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Bird's Blog

Poetry, musings, observations, commentary, rants, confessions...and who knows what else!

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Location: San Francisco Bay Area

Teacher, writer, poet, grandmother, lover, wine-drinker, chocolate eater, beach comber, hiker, traveler, Giants fan, San Franciscan. All work on this blog is copyrighted material.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Homeward Bound

Maybe some of you remember the vintage Saturday Night Live episode that ran a short “documentary” which recorded, in black and white, arrivals and reunions set to Paul Simon’s “Homeward Bound.” The short film aired during the holiday season sometime in the late 70s and showed a variety of reunions: a solider, walking from his plane to the waiting area, nearly knocked to the ground by the force of his petite wife who rushed into his arms, eager for his kisses; two small children who broke free from their father’s hands to slip under the cordon and run to their mother who, as soon as she saw them, ran toward them with open arms; a worried, hassled mother, her hair graying, her feet no doubt tired, her face careworn, bursting into smiles as her adult son deplaned and walked into her waiting arms; two sisters, their long hair swinging as they strode toward each other and hugged each other as if they would never let go. The short clip showed one joyous and tearful reunion after the other, and yet it was never overly-sentimental, never schmaltzy. I searched the Internet and could not find the clip, but did find a video of Paul Simon and Willie Nelson playing Homeward Bound – a wonderful rendition.

Tomorrow, I leave quite early in the morning to drive across the Bay Bridge and head northeast, away from my beloved Bay Area to my sister’s home in Nevada.

I travel to my sister’s home; yet, I am, like so many others, homeward bound, for I travel to gather with my family. My sister’s home holds the memories of her children as they grew from youngsters to teenagers to adults. It holds the memories of clan gatherings – for birthdays, holidays, graduations; the memories of ski trips – my children arriving with their father on my sister’s doorstep for a weekend of skiing, snowman building, and snow fights, and her home holds the memories of spur-of-the-moment visits – the passing-through-on-the-way-to-elsewhere stops. But even if my sister’s home was a dwelling she only recently moved into, one that held no collective family memories, I would still be homeward bound. Home is where the family gathers. And this year, a good portion of my family gathers in Nevada, at my sister’s table.

Not all my family gathers at my sister’s this year. My son will not be with us, but I am grateful, thankful, that he has a place at my brother’s table in Santa Cruz. My son too is homeward bound.

Like so many families, our Thanksgiving this year is a communal effort. My daughter is contributing pumpkin cookies and pumpkin cheesecake, as well as preparing the stuffing, the mashed potatoes, and the turkey. I am bringing cranberry relish, wine, and will bake an apple pie tomorrow, after I arrive.

My sister is making a pumpkin pie and a derby pie, and providing the salad and other side dishes, as well as the obligatory cranberry jelly in a can ( a must-have item – we “decant” the jelly from its can and serve it on the finest china serving dish available). Her daughters are contributing as well: wine and hors d'oeuvres.

I head out early tomorrow morning. If you want to get out of the Bay Area the day before Thanksgiving, it behooves you to leave early, before the bridges and highways are clogged with travelers who are headed home. If I leave after noon, the usual 4 hour drive turns into 12. I have a bay, a river and a mountain pass to traverse - I'm leaving early!

I wish you all safe journeys, whether you travel around the corner, down the street, up the coast, round the block, across town, county or state, or across the country. May you all travel homeward bound. May you all arrive safely.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

wishing you
a homecoming
and thanksgiving
as wonderful as here
depicted, bird -- and a safe journey


November 22, 2006 7:41 AM  
Blogger Little Lamb said...

Happy thanksgiving!

November 22, 2006 4:19 PM  
Anonymous CJ said...

Happy Hollandaise pal.
Safe journey as always.
CJ loves ya...

November 22, 2006 8:55 PM  
Blogger Peaches said...

"Homeward Bound" was a particularly important and poignant song in my younger years. When I had joined the Navy I was over a thousand miles from my family. I would sing this song for the girls I was training with whenever they felt homesick. I sang it at our last concert before we were moved to other bases. I sang it when I was missing my boyfriend ( now partner) at the time. So it means a lot to me.
We don't have Thanksgiving but your images of being "Homeward Bound" fills me with hope that all my children will be with me for Christmas. It has been so long since we have all been together.

Cheers to you and yours.

November 24, 2006 11:08 PM  
Blogger boneman said...

There's talk about you goin' cannibal over the season.
Zat right?


I heard y'could make a tofu turkey that tastes absolutely nothing like turkey, but fer some reason, everyone's dissin it big time.

November 25, 2006 2:14 PM  
Blogger lettuce said...

tofu turkey? eeewww.

wishing you and your family a happy peaceful Thanksgiving.

November 26, 2006 1:42 PM  
Blogger ThursdayNext said...

I hope you had a lovely Thanksgiving, birdie! xoxo

November 27, 2006 5:33 PM  
Blogger K9 said...

/bark bark bark

oh no you di -ent! i sound like a liberal?
grrherhaha. did the universe shift shile i was napping? mustve!

grrrrrrl, welcome home!!! always great to see you in my yard.


November 28, 2006 11:46 AM  

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