Thursday, August 19, 2010

Family Fun

My most favorite vacation would be the last one I took. I spent a week in New Hampshire at my sister's house. She lives several miles from town, on two acres. I live with city noise. She has the Milky Way at night. I have 24-hour McDonalds. One telling statistic: As many people live in my town as live in the whole state of New Hampshire.

So I enjoyed the quiet and the greenery. But the best part came when the rest of the family showed up. Our family has a name: GSI. Stands for Grace Started It. We even have t-shirts. The evolution of this came through us constantly blaming my grandmother for most anything in the family. A proclivity to laugh. Grace started it. Green thumbs. Grace started it. Unable to stop talking over others. You got it, Grace Started It.

Grace is no longer with us, and we are living in at least a dozen different states so reunions, weddings, and funerals are when we see each other. This year it was a reunion. Seventy of Grace's relatives gathered in New Hampshire. The youngest being four months old, the oldest, nearly 84. Four generations.

There is something sweet about hanging out with cousins. I noticed that even the teens, technically second cousins, who live scattered across the country and may not have seen one another for five years, still felt the connection. Something recognizable on a DNA level? I'm not sure, but it's there. Palpable. A comfort and ease that's lovely.

We have woes and triumphs like all families. Things to brag about, things to be sad about. But mostly, we just try to make Grace proud of us. After all, she started it.


Becky Levine said...

Wonderful post. We talked about the cousin thing, and I totally buy it. I think it is some kind of genetic memory thing--I know that my cousin and my younger sister can sit on the couch next to each other, collapsing into tears of laughter, unable to catch their breath, in the same exact way my grandmother and her twin sister did. And they all have the same nose, too.

And it's wonderful to see it with the next generation, too. My nephews were just here, and even though my son and they get together maybe twice a year, they all just disappeared into his room for hours, talking about and playing with music and computer games and who knows what else. Connections.

Camille Minichino said...

Special doesn't cover it!

I also agree re: cousins. In my family, there's less baggage than with siblings, yet with all the shared memories.

Terri Thayer said...

Thanks, Becky and Camille. Sharing it brings back all the good feelings.

Linda O. Johnston said...

How great to hang out with so many family members, Terri, and to enjoy all the similarities and differences. It's definitely a time to remember and cherish!

Betty Hechtman said...

I loved your post! How great to have seventy relatives get together. There is something to that genetic thing. You made me want to call my cousins.