the car is packed. the playlists are complete. this evening, after my last class, the beasts, hh and i will depart for a 7 hour road trip.

tonight begins my favorite week of the year. pebble beach.

my entire family under one roof for 6 days. thursday we’ll feast at the lodge. i think i’ve had halibut the last 5 years. no mom’s stuffing, no aunt charla’s pumpkin pie, no dad carving the turkey. and thank god, no marshmallows amidst yams???!??! (seriously, are you kidding me with that?) this thanksgiving tradition is the only i know, and i crave it all year.

13 of us in one house.  a lot of ativan prescriptions.

divorce. reconciliation. secrets. court. businesses. loans. illnesses. death. this is family. this is my family. this is my beautiful, perfect family. for all the painful tears shed, there have been more tears cried out in hysterics playing cutthroat matches of michigan rummy, or spilt over mugs of coffee during marathon morning fireside funnies. pretty much all my brother has to do is look at me a certain way, and any beverage i’m drinking squirts out my nose in convulsive laughter.

don’t get me wrong. i’m sure we will always tote along our buckets of bitterness and “our” versions of the past, but it doesn’t change the fact that i bloody love these people to death. and, for this one week when we are together, i have a smile in my stomach, and my face, and i twirl from my eyes to my toes.