Sitting in a protected niche in the kitchen looking out the window I see great grandmother steaming up the walkway like a dreadnought pulling into dry dock. In her wake are assorted "aunties" followed by husbands, followed by children, followed by guests. All are arranged by a formula dictated by an reflexive sense of priority.A family gathering. The beautiful 1911 Shaunnesy house of my brother's in laws . I have been through these a few times now, and have grown to love the experience. I am granted "outsider" immunity, one notch below the Anglo husband category and have no role to play.This is a family of artists. Four generations of accumulated gifted talent. Four generations of strident, dramatic emotional opinions, Four generations mixing passion, nursing grudges, internecine familial psychological warfare. All generations allied only against the one common, universal enemy: Evil Gallery Owners.The entourage enters. Dreadnought to the head of the table, aunties arrange themselves like chickens in a coup according to proscribed pecking order, husbands peel off to watch hockey on the big screen, older kids find darkened corners to text complaints about the ordeal they have to endure, younger kids to the basement to play, babies to the bedrooms nannied over by lower order daughters not yet able to sit at the table. Guests to the kitchen where MIL holds a second court for non-family.Tagalog is the language of kitchen table serious business, some Mandarin, even some Japanese. Husbands seem to be allocated beer to go with their hockey game, older kids sneak a Molsons every now and then, and return to text complaints to the outside world, the kids get sodas, babies to their bottles.Dinner:Pansit, Lumpia, Adobo, Rice, Paksiw, Binuguan, Sinigang, Tinolang Manok, and 3 full Alaska line caught salmon. Heaven!It is Chinese New Year today. Happy New Year!mcb
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