Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cousins, Aunts and Uncles

My Mother lives in Wisconsin, while I live in Washington State with my Dad. So I go to Wisconsin most years.  Both Mom and Dad came from large families.  Eighty some years ago there was no birth control and children worked on the farms.  Thus, although I am an only child, I have lots of aunts, uncles and many cousins.

My most recent visit was in May of this year.  I went with a purpose -- to visit as many family members as I could.  I got my wish.  Of course I spent a lot of time with my Mom, but spent time with family I hadn't seen for a long time. 

My Mother's eldest sister Lorraine is still alive at 94 and clear as a bell.  She uses a walker, but otherwise she seems more like 84.  While I was talking with her she said "I have only six years to get to 100"!

Lorraine has a daughter, Darlene, and four sons.  The boys used to tease me and my cousin Margaret.  For example, they told her she had to pump the cows tail to get milk.  She almost got kicked.  One of the boys died in a car crash a few years back.  While I was visiting with Lorraine, her youngest son, Gene arrived.  I hadn't known that I would get to see him.  It had been decades since I had any contact.  Later that day we had dinner with two of Darlene's brothers and their wives.

We spent most of a day with another of her brothers, Lyle, the eldest, and slept at their house.  That was interesting because as a child, I rarely even saw him because he was was so much older.  His wife, Ella Mae is a really wonderful woman.  She has hearing problems, and yet she communicates very well.

One thing I really liked as we travelled around, was the beauty of green rolling hills and valleys.  Ina way it reminded me of Whatcom County, in Washington State, where I live.  Both are green, and both have hills and valleys.  Yet Wisconsin doesn't have actual mountains as we have in Washington. 

Another of the places we went to was Madison Wisconsin.  My Aunt Yvonne lives there.  When we arrived at her door, she scolded me for not having visited for too long.  She said, "I haven't seen you since 1986!"  Then she smiled.

Then there was church, and another cousin from a different family.  He was leading a session on money issues for the church.  He was as surprised as I was!  A couple of days later he came to Mom's apartment and spent some time with Mom, another aunt, and me. 

Every thing comes to an end, and Darlene and my Mom took me to the airport in Milwaukee.  I checked my bag and then the fun and challenges began. 

See you in the next chapter!

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