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.