to her, the stash he put away to make sure she was protected.
And I know she bought them because she missed him. She had spent 3/4 of her life with the man.
"You should have pearls, Mary," she told me before she left, fully assured I would get the message.
I hold their roundness in my palm, and, gently closing my fingers upon them, think of her.
There is genius in pearls. They take a long time to form, and men dive to great depths to retrieve them. And you can hold them in your hand, or wear them around your neck, a talisman to remind you from where you have come, a place you realize was safe and good and fine.
Full moon tonight here in Mason Neck, and elsewhere. Dear Doug left this morning to drag the trailer down south, to attend to some business scheduled for Monday. Labbie Walt sleeps on Marg's bed in my office, and he is dreaming, paws moving in pursuit of bunnies and duckies, or children who gleefully toss the Kong for him across the yard.