Immediate and extended.

I’ve just come off of few days in Johnson City with daughter Amy on her spring break from ETSU, and a week at home with Glenda on her spring break from UT, and a little family picnic with extended family in Gallatin.  I’m thinking this is the electronic version of having to watch someone’s vacation slide show from back in the day.  The good news here is that you do NOT have to sit in my living room and pretend to be interested.  You can go off and Google something far more interesting and check back later for a more edgy and unsettling post, if that’s what you’re looking for (cuz you know that’s just a matter of time)!

Because this will be all flowers and butterflies.  You’ve read here before my gushing about spending time with my kids, and these past two weeks have been no exception.  First there was the visit with Amy in Johnson City and meeting her friends and seeing where she works and having coffee and beer (not together) and talking about classes and life, and then there is the week with Glenda, and seeing her friends and watching her work and having coffee and beer (ditto) and talking about classes and life.

Then came the extra bonus of having a little family get-together in Gallatin.  A precious cousin I seldom see came in from Oregon for a week visit with her mom, my aunt.  We are close in age and were close growing up, but time and space conspire to keep us apart, so we settle for an electronic presence in one another’s lives.  But every now and then the universe opens up a little space for us to have a face-to-face, and this week was that time!

Cousin Stephanie, her man Michael, Aunt Annie

We had a little get-together in a park, along with another aunt and more cousins, but Steph in this case was the centerpiece.  She’s a damn hippie living a sustainable life out in Oregon, she’s loud and confident and  opinionated and smart and I love her.  We have a lot in common, and we differ at lot, but that just means we have big enough personalities to accomplish that.  I grew up with only brothers, so in a real sense, she was the closest thing I had to a sister.  Steph and I were the oldest of the girls cousins; the younger ones we treated like dollies.  She and I wrote letters in code, and sent each other word games in the mail, and giggled under the covers at the grandparents when we were supposed to be asleep.   I’ve watched her raise her family, and evolve, and travel, and become the complex person she is today.

I really had no intention of this little post being a little love letter to Steph, but sometimes the writing kind of takes over and I just hang on.  I had intended on writing about how much all of my family means to me, not just this one special person.  But I’ll just let it go at this, and I’ll write about the others as it unfolds.

Beautiful run today, on the property.  We have new renters in the little house, the dogs and I encountered them walking around, and their dog and Uga got into a little dust-up, but no one’s the worse.  Every tree and plant and flower is having sex, which makes it hard to breathe, but what a gorgeous display they make (does that make all of us voyeurs?)

Thanks for reading!