Sunday, October 5, 2014

Yorktown... but no battlefield

A couple of weeks ago, I met my siblings in Virginia to divide my parents' estate.  Despite the fact that there are strong and divergent personalities among us, and whether or not the occasion is a somber or a festive one, when we get together, it's a reunion of like souls. Too much exposure to each other could be our undoing, but we haven't pushed our luck with more than a few days at a time and we always leave - at least I do - wanting more.  I want to live in a commune with them.

Our estate division weekend was a lovefest of tears, laughter, stories, singing.  We each ended up with items of immense sentimental value and the satisfaction of knowing that, even if we loved an item, but didn't get to take it home with us, our mother's and father's possessions went to someone who understands what they have.  I don't want a single piece of recycled tin foil or partially melted tupperware to end up in the trash or the home of someone who doesn't understand the value, the intrinsic beauty in that crumpled tin foil.  

Jerry reading aloud the letter that Dad wrote to his mother describing the family's first days in France - including, I later learned, the night I was conceived.  I have my mother's letter to her mother describing the same day.  Neither letter alludes to said conception, but my Dad told me a couple of years ago.  No one in the family is as fired up about that little bit of memorabilia as I am.  They're pretty sick of me talking about it, too.

Mary, Mike, Jerry and I arrived in Yorktown on Friday and ate at the Yorktown Pub.  We went back to the hotel and talked and laughed, then Jerry wimped out on us.  The Ms went back to the pub and had the best time I can remember having in a long, long time.  I knew it was going to be a good night when this song was playing as we walked in.  We - and the lead singer/biker and pretty much everyone in the bar -  sang it much better than Eve Six, though.  Louder and more angrily.  They closed with a song that I can't even quote here on a family blog.  We closed the place down, then walked on the beach (lost our hotel keys in the sand) and ended up going to bed around 4:30. It was pretty great.  Not my usual Saturday night.  Thank goodness.

The next morning, Don (and his family) and Jim arrived and joined us and spent the remainder of the weekend.  I loved seeing them all.

The only downside of the weekend was that I was that close to the Yorktown battlefield and didn't have time to go take a picture of it to send to Axel Fersen's descendent.  (Fersen was General Rochambeau's aide-de-camp at the Battle of Yorktown.) Who is my friend, by the way.  As I may have mentioned once or twice.  And, who is perfectly wonderful and more than friend-worthy, in his own right, even if he weren't the Count's descendent.  But, he is.  As I said.  I'm kind of excited to know him, can you tell?


Micah said...

Love these pictures! And you're very clever.

Madeleine Doak said...

Thanks for leaving comments on my blog, darling girl.

Mary Lewis said...

What an unforgettable night and weekend! Love you so!

Madeleine Doak said...

I know, Mary! It was amazing! Add it to the family lore to be told and retold.