So, this weekend we celebrated my dad’s 65th birthday. It was wonderful. I spent the day running around, helping my mom and brother and sister organize barbecued hamburgers and hot dogs with all the sides….for 85 people.
It’s always a curious mix at these functions. Family, old family friends and some of the new friends my parents have made while spending every summer camped out in their trailer at the local campground.
I love getting to see family that I haven’t seen in way too long. It always takes a bit for everyone to feel comfortable with each other, but once the awkwardness wears off, it’s so much fun.
Several people asked about my writing and of course, that always makes me smile and one wonderful cousin made sure to tell me how much she enjoys my blog. I really need to update it more often.
It’s kind of funny though. Every time I post my blog to my FB page, I worry a little about what my family might think of what it is I write about. I know that not everyone is comfortable with the fact that I write gay romance novels and I keep waiting for that one person who starts in on a homophobic rant at me.
I honestly don’t know what I’ll do when it happens, but I hope my first reaction is to get mad instead of running away. I’m not good at confrontation and try to avoid it when possible.
I have been pleasantly surprised though. Some of the people I was concerned about have had nothing but positive reactions and it makes me so happy that these people really are as wonderful as I have always believed them to be.
Of course, there was one cousin who felt the need to inform me that I should be proud of his self-restraint for not commenting negative things on all the “gay shit” on my FB. He said “I would make you look bad.” I looked at him and said “You would make YOU look bad, not me. The people I know and love would know that your comments were a reflection on you, not me.”
He dropped it after that. His attitude didn’t surprise me. I’ve known him for over thirty years now and know his ideas and attitudes. He’s mostly a good man and I love him dearly, but he’s not perfect. I was a little disappointed though.
One the bright side, I had a couple of people ask me to explain about the DOMA and Prop 8 rulings from the Supreme Court in the US to them and I enjoyed telling them about it. One person chuckled and said “this is really important to you, isn’t it? You’re certainly enthusiastic about it.”
Anyway, the day went beautifully, except for the part where I had to make a little speech and started crying 4 words into it. I can stand and sing in front of 500 strangers, but stand me in front of a group of friends and family and ask me to say a few words and I’m a blubbering mess. Crazy, isn’t it?
I remember when I was a kid and we’d have a family get together and I’d look around thinking that I had such a huge family and that I always would. Of course, now I know better. So many people are gone now and so many others have responsibilities that keep them away from these parties. I’ve learned to appreciate the time I do get to spend with these people because we never know how much time we have them for.
For my dad, this was the best present we could have given him. Being surrounded by family and friends means more to him than any gift that money could buy. He has a habit at holidays and big family functions of sitting down at the table to eat and then looking around at everyone. His eyes will get all teary and he’ll say “I wonder what the poor people are doing?” It never fails to bring tears to the eyes of all us kids. Things weren’t always this good for us and sometimes things were pretty harsh, but at that moment, for him, he was the richest man in the world because he had a good meal to eat with the people most important to him.
When mom turns 65, I think we will just have a small family only dinner and us kids can take turns taking her to the casino. She doesn’t like being the center of attention and we have been threatened with bodily harm if we try something like this for her. Trust me, we will heed her wishes.
Of course, that was just Saturday. Sunday was spent with just us…mom and dad, my sister and brother and their families and us. And one Aunt and Uncle with whom we didn’t get to spend enough time. It’s what we usually do after big gatherings we host. Get together, have leftovers for dinner and decompress. It’s always a good way to relax.
That was my weekend…cleaning, cooking and having a good time with people who matter to me. All in all, there’s worst ways to spend a couple of days.
And now on to my fic rec.
I’m going to rec a series today. The Shifter series by M.D. Grimm is a wonderful example of supernatural stories done right. All her characters are engaging and the hero’s are so lovable…even when they have to do not so nice things. I haven’t read the latest in the series but you can bet I will. If you want to get lost in another world for a while, give The Shifters a chance. Here’s the link on Dreamspinner: http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=579
and here’s the link the M.D. Grimm on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=ntt_athr_dp_sr_1?_encoding=UTF8&field-author=M.D.%20Grimm&search-alias=digital-text&sort=relevancerank
Of course, while you’re there, you can check out my stories at Dreamspinner as well. http://www.dreamspinnerpress.com/store/index.php?cPath=55_454