Monday, February 15, 2016

Cousin Connections



      I'm slicing with the Two Writing Teachers community today.  It's always good to read what everyone shares.  Thank you Stacey, Tara, Anna, Betsy, Dana, Kathleen, Beth, and Deb. I wonder if you're getting ready for the March challenge, making lists of topics, looking for inspiration every day?  My inspiration today came from a phone call from my brother, and a few pictures posted in a private FB site we cousins have.

         Nearly all my extended family lives in Missouri. I am fortunate to be able to visit at least once a year, and when my children were young, we returned every Christmas and in the summer too. I wanted my kids to know the family more than just a few day visit.  It isn't the same as living down the street or next door to grandparents, aunts and uncles, but we did have wonderful times together then. 
          Until middle school I lived in a small town, with those close relatives. And that included "cousins". There were eleven of us cousins, one is now out of touch and far away, and one passed away long ago as a young woman. We all miss her still. But the others, except for me, the "outlier" live in Missouri, some to the east, some to the west, and some in the middle. I am in touch with them all, and they have started to get together for an evening once a month, with or without spouses. Last Friday was the first regular time, sitting for hours at a restaurant, reminiscing, telling stories, laughing. I know because my brother called to tell me all about it. I'm going to try to be there sometime, haven't seen some in a long time. I was the oldest, then came six others close to the same age, then, in the year I was married, two more. 



       During our growing up years, we played and played, put on different kinds of performances for the family, ran all over town visiting different people, played games in whatever spaces we could find, sometimes the school playgrounds, sometimes nearby fields. If you grew up with some freedom and lots of cousins, I imagine you understand. 
        Of course life has moved on, some cousins are no longer with us, some have married and divorced and re-married, most had children and their children now have children. But I have a sense that everyone last week didn't talk much about today, but about those good times yesterday. I hope you have a few cousin memories, too!
Me with my Aunt Barb, before my brother,
and all those other cousins came along!

My brother on the left, then the next six.

Everyone a little older, this one includes the youngest.


42 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful celebration of family. My sisters and I all had children around the same time - 6 cousins within 38 months of each other. We have yearly summer holidays together and it's so great to have all the kids in one place for a week. I loved these photos too Linda! I am sure you are right about all of the talking - there must be so many great stories!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sarah & I take the girls and Carter back in the summer so they can get to know everyone, and each other a little bit more. How lovely for your family to have all those together!

      Delete
  2. Enjoy! My kids are the only children on one side and have two cousins on the other. My daughter would love to have been part of the camaraderie of your crew! Get out there & visit!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I need to go back to visit for sure. There aren's so many "big" families anymore, and we are all spread out. Thanks, Stefanie.

      Delete
  3. Such wonderful pictures, Linda! I love looking back on "old" times. I hope you get a chance to make one of those get togethers soon.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Me, too. Aren't the pictures fun? Thanks, Jennifer.

      Delete
  4. Absolutely Linda! There were 4 of us, my sister and our 2 cousins who were sisters. We grew up in Chicago in in a three flat with our grandparents living in the middle floor. We too have wonderful memories pf playing in the staircase of the apartment building! Today these same cousins live here in New Mexico!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wonderful to hear about, Lynn. Those must be happy memories, & to now be close again, terrific.

      Delete
  5. Ooh, I love this. The love and good times come through clearly in your words.
    My cousins and I grew up on the same street, and had lots of fun times together. My favorite was "The Skating Scotts," a rollerskating show in my aunt's garage. We made the neighbors pay for tickets. We spent weeks getting costumes together. Thanks for bringing back the good memories this morning!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Those "shows" were in our lives, too, such motivation to get it all together, right? Thanks for sharing your story, Cathy. Love it!

      Delete
  6. Ahhh the cousins. Only two on my dad's side and they lived across the street from us. Ironic, we are closer as adults. On the other side some lived in Canada some on Long Island. As kids we loved seeing them, but harder as adults. Love your commitment to your cousins...
    Bonnie K.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess part of it is the time we had as children, and that we kept getting together all the years, although it is less now. I always love being with them when I can, which is nice. Thanks, Bonnie.

      Delete
  7. Such a beautiful story Linda. I didn't grow up with cousins near by nor did we venture to visit. I so envy you this big family. I had hoped my girls would grow up close with their cousins, but the only cousins are the 6 on my husbands side and they are al around the country and always have been. Yet another missed opportunity.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Being so spread apart makes it very hard to keep up. As I said above, the growing up so close makes it easier to keep close now. Thanks, Deb.

      Delete
  8. We are a small family. My cousins all live out west and I haven't seen them in years. I do still remember when they as kids came to visit. We had great times. How lucky you are to have had that extended family close by as you were growing up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I do feel lucky, and know that people started moving apart in the fifties and sixties, finding new adventures. That was a loss, but we did it, too. Opportunities call! Glad you have some good memories with them as you grew up!

      Delete
  9. Growing up, we were the cousins away from the core family. So it was a huge party when we arrived for vacation. I thought my cousins were the best. Unfortunately I don't have contact with a lot of them today.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you mean. It was a big time when we went back to Missouri when my kids were growing up.

      Delete
  10. I've never lived that close to any of my cousins as a kid. I mean, some weren't far away (i.e., a two-hour drive), but others were a plane ride. Nowadays, everyone is scattered across the USA and we only see each other at weddings. I wish we lived closer. It would be nice to celebrate the ordinary day-to-day things with them.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's what is missed, those day-to-day stopping by for a quick visit. I wish we had more of it, too. Now, do it with Sarah & family & that's fun.

      Delete
  11. Sweet memories, Linda. This is the way my husband grew up, too - many cousins, much laughter, great memories. You are both lucky!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Tara, I know your family is far away, but I am glad you get to go for a long visit.

      Delete
  12. Cousins - I grew up surrounded by them. It was such fun! Sundays almost always included a cousin coming over after church or going to her house. My kids have never lived close to cousins, but we hadCousin Week in the summers with my brother's kids and made lots of wonderful memories. Now I want to know which of the lovely girls in the pics is you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The only pic of me is the top one with my aunt. I couldn't find any with everyone of us. Sorry. Glad to hear about your Cousin week!

      Delete
  13. ...we played and played... happy childhood. When you get together the memories will carry you back to the past. I have some fond cousin summer memories. We try to meet more than once a year.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy that you can get together sometimes, Terje. We are connected too much to our cousins to not try to keep up a little.

      Delete
  14. I loved hearing about your large group of relatives. I came from a very small family and my cousins were much younger. I do miss them. One is in Central NY and the other in Florida. Family memories are fun to recall.

    ReplyDelete
  15. I didn't grow up close to cousins, but my children are and I love the traditions, silly moments, and day to day memories they have with each other. Hope you get to join one of the cousin dinners soon.
    Clare

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Clare. It is good for all of us to keep those memories.

      Delete
  16. Such fun to have an extended family. I have some cousins I am close to, but recently my mother sent me and my siblings a picture of a new cousin and none of us even remembered the father's name. Sad how spread out and out of touch we get.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, and some of us do lose touch, but I don't think I will with this group, & I am grateful.

      Delete
  17. I really don't even know for sure how many cousins I have- my mom was youngest of 11 and my dad was one of seven boys! We didn't live close to each other, but most family vacations (ours and theirs, too) were trips "back home" where we spent time together. I was jealous of the ones who lived near our grandparents and each other. I thought some of my older girl cousins were beautiful as models and had crushes on the older boys. During times when I get to visit now that so many of us are becoming "the older generation" I am always struck by all the characteristics, both physical and personality that we share.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It is nice, no matter how far in time & distance, that we have the connection. Love hearing about your large family.

      Delete
  18. Cousins are the best! I love the photos...they remind me so much of some of my own, all of us crowded in together. Such special relationships. I hope you will get to participate in the get-togethers many times.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I have a similar experience, as my cousins used to live just a couple hours away and now live all the way in AZ. I'm lucky to see them once a year now! Facebook makes it easy to stay connected, but I still miss having them closer! Now I wonder how you ended up in CO... maybe a future slice? :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I never thought about writing about our move, Jennifer, but maybe I will do some "thinking back" during March. Thank you, & you're right, FB really is nice to keep up in that way.

      Delete
  20. Such fun! I have nine cousins, but they all lived in the Detroit area. We used to go every summer and have sooooo much fun being together. I haven't seen many of them in years. Reading your post makes me want to get back together!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There are a few of these I am in touch with, but haven't seen either, Carol. Even when we go back, some are out of town or ? It is always fun to get together though. Hope you will sometime!

      Delete
  21. What a great tribute. I love my cousins even if getting to see them isn't often. The all.live on the east coast.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I guess we're both "outliers", right? Glad you are still in touch sometimes, Jone.

      Delete

Having a conversation is a good thing!