1. I inhale deeply while I slowly stir the pumpkin pie filling. Pumpkin, cinnamon, ginger and cloves.
2. Six pies decorate the side table.
3. The excitement of hugs, kisses and exclamations of how we've missed each other as family arrives from New York.
4. I come from a laughing family.
5. The house is full. Full of laughter, sunshine, good food smells, conversation and activity.
6. At times, we break off in groups. Some take walks, some play games, others target shoot or sit on the porch. I stick pretty close to the kitchen and sit with my mom.
7. We all head to the movies. Chelsea gets behind the counter, in her apron, and serves up the popcorn.
8. Mom, who is 87, wears headphones to hear the movie better. There is a scene where the foxes are chowing down on sweets. Not realizing how loudly she is talking, she exclaims, "That's us at your house!". We all start laughing and shushing each other.
9. A heavy frost covers fence and field. The cedars are sugar-coated and tell of the coming winter.
10. Parting is bittersweet. Our hearts are heavy, not knowing when we will see each other again. I suppress a tumult of feelings and take comfort in what we have rather than what we have not. It has been a wonderful weekend.