I'm home, safe, after my short trip to PA. It was good to see Dad and not fight with him. A sure outcome of any kind of blow up with Mom. That is the universal balance: you may only get along with one parent at a time. The upside? You are never fighting with both parents at the same time. I wonder if this equation is different with still-married parents?
The brief visit with our old family friends was good, despite the circumstances. That's how it goes. It helps if the person being memorialized was old and had a good life. That was the case. And I love this family. They are my family, truly. We as close as any cousins. Certainly as close as I am to my own cousins—just less obligation and more true affection.
I also connected with a man who is a true cousin to this family, though merely a second-time acquaintance of mine. I'd say this is someone who would have romantic potential if he lived on this side of the country. As it is, we have friendship potential, but probably nothing will come of it because of the distance. He charmed me with an antic puppet performance with the raggedy stuffed bunny (named "Hare") of the only youngster in attendance and his insistence on agreeing with my movie opinions in a long conversation with his brother.
Last, my NJ brother, B1, was not there and I don't know why. However, I just realized that I forgot his birthday for at least the second year in a row. I feel guilty and want to buy forgiveness with a hand-knit scarf. As it is, I'll give him a call tonight and apologize. I'm fairly sure that if he were ever in touch with me, I'd remember, but that's a pretty lame excuse. Sigh.
Grateful for: family and friends.