It is I reckon a stretch to dub today a Family Day if one were to assess the entitlement by the number of family members who figured in the day’s elaboration. There were only I, my partner, my sister and her husband who were the components. Nonetheless this narrow focus was sufficient to inspire the goodness and spirituality which inevitably are summoned by the most modest conversancy with family.
Since I was fifteen years old (attending boarding school in Canada separated from my parents and sister in Stockholm, Sweden), when I would routinely and ritually pray every night before closing my eyes to fall asleep at end of day, the intial topic of my gratitude was always afforded my mother, my father and my sister. I have since enlarged the depth of the sacramental thanks to include my partner, my sister’s husband and their children, and the siblings of my brother-in-law. This however is about the limit of my familial preoccupation. Not having any children of our own we manifestly lack that signal social ingredient. We are neither dismissive nor regretful of the distinction. Celibacy is for us far from the novelty or sufferance of a monk. Neither will I mockingly suggest that parenting is a deprivation we can bear; it’s simply not an issue.
Yet in spite of this “natural” inclination we still profit by a propitious Family Day when it occurs. Today was one of those peerless days. Indeed the entire motivation of the day was from the outset directed to family. Specifically we had last evening engineered the decision to collect newly harvested Honey Crisps from MacLaren Orchards in Renfrew County. These inexpressibly toothsome apples are longtime favourites of my sister and brother-in-law who live in the city. While they hadn’t asked us to undertake the expedition on their behalf we welcomed the opportunity to translate our remote agricultural dominion to utilitarian purpose.
Blessed as we were with a photographic autumnal day, I confess the drive from home to the remote county seat was a decidedly welcome outing. We enhanced the typical destination route by submitting to Google’s preference for the back roads. The primary constituents of travel were the highways Lanark 15 and 511 past the Tannery, Union Hall, Clayton, Halls Mills, Tatlock, Calabogie, Burnstown and eventually Thompson Hill nearby Renfrew.
In addition to the achievement of our goal of Honey Crisps (for both my family and ourselves) we privately secreted a large apple crumble pie in the mix. Late in the afternoon following the requisite accomplishment of car wash, windshield wiper fluid (and a prior collection of goodies from the Indian Curry Pot in Calabogie for this evening’s dinner), I headed to the city with my stash for delivery. My partner predictably excused himself from the Balthazarian journey which admittedly pleased me since, unlike he, I prefer car travel on such exquisite days with the windows and landau roof open. It gave me time to revisit the uncanny similarity between me and my late father who similarly adored excluded driving ventures on open roads.
The Family Day culminated in an agreeable convocation at the home of my sister and brother-in-law. We shared the details of the day’s adventure, collaterally dwelling upon apocryphal intelligence regarding related rural history.