Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Illinois to Texas and back

It's hard to believe that two weeks ago we were packing to go to Texas for my cousin's wedding. I had just returned home on Friday from FL and had conferences in the evenings on Tuesday and Wednesday. Since it was going to be such a short stay it was relatively easy to get ready and pack. We were gone from Thursday to Sunday. The wedding was the only event that required specific clothing (although no true in my boys' minds). The oldest has dress clothes from homecomings and they still fit. His growth has significantly slowed down. The youngest son is still growing. Pants that I bought for him last winter/spring, did not fit. He also did not have a pair of dress shoes. On Saturday, the day after my return from FL., I took the youngest son shopping for pants, shirt, & shoes. The girl wore a pretty sleeveless pale yellow party dress and I had ordered a brown button-up cardigan (in case she was chilly). I had ordered a dress that came in while I was out-of-town. It needed hemming, so I was hemming after conferences the night before our flight. Doug was set dress wise. He always has a nice suit or dress slacks. Although he was in need of new dress shoes.

We flew out at 6:00 in the morning which meant us getting up and going around 4:30 am. We arrived in Texas in the early afternoon. We had great traveling conditions and all our flights arrived to their destinations early. On Thursday we meet my uncle and visited our family ranch/farm and our family cemetery. Friday we spent some time with my great aunt and uncle (my children's great-great aunt and uncle), check out the wedding chapel, and played tourist in downtown. Saturday was the wedding day and Sunday we headed home.

It was wonderful seeing many of my family members that I haven't see in years. We figured that Doug, the oldest and youngest child had not been to Texas to visit family in nine years. My daughter was literally a baby when we were last there as a family. My youngest son and I had been there a year and a half ago doing some genealogy research.

There were moment at the wedding/reception that were bittersweet. It seemed that there were very few of us family there. I have always felt like we are such a large family and yet we seemed so finite at the wedding. It made the losses of family members so clear. It was bittersweet seeing their adult children who so closely resembled them. I also missed my cousin who has a six children and his sibling who has two children plus grandchildren. You put them in a room and not only does our family double in size but the pranks and foolishness begin.

We did have a nice and reserved time. My daughter, husband, and I danced. The boys read and listened to their I-pod. They didn't care for Tejano and Country music. Me either, but when in Rome...

My oldest had a conversation with a cousin that went like this. How are we related? I don't know? Who are you? Andrea. O.K. So how are we related!? My aunt their great-aunt was sitting at the table and explained their relationship. A photo of not quite long lost cousins meeting for the first time. The last time I saw this cousin was at her aunt's wedding (my cousin). My son,pictured here, was four years old and the ring bearer.

I had to pay my youngest to dance with his cousin, the bride. I couldn't pay the oldest to dance. It cost me $5.00 but it was worth this photo.

Growing up people couldn't tell my sister and I apart. Others thought that all four of us siblings looked alike. I never really thought about us looking like our cousins. When we went to visit my cousin in D.C. a couple of summers ago we would ride the train into D.C. with her each day. We met several of her commuter friends as well as some colleagues. They thought my cousin and I were sisters. She told me at the wedding that one guy still asks about her sister. She keeps telling him she doesn't have a sister (true, just two brothers). Then he gets all shocked and says well who was that woman with you. She has to remind him that I'm her cousin. He just can't believe that we are cousins not siblings. I had my husband take a picture of the four female first cousins attending the wedding. (There was one male first cousin, making five us in attendance.) I figure that my cousin can take this picture to her commuter friend and really confuse him.

So you can see that we had a wonderful time with lots of pictures and memories. My daughter the planner is already planning the next trip.

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