As is required, Easter dinner is ham-centric, cheesy potatoes and dinner rolls orbiting the bone-in delight like little side dish satellites.
And there is, of course, wine.
“I don’t know,” my sister says. “I mean, look at us. We’re getting old, right?”
As the oldest, I feel it my duty to stare at her.
“Seriously,” she says. “I’m 50. Do you know what that means?”
Fully two years older than she is, I reach over, jab a particularly juicy morsel of ham on her plate.
“Pearl,” she says. “I’m 50. Is that old?”
I grin at her, push the ham into my mouth. “Yes.”
My father – salesman, catamaran captain, ex-crop duster and pilot, former drummer for an all-lesbian country-western band, holds a hand up.
“Old,” he says, hazel eyes dancing with barely hidden mischief, “is always 15 years older than you are.”
My mother takes a sip of wine. “Bear in mind,” she says quietly, “that your father will be 75 in two weeks.”
Karen looks at me, jabs at my plate, liberating me from a spear of asparagus. “Did ya hear that? The old guy at the head of the table says that 90-year-olds are elderly.”
She holds her glass up, and I lean forward with my own. Clink.
“Damn right,” my father says. He holds his plate up. “Mumma?” he says. “We got any more of that delicious ham gravy?”
My mother sighs, rises anyway. “It’s on the center island, Paul,” she says. “Right where it was 10 minutes ago.”
My father winks at me. “She likes to keep busy, your mother. Keeps her young.”
My mother returns to the table with the gravy boat.
“I heard that,” she says.