Thanksgiving in Two Rivers

When all of you lovely people read Call Me Emily, you will learn about the connection Emily has with her family and her home of Two Rivers.  Her home town calls to her in a spiritual way. Not quite like you would read in a C.S. Lewis novel, but it does call. And, for Emily, when she hears that call she seeks out the balance to her life that she so desperately wants to find.

I, personally, am lucky enough to have many members of my family nearby my town of Auburn California, where I have lived for the past nineteen years. While some of my family live too far away, others I am able to see and visit with more often. These family members graciously joined me, my son and my husband for Thanksgiving. And it was truly a day to give thanks. All of us are healthy, happy and moderately sober. (I joke.)

So while I don’t retreat to my home town and the arms of my mother for comfort like Emily, I do relish in the small things my family does that light up my day. Especially on a day when we can all be together, share a meal, many stories and give thanks.

Enough about me! I know you really want to know about Emily. In the scene that follows from Call Me Emily, Emily returns to her home town for Thanksgiving seeking a little clarity. But, does she find it?

***

We crossed the river and made the last hairpin turn before our house.  Mom’s car was in the driveway.  I was happy to be home. No I was elated to be home. I pulled the car behind hers and jumped out. She came to the front porch and like the Tasmanian Devil, my little brother ran under her arm and down the steps toward us. I stopped and put my arms out to give him a big hug. He ran right past me and tackled Ethan. Well how do you like that?

Mom made up for Hunter overlooking me. She wrapped her arm around me while Ethan followed us into the house carrying our bags.

“Having both of you gone has been…just…” She started to cry.

“Mom, don’t. We’re here now.” I pulled her closer and opened the door. It was much colder than I remembered. I wanted to stand by the fire immediately.

“I know, I know. He’s looking out for you, isn’t he?”

“Yes, of course he is.”

Hunter held Ethan captive in his room, showing him all his new video games I presumed. I got the impression Mom and I had plenty to talk about. She had that look. You know, the one that said I wasn’t aloud to run off any time soon.  As we unpacked, we covered the first few weeks of school. Had I met any friends? What were my classes like? How was my job? And so on. I gave her overall kind of explanations.

“Have you met him yet?” she handed me the last of my things out of my bag.

“Who?” I asked knowing exactly what she meant but not wanting to encourage her.

“The guy,” she responded with a very curious smile. “The new guy.”

“Mom, there’s no guy.” I lied just a little. Although I was interested in Graham I couldn’t deny it was Christian I thought of as soon as we passed the welcome sign. I knew I’d probably think of him when I got home and those thoughts seemed to boil over the second I arrived. It didn’t help that everything here reminded me of him. Simply driving the roads brought back all kinds of memories I’d been trying to bury.  Add the quiet that hung in the air with only the occasional whip of a breeze through the trees and brief animal noises and the rich meadow that accompanied every breath I took, and I was officially thinking about everything that happened between us the summer before.

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