The Daily Thread

After relocating five times at the whim of the corporation, my husband and I moved two years ago to a location of our choosing. We thought it would be a grand and wise idea to return to our home state. To friends we hadn’t shared a six-pack with since college. To family members we hadn’t passed the butter to in years.

Pass the butter? We don’t even put butter on our table.

We’ve become foreigners in our own childhood homes.

One friend tells me, when I gripe about the adjustments, that these moments make up the fabric of our lives.

She’s right, of course. It’s just that I’d had a vision of more silk taffeta and less scratchy burlap.

My sister, who assumed the role of family matriarch when my mother died, has arranged for some shiny satin and rhinestones to garnish this Sunday afternoon. She has assembled no fewer than nine members of our family-and-friends village to attend her six-year-old grandchild’s ballet recital. Three minutes of jazz dance somewhere in the middle of an eighty-minute program. And because we’re family and friends, we’re going along with this program. And loving it.

Whatever the fabric content, it’s all material. One day, some element of today’s gathering—an incongruous detail, a telling snippet of dialogue, a surprising perspective—will find its way into a story.

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