September 9, 2009

Family gathering

Family. What a wonderful, terrible, complicated invention. It is with us for life, whether we like it or not. And it assumes greater importance as we age.

Families work when the wiring hasn't gotten impossibly twisted, and sometimes, I guess, even when it has. For this crew the wiring is still intact and they get along famously.

I shot this at the home of Cookie and David Bates during a long Labor Day weekend. Cookie is at the left and David's in the doorway. She and Babbie are sisters. Pete, looking on, is their big brother. (Their sister Carol couldn't make it.)

This was the fifth year in a row we've spent three days with the Bates at their home on Lake Ontario near the Canadian boarder.

While we were there I finished Richard Russo's new novel, That Old Cape Magic, where the protagonist makes peace with his parents posthumously. Better late than never.

We ate at the house. We ate outdoors on a shaded terrace at Sacket Harbor where our waitress looked like Edie Sedgwick, the Andy Warhol star. From Alexandria Bay, we took a boat tour on the Saint Lawrence and saw dozens of the Thousand Islands.

My ears got sunburned and still hurt.

And we talked for hours. Two evenings they played cards. Me, I dealt with Russo while they dealt the cards. The only card game I like is War. Try to get adults to play that with you.

Below, in sequence, are Pete, his wife Zoe, and Babbie. (Cookie isn't here because I didn't get a good shot of her. David ditto but his picture was in my September 7 post.) The last photo is the view of Ontario from the Bates living room. It's a pretty spectacular place to live.

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