Well, I'm not a conservative, not anymore, not by any stretch. And I guess I suppose that traditions and progressive life styles are not necessarily mutually exclusive. There are lots of traditions I enjoy--harmless ones, I hope, and usually ones that my family and friends and I have cooked up. Late Night Margarita Party with my sisters on Thanksgiving Night, for example. Visiting my friends in Indy right before Christmas and making rumballs and watching Hallmark Christmas movies, at least somewhat ironically. Busting open our fortune cookies all at one time, then taking turns reading our fortunes and adding on, "in bed." Greeting my cats with a cheerful curse the moment I come home.
One more...uh...traditional tradition that I absolutely love: Sunday dinner with the family. For several years when I was growing up, my grandparents and I were good church-goin' folks, and from time to time, after church, we'd have a lovely lunch/early dinner. It just seems like a good thing to do with your family on Sundays, whether or not you go to church or not.
As an adult--and one who lives rather far from most of her still-living family--I don't have an opportunity to do this very often. So, sometimes (although not as often as I would like, alas) I manage to wrangle an invitation to come have a Sunday dinner with my uncle and aunt. It's always a lovely little event, because my aunt and uncle are lovely, warm people, and seeing them, catching up with them, is such a pleasure.
So this last Sunday, after a long day in the library mines, I took myself over to their home to indulge in this lovely tradition. And every moment of it was lovely--even the drive is a bit special, for they live 'way out in the country, and I have to journey past prosperous little farms, around lonely old graveyards, and through the woods (alas, no river) to reach their home, at the end of a long, winding, sun-dappled road.
Before I headed into the house, I paused to admire the many butterflies flitting about. Not for the first time, I promised myself that one day, I'd hunker down and learn more about the flora and fauna and insects of the region.
It's silly. We live in the same town, and I don't see Duncle and Jo nearly enough. But still--seeing them once a month, or even every two months, is far better than once a year, when I lived in California. There, I didn't have the opportunity to enjoy these Sunday dinner traditions with my family very often. I still don't have the opportunity, often enough--but who knows? Maybe I'm more likely to value this tradition when it occurs less frequently. Too many times in my life, I have taken things for granted. And this Sunday family dinner tradition is something that I never intend to squander again.