Saturday is a blur. I was up before 7 (something that doesn’t happen a lot) and started moving things around and carrying things downstairs and outside to make room for the arrival of the new refrigerator.
Then, I went outside and buffed off Pearl and Ladybird, cleaned Ladybird’s windows and threw on some tire foam to shine them up. (The mother had cleaned Pearl on Friday, but we made an impromptu shopping trip Friday night, during which we picked up a lot of bug guts. I, in turn, ran Ladybird through the car wash and buffed her off on my way home from work as I’d driven her to the bus depot.)
By now, it was 8:30 and there was still no sign of the refrigerator. Hmm. Well, they did say between 8 and noon. I’d barely completed that thought when the phone rang.
“Hi and good morning. This is Gene. I’ve got a refrigerator for you …”
Forty minutes later (and they’d given a 15-minute arrival time) the new fridge was sitting in the kitchen and they were gone. That included both taking off and putting back on the front door! They were awesome, very careful with everything. Can’t say enough good things about Gene and Bill.
After reshuffling things, I started looking for dress shoes and dashed off for a haircut in preparation for the wedding this afternoon. And then, there was the wedding …
When we walked in the church, we were greeted by an usher who was unmistakably my cousin’s son. (Looks just like him.) I hadn’t seen him – except in Christmas card pictures – since he was about six months old. Then, there was the bride, another cousin’s daughter. I hadn’t seen her since she was maybe 9 or 10, until she was on TV last year at a job fair and we just happened to catch the news broadcast.
This went on throughout the whole day and evening. I saw cousins I hadn’t seen in 25 years, got updates on all their kids, and even met or was reintroduced to a few. So many of them are grandparents or about to become them. It’s crazy.
My cousin Dago (he with the trusty backhoe to take out my fence and haul away my sidewalk) was there and I finally got to meet his daughter. She’s 12. His wife was with their son at a baseball tournament, so I’ll have to meet him another time. I saw my cousin, J.L., for the first time in close to a decade and met his wife for the first time. (They’ve only been married 13 years.)
I don’t have any first cousins on the mother’s side, but the other side makes up for it in abundance. On that side, I have 18 first cousins. About half of them were at the reception. Of those, I spoke to all but one. (That’s her problem. Whatever.) So it was an enjoyable evening all around.
I found out that one of my cousins now lives five minutes away. I also learned that another cousin’s husband works about a block from me – and their son is interning RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET! I got updates on several of the cousins who weren’t there, including at least one ill-fated DIY story (which I’ll share later.)
It’s funny as all of my father’s siblings are now gone. Growing up, I logged a lot of hours at their homes. My cousins and I had a lot of good times, saw a lot of insanity, shared some tragedies. And, as with most people in our lives, we lost track. Not completely. But in huge gaps.
I was always particularly close to Dago, who is three years older, and J.L., who is a year younger -- each of us the youngest child, or in my case ONLY child, of a different sibling. (All of my girl cousins but one are at least five years older, and in kid years, that’s a lifetime.) So there I was, roped in with the boys.
And there we were, all sitting together again last night. For the first time. In decades. It was a lot like being a kid again – and in the best of childhood memories.