Sunday, July 21, 2013


“To see the joy with which these elder kinsfolk and acquaintances had looked in one another’s faces, and the lingering touch of their friendly hands . . .”
      --Sarah Orne Jewett, in The Country of the Pointed Firs

     At our heartwarming family reunion this weekend, we “elder kinsfolk and acquaintances” of the family cheered for each other in charming, cordial ways. The young people played and shouted among themselves, throwing aside any small concerns and easily embracing the happiness of the occasion, but I have a feeling that it was we older friends, Ann and Pete Salsich’s daughters and sons and their spouses, who profited in the fullest measure from the inspiring occasion. Just the touch of so many brother and sister hands was uplifting, letting us know, over and over for three satisfying days, that we are first-class friends, in good times or troubles. As I type this at my seat on our homeward flight, I feel the “lingering touch” of those handshakes and hugs, freely offered symbols of fondness and fidelity that seemed stronger and more solicitous than ever. I see the sky outside the plane’s window, and somehow it doesn’t seem nearly as immeasurable as the friendship of my dearly loved dad and mom’s family.

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