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tchmaine@gmail.com

I hope you all had a happy Thanksgiving! It was a full Hadyniak house. Catherine’s family came from Lewiston, Hermon and Lyman; my brother and his wife came from Gray; my parents made the short trek through the woods. It felt fulfilling to have a full house. Growing up, Thanksgivings were no different than any other family dinner because the only relatives I had around here were those who lived in Freedom.

I haven’t been able to sit in on the last couple of Select Board meetings. Catherine went back to work after being off for maternity leave, so if Catherine works on Mondays, I have to watch our “little pierogi” (as my parents call her) after I get home from work. I can hardly complain.

Sometimes my mother or mother-in-law babysits during the day. On Monday, this led me to have quite the existential moment. Growing up, I remembered being in what is now my living room, being watched by my grandmother and grandfather, waiting for my parents to get home from work. Now, fast forward 20-something years later and the situation is reversed. It is my child waiting for me to come home.

Jennifer Neves wrote a book recently about growing up on her family’s Greeley Road farm, and she used a phrase, to describe a similar situation, that has stuck with me ever since I read it. My arriving home to relieve my child’s grandparents from babysitting duty — in the same house in which I grew up — was like a “memory turned inside out.” And it made me really miss my grandparents — more so than I do every day — but thankful at the same time that two of my child’s grandparents are right next door.

Maybe you had similar meaningful moments being with family and friends this holiday season. Aren’t they great?