How grateful I am to have a family tree that is complex and beautiful, with open arms and plenty of love to go around.
It has been one of the great lessons of my life and one that was deepened Thursday when our little clan made a long, pretty drive along South Carolina’s back roads to join the Ellis side of the family for a grand Thanksgiving celebration. It was one worthy of Garden and Gun (but with exactly zero pretense) at a centuries-old farmhouse surrounded by acres and acres of beautiful South Carolina countryside. Our hostess, Jean, whom I love like mad, filled the house and lawn with family, friends and so much good food all our bodies and our souls were nourished. It was a collection of people connected in so many diverse ways it reminded me of a constellation, bright little lights that came together to form something special.
We gave thanks, honored the grand patriarch of the family Ed Ellis, then at tables spread hither and yon through the house we caught up with loved ones from far and near and made new friends from the collection of folks gathered there.
Then it was out to the fields with Jean’s husband, Buck (the most interesting man I know*) for some skeet shooting. I was thrilled with the possibility and strapped Emma’s rifle to my back even if I didn’t actually get to pull the trigger (dang shoulder surgery).
It’s just as well. Emma out shown and outshot us all.
We were walking back to the house when Jean pulled on a quiet branch above our heads and nuts rained down. They were pecans, and as I’ve never gathered or shelled the things, I ran to the house for a bag. (I hear from many that I will now spend the month of December trying to coax them from their shells.)
It was a gorgeous November day, golden in every way, my heart filled to overflowing. How blessed I am to have collected three big families in my life: my own Rigg kin; my husband’s big Italian Monetti branch; and the one that came with my first marriage, the Ellis/Suber clan that refused to let go but instead broadened its loving circle when I remarried 12 years ago.
How they’ve colored my life. How they’ve shown me–each and every member of that beautiful, extended family–what it means to love, deep and pure and with genuine hearts.
*For instance. Buck is restoring a wooden boat that once belonged to Malcomb Forbes. Swear.