Letters from Home

Just when you think that you’re never going to make it through, something appears to buoy you up.

In this case, it was an email from my sister’s girlfriend, Ceren. She gave me a rundown of Thanksgiving with my family through her eyes–the most wonderful gift anyone has given me in a long time. She attached some photographs she took of the festivities.


That’s a picture taken in the apartment my parents built onto my grandmother’s house. It’s a converted garage, hence the concrete floor. My mom has actually come to really like the concrete floor. From left to right in the photo, you can see Brian Frazier, my one-time boyfriend and now best friend and near brother. He spends most holidays with my family. Next, in the foreground in the white shirt is Rick. I actually don’t know Rick’s last name. He’s my almost-cousin. He’s engaged to marry my father’s sister’s daughter. He’s a little racist, and a lot republican, but he’s so genuine and sweet and nice that you don’t end up caring about that.

Behind him in the red shirt (leaning up against the glass) is Leiv. He’s German, and not related to me as far as I know. He didn’t have any place to go for Thanksgiving, so Shanna and Ceren brought him to our home. In the bright blue shirt is my mom, Bettie Shadoan. She looks like she’s in the middle of unpacking ornaments to go on the Christmas tree. Every year for my entire childhood we’ve gotten a new ornament each year. That way, when we moved out and had Christmas trees of our own, we’d have a starter set of ornaments. Mine are boxed up and lonely in my house in Norman.

The little girl in the corner is Cameryn, my cousin’s daughter. Sitting next to her is Gayla, my cousin’s wife. My father met Gayla while working on his mail route, and he introduced her to my cousin. So we can add Gayla to the long list of things my father has brought home from his mail route, including three battered upright pianos (to be turned into windchimes), a floppy, slobbery, whimpery hound dog that I loved, a rabbit that ate dog food, and at least two people who couldn’t take care of themselves.

All of the glass doors look out onto the pond or the woods. It’s glorious.


That’s a picture of my big sister from when she was very young. A tiny corner of a picture from when I was 19 is visible, too.


That is my sister and her girlfriend now. They look like they are either standing on the dock in the pond, or possibly in the boat that Rick has been working on. See that sunshine? That’s Oklahoma in the winter, folks. Think of all the Vitamin D we are missing.

Letters from Home

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