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Road Trip - Part 3

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Blue Ridge, Georgia in the summer Blue Ridge, Georgia in the summer

We arrive in Blue Ridge after a wonderful week simply getting there. Honestly, I lingered, slowed down, enjoyed every day leading up to arriving for my husbands' family reunion.

Family is important to our lives; no matter who they are, in the end family are the ones who stand by as we trip along our road of life and stand ready to catch us when our road runs out or leads us over the cliff.

Sadly for many gays family is not the support it could be and some of us have to run from family to survive. LGBT often get to choose our families, unlike heterosexuals who generally accept their families as they are. When the family sends us on our way because they can not deal with homosexuality, the hurt of that cutting off will yield finally to creating a family of our own.

Gays often have the opportunity to chose who they allow as close as those left behind in their coming out.

Sometimes it would be better if more of us made a clean break of it rather than allowing lingering familial attachments that return nothing positive to draw us in time and time again to situations that are best avoided. This reunion is bound to include too much of that.

There is drama in the host home. Lingering resentment between the host and hostess played out in construction project after project simply provides fodder for the next eruption. This time family from afar has arrived, we have arrived, and there is little sense of community, commonality or camaraderie. More OFTEN there is an undercurrent of tension tied to the current project, yet always in the air; a certain unwillingness to be honest and direct.

Me, I go home; the benefit of knowing there can be no peace in that house and bringing my own. Being comfortable in my own skin I am a good loner and quick to assert my desire to be elsewhere. I have no problem leaving them to theirs.

Weather adds to the atmosphere of gloom. Winds howl winter chill up the mountain side and across the ridge top on which Heath is parked. Nighttime temperatures fall into the twenties freezing the waterline. Snow covers Jake come morning. One morning the windshield is glazed with ice and being from Florida I don’t own an ice scraper, noR do I care to. Most days there is a cold rain or steady drizzle.

In anticipation of a freeze I have filled the fresh water tank, which is heated, so we have water in the morning. In cold places campers use an electric heat tape wrapped around the waterline and covered with insulation. At the Ace Hardware in Blue Ridge I have it all in my hands headed to the checkout when I decide that I am not going to own a heat tape. Instead I remove the hose and put it in the shower stall to thaw while John takes the hairdryer to the hose bib until water flows; we are back in business.

This is not a happy place though several of us attempt to salvage the visit touring Blue Ridge, making a side trip to Gainesville one day and Atlanta another, napping on the cold raining afternoon and tossing back a beer or two come dark.

Coming from a large family myself and having done the reunion event on many occasions I understand frictions in family and also the need to be there anyway. Since I am an observer in this event, and a patient one at that, I know I simply need wait it out. Soon enough, one day we will move on to happier places and sunnier days.

 

THIS IS PART 3 OF A 9-PART SERIES

Ric Reily

Ric Reily is the author of two books, Money Is The Root Of All - Skip The Debt Habit, and Gregory’s Hero; and two blogs, LGBT Opinion In A Gay World and LGBT Personal Finance In A Gay World. He is a Member of the Board of Directors of Stonewall National Museum and Archives serving as Treasurer. His firm CFO On Call provides small business finance and operations consulting. Ric is married to John, his partner of 26 years, and lives in South Florida. You can reach Ric at ricreily@gmail.com

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