Sunday, October 2, 2011

All in the Family

Karen's best friends might be her animals, mine my vegetables, depending, of course, on how you define "best friends." Sometimes I think we don't spend enough time defining what we mean.

Both yesterday and today I froze spinach, New Zealand spinach. I planted New Zealand spinach seeds three years ago. No need to replant, maybe ever. If I didn't like it, I might call it a weed. Instead, it's a good friend, gradually taking over the garden bed under the special ash tree. It's a great friend to have because it's the longest standing spinach I've ever known. Unlike the "regular" varieties of spinach, it lasts three seasons, through the heat of summer into the cold of winter.

By the way, Virginia's very sick. In fact, she told me to stop writing this blog for a while. I'm thinking about taking her up on it. I get as many visitors when I don't write as when I do. Two years of blog posts can do that to you. Besides, my handwritten journals say what I want to say, probably better than this.

The latest issue of Time has an article on favorite children. I never gave that much thought until my sister talked about it ten or fifteen years ago. The article mentions a woman who blogged about her favorite child. As you might imagine, she took a lot of heat for it. It's one of those taboos good parents keep to themselves.

I've known people who live for their families. They seem to get together with their parents and siblings whenever they've got spare time. Of course, they live close together. They're so busy with their atomic family they have trouble squeezing in time for friends. At the other end of the spectrum, I've also known people who admit they rarely see their siblings and would never choose them for friends. I suppose most of us fall somewhere in between. 

Many families are like animals and plants. Animals and plants often let you know they like you, at least they seem to, but they don't talk much. That is, they don't mention the pain they suffered when an offspring went through a divorce, or the job they left because, well who knows, they quit, were fired, or laid-off. They avoid discussing why the partner of their gay son or daughter doesn't show up at albeit rare family gatherings or how they felt when their nudist uncle invited them to a club meeting, after discovering he and aunt judith have been living separate for years and finally signed divorce papers. Instead, about all you really know is what they ate for dinner. 

Good friends, the ones I see frequently, talk about those things. Who's family? 


  1. WHOA THAT WOULD BE A HOLE in my life but whatever you do --I like you.

  2. mary pannabecker steinerOctober 4, 2011 at 4:21 PM

    Hmm..I like to think I'm your family. Even though Mother likes you best. :) And I cannot WAIT to see you this weekend!