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Family Gathering

I attended the funeral of my cousin Al in Colville, a small town in northeast Washington. Colville is in the mountains not far from what used to be the Columbia River. It’s just a lake now created by Grand Coulee Dam several hundred miles downstream. Timber and mining are still big and the big sawmill is a prominent feature as you drive through town.

Al was much loved and highly regarded if the turnout was any indication. He was a fisherman whose day job was CPA and business owner, and, of course, a husband and dad. He was felled by cancer. As has been our sad routine, most of the surviving cousins appeared, all of us with extra pounds, eyeglasses, and gray (underneath anyway). There was the usual talk of medical issues including an unsettling prevalence of diabetes. At Al’s house after the funeral and reception his wife Saundra had us drink up his Gentleman Jack Fine Tennessee Whiskey. That’s not a bad ceremony.

Hopefully we will find some event other than a funeral to bring us together again.

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