I don't want anyone out there to think I'm the only writer in my family.

My grandmother was a wiz with words, regularly stomping on us all in Scrabble competitions, and she wrote about our family history and genealogy.

My mom writes professional emails so lengthy and comprehensive, I'm sure if you were to print out a single day's correspondence with her, you could bind it and use it as a doorstop or a ship's anchor.

And my little brother, Curtis, once wrote a story while he was in high school that made our whole family fall over laughing (as it was intended to; we weren't mocking him or anything), and it included an adventure with a kite or something... wish I could remember more.

Then there's my dad. He writes frequently and always from the heart. He signs all of his text messages to me. LD. Love, Dad. So that I'll know they're from him. He shoots off emails for various reasons, most sentimental. I've never needed to wonder whether my dad loved me or was thinking about me. And for that I'm grateful. Even when the things that make him think of me are as... questionable and goofy as the one which triggered the following message from him today.

Things to remember as you read...

1) Dad is bald. Mom keeps her pretty, curly hair short like Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music.

2) I visited home in September, so it's only been two months since I was sitting in the living room in question.

3) My parents really do vacuum their home. I promise. But I think since all three kids grew up and moved away the amount of vacuuming as decreased. (When the free and captive source of labor goes... so do standards for home hygiene?)

4) I miss both of my parents a lot, quirks and all, and even if you don't find the following anecdote charming in a near-brush-with-hideousness way, at least you'll know that I do. And since I'm several thousand miles from my family and about to have Thanksgiving in the land of ice and trolls without them, you can write this off as a side effect of homesickness.

From Dad:

Hey, I want to tell Audrey that I felt her closeness today, even though she is so far away.

As I reached down to grab my computer charger, needed to unplug it quickly... I noted that along with the charger, right there in my hand was a long scraggly, really long, probably about 10 inches long at least, hair. I thought about it for a second. Then I decided that maybe it was a hair from Audrey's head. Maybe... it was just meant as a sign. Perhaps it was a way for me to be closer to my little girl who lives so far away in Norway. Maybe it had some mystical, deeper meaning.

Then I figured that it might not even be her hair, and that I was potentially holding some relative stranger's hair. So I threw it in the trash and had spaghetti for lunch.


But also... awwwwww. The telling is all in the timing, and Dad is a master. You can see why I miss him. Also where I inherit my lack of personal boundaries, a trait which compels me to share my innermost thoughts and mundane daily experiences with the world at large and at random via this blog. To be fair to Dad, though, he didn't think anyone would see this email besides Mom, the boys, Jonathan, and me. And in the same email he wishes us all a Happy Thanksgiving in our respective corners of the world.

Tomorrow is Turkey Day. I'm grateful for so many things. But mostly I'm thankful for family, even when I'm far away, and for the little ways my dad finds to tell me I'm still his girl, still present, still loved.