Friday, August 7, 2009

And a Real Stay-Cation

Nine days after returning from Seattle we received a visit from my cousin.

A little background:

My mother is the middle child in her family. Her oldest sister is the only aunt I have living in this country. She has two children, the oldest being only a few years younger than I.

Now, growing up we were never that close. They live in IN and we are in CA. Even when we did the family visits they were filled with tourist visits to places that were interesting but tiring to kids, and so you can imagine there wasn't a lot of time spent playing or writing.

Our mothers were never super close. They spoke regularly, exchanged pictures, and were good about remembering birthdays and anniversaries. So my communications with my cousins was seeing their signatures improve on birthday cards they were told to sign each year. I believe the same was from their end.

In August of 1999, out of need to get out and see the country while I could, I took 2 weeks from work and proceeded to drive across the US. I was 25 at the time, and took my then 14 year-old brother with me. We ended up in IN, and rather than continue on to bigger cities decided to stay with family there.

Best. Decision. EVER.

My cousin was now 21, had been in college, and amazingly had a lot of the same interests as I did. We sat up a couple of nights, talking and listening to music, and our relationship changed. We weren't just cousins, we were friends.

Since then we've managed to keep in touch thanks to email, Yahoo IM, and the rare phone call. When I became engaged last year she was literally the 3rd person I told. I woke her in the middle of the night, but I called to tell her it had happened.

My wedding was less than conventional, and for me it was more about having family and friends there to celebrate than anything else. So when my cousin offered to officiate I was ecstatic. She obtained a license with a CA based church online and took care of everything.

Almost a year after her visit to perform the ceremony she was coming back to take a vacation, and bringing her boyfriend with her. They spent 6 days with us, watching movies, playing games, and seeing the sites. We visited the Winchester Mystery House, San Francisco, and Big Basin. In-between this we caught up with some good movies, some that were a little much for the short time we had together (Sorry about Watchmen!), and introduced them both to the addiction that is Peggle.

The entire visit went too fast, and I am missing her laugh and morning hugs. I honestly think I could live with her and my best friend in a big house with lots of dogs and cats, provided I could bring A along with me.

We've both agreed that my move to VA next year will be the closest that we have ever lived to one another ever. She is working on getting in to a vet school that will literally be a day drive, and I've promised her a place to go for holidays and breaks, and extended the invitation to her her pit bull and the boyfriend as well.

For now, we have a ton of pictures where everyone is smiling, looked relaxed and happy. I really cannot wait for that chance to do it again, whether here or somewhere else that is new to us both.....

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