Dreams

This & That

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Family Reunion (It was only a dream)

I drive my sister to a family re-union – our mother’s family, but the event is not located in southern Manitoba as I expected – in my green Studebaker. We are driving north on a two lane highway that reappears often in my dreams. I don’t have many recurring dreams, but recurring themes, geography, highways and byways, airports, downtown city (sorta Winnipeg and Toronto), houses, often with varying players.

pie2_2818We arrive just after lunch in time for pie and coffee. The program started with a church service at 11:00, it was Sunday after harvest. My sister and I are both our ages, and host to a variety of arthritic ailments and chronic pain. No leaps there. The facility is a big house a cross between a remodeled  house barn, my grandmother’s house, a senior’s centre and a grocery store.  Thankfully it’s all on one floor, with a big porch like front room, a huge eat-in kitchen with a big oak table with all the leaves able to seat 12.  Lots of counters, there were pies everywhere, a few pastries, but no cakes. Lunch had been soup. Soup and pie is a common Mennonite meal, usually lunch.

My sister and I have pie (I like the rhubarb slab or platz on the left) and a coffee as more people start to arrive, and conversational groups begin to form. My sister lies down on what looks like an old red brocade couch that used to be in grandmother’s big room only used on Sunday’s.

I sit in a chair, as we wait for our meds to work, and are  engaged by relatives curious to know how we turned out, being spawn of a mother that got away.

Close to four in the afternoon my brother and his boys arrive. They settle in the porch, Garry unpacking the folder portfolio folders he had designed and had printed for people to put in keepsakes and souvenirs of the day, like the program he had also printed which had been circulated by mail as part of the invitation and registration package. We join them and chat.

My sister and I think  as long as family representation was in the building we might be able to slip away unnoticed, but with my brother’s  encouragement we stay.  Supper is more like vaspa, cold farmer’s sausage, cheese, buns, and early enough we might as well eat, sitting down with my brother and his crew.

The program, (of course, there is always a program) begins before we can leave the table. A group of singers with bluegrass instrumentation gathered on the squarish red couch, start in on All the Good Times Are Past and Gone. Figuring they are right, I whisper into my sisters ear, who whispers into our brother’s ear. He decides to wait it out since he had come later, while my sister and I went out attracting only sideways glances.  I open the car door for her as she had taught me those many summers ago in Kitsalano, and ease  myself into the Studebaker, reversing out of a row of  trucks, SUV’s and crossovers, then head out to the highway, driving south in the dark and chill of fall.

V

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