Mother's Day equation on the northern neck.
Nine hours gone, 2 1/2 hours driving windows down to very loud music (Interpol, Bastille, Small Black, St. Lucia), six hours talking to Mom, Dad, sisters #2 and #5, one hour eating on the big screened porch (fried chicken, stromboli, veggie salad, fruit salad, lemonade), two sailboats spotted in the river, one heron endlessly cruising overhead looking for hapless fish.
Best family story told that I'd never heard before: Mom and Fay, her best friend, walking down the street in Provincetown in the '90s with their husbands following behind about eight feet. A woman rushes up and congratulates the two women on being "out."
As if. Even my mother had to laugh at the memory.
We got Mom and Dad talking about their early dating history, their first date having been a triple date where they were not paired up.
On the second date a month later, Dad suggested playing miniature golf at a place down on the banks of the Anacostia river, a clear indicator he did not yet know much at all about my mother, the least athletic and competitive woman on the planet.
She played that once and never since.
Sitting on the porch all afternoon talking, we watched a parade of birds visit the various feeders and bird baths in the yard.
Tiny, timid bluebirds flitted from branch to branch before even considering venturing near the feeders.
Hummingbirds hung in the air at the two red feeders hanging on the other side of the porch screening, casting the slightest of shadows on the shades my father had let down as the afternoon sun made its way onto our faces.
Sparrows and chickadees splashed in the birdbaths still full from last night's rain.
For dessert, I had made gingerbread with dark chocolate icing, a favorite from childhood that no one else but our Mom made and one I hadn't had in years. It was a big hit with everyone, one of those things you forget how much you love until you're presented with it again.
Kind of like a day on the porch with your Mom on Mother's Day.