Thursday, January 13, 2011
Today I'm thinking of cousins... and aunts, uncles, grandparents... Most of my social life growing up was either at school or one of the three-times-a-week church services we attended (plus a Wednesday morning Bible Study and in the 70's, a Saturday night youth service). The exceptions were the occasional family gatherings.
I loved those family times. When it was at our home, where sis and I lived with Grandma and Grandpa, it brought additional love and laughter into the house. Occasionally, it also brought a bit of bickering (a favorite Grandma word... can you kids stop bickering). I remember one "incident" with cousin Paul (I'm sure it was my turn... lol!), and about a billion with cousin Kent (he loved to tease... right Laur?), and I was always so nice... Okay, I exaggerate. Anyone will tell you that! Then there was Kevin... he was the quieter, fun one who loved making Paul laugh. David was the baby. At times, some of the other cousins were there; Diana, Debra, Lisa, Kristen, Karol, Jack, Sally. Sometimes my brother Tommy or my brother Ronnie or Timmy, Marcus, and little Tammy. Sweet times.
The thing is, we grew together. We shared life experiences that are unique to our family. Like the time my dad showed up drunk, made me cry (he was sharing all his lost dreams and wishes), and got run off the property... not for the first time either. Or the night Grandma went after the bat! My memory is her with the broom, Grandpa with a brown paper bag. She knocked it down in my room, and Grandpa scooped it into the bag and removed it from the house.
Pie... there was always pie. A fruit pie cooked by Grandma; Rhubarb, Gooseberry, or Apple. Cream pies made by Aunt Pat; Chocolate, Butterscotch, Yummmm! The grownups got soda... once in while, the kids got some too! R. C. Cola or Pepsi! There was always ice cream or sherbet, or the best of both... Double Delight! A lovely swirl of vanilla ice cream and orange sherbet! My favorite, next to Butter Brickle.
I remember sitting by the closed door to the living room, listening to the grown-ups talk about life, God, whatever... and feeling so safe. Listening to 45's on my little record player. I remember climbing the Crab Apple tree in the front yard. Softball, Truth or Dare, Statue, Hide and Seek. Running, laughing, sharing. Playing outside long after dark. Poignant, precious memories of life... of cousins.