In one of life's usual chaotic convergences, several major events collided on this weekend's calendar. The four performances of South Pacific happened to coincide with a major family occasion (baby shower for my cousin Rachel) and my husband's spring choir tour to Ohio/Indiana. But it's all good... this morning we had three generations of cousins in my mom's living room (four, actually, if you count the wee one in Rachel's belly!) There was much food, laughter, and good times shared in the past couple of days.
My cousins are important to me, although I hardly ever see any of them. As an only child who is the daughter of an only child, my maternal cousins are all of the second, third, and once-removed variety. But that doesn't matter, because whenever we do get to spend time together, we're amazed at the similarities that crop up. My cousin Bonnie shares my interest in geneology, and we always talk about taking a geneology trip together, roaming the hills of Kentucky in search of information about our ancestors. This weekend I learned that my cousin Grace shares my love of writing, and harbors the same fantasies about the writing life that I do. As Crawford women, we all share certain characteristics - we love good food, we're extremely close to our families, and we can be a bit obsessive about certain things.
My mom is now the eldest of the women in this family. My aunt's death in September marked the end of the seven sisters who spawned a generation of more than 35 children, including the five you see in this picture. They're scattered all over the United States, as is common these days. So it's a rare occasion indeed when even a few of us can gather in one place for a little while. And I think the older we get, the more we cherish these times together, knowing how few and far between they are, and how fleeting is our time on this earth.
We rallied at my mother's house this weekend, and she took care of us in grand southern style - turkey and stuffing casserole, honey baked ham, homemade cheesecake and carrot cake, hot cinnamon rolls and fried bacon for breakfast, plenty of good strong coffee and cold crisp iced tea. When four more people were invited for breakfast this morning, she got up at 7 and pulled together hash browns and eggs for 10. Amazing...if only I can do half as well when I'm 83.
Spending some quality time with these good women was a treat. We're all excited about Rachel's new baby, and while we don't know whether it's a boy or a girl, we do know that it comes from some pretty strong stock. It was good for me to be reminded of these roots of mine, and to see them stretching out into the future.
That's what family is all about.