December 1, 2010

Family Ties

This past week Chris and I made the trek to Cherokee, AL to visit my Aunt Diana, Uncle Bo and cousins Addison and Austin (my Uncle Jeff Aunt Donna and cousins Christine and Anna arrived after dinner but early enough for a chat) for Thanksgiving! I've been to my Aunt's house several times but it never ceases to amaze me. If I have not told you all about her house yet, ask me about it and I will. It is a beautiful Greek revivial style Civil War era mansion, complete with slave quarters and what Chris informed were buggy steps. It has a widows walk on top and the views are unbelievable. I hurt my knee going up the ten thousand sets of steps to get to it -- but it was worth it. (I also had my first experience with my lungs being squished into my chest - breathing is getting harder!)

That is a picture of the house from much longer ago. It is absolutely beautiful.

To give you an idea of how many stairs there are...  My knees are not handling this center of gravity shift vey well at all!

Anyway, while yes, the house and land are pretty darn cool (I'll post the pictures I took later on this week), it was really the family time that was special. My family is not what you would call close, in the geographical sense. We are spread pretty far and wide (my Aunt Diana and her men being the closest at two hours away) so we don't weave in and out of the daily ups and downs of each others lives the way some families are lucky enough to do. But I don't think that changes the deep love we have for each other and as I have gotten older one of my favorite things to do is to find my family in me and vice versa. I know that sounds crazy but for example, I snort when I laugh. I always thought this was a weird trait. Nope. That comes from my Aunt Diana (along with stomach problems and placenta previa apparently -- just kidding although those are two things we share in common). My Dad and my Uncle Jeff make the same facial expressions and adopt the same tone of voice when they are re-enacting a befuddled moment. I wish I had known my grandpa Dickens long enough to see if his boys got that trait from him or from their mother. I also learned that my Aunt is an avid kitchen cleaner, as am I, desiring that the kitchen be straightened up and clean after a meal. I always thought this came exclusively from my Grandma White (or Plumlee now) as she and I both spin into a mad tizzy after a meal, desperate for order to be immediately restored to our kitchen. I saw some of that in my Aunt this week. Sometimes I think being a family sociologist would have been the perfect (albeit poorly paying) job for me. These things fascinate me.

It was also very cool to introduce Evie (in bump form) to the two other peices of her namesake's direct legacy. My aunt even used my grandmothers gorgeous linens during dinner. I can't wait until the day I can take Evie to visit and show her the napkins and placemats and the china and say, "See there? See that pretty girl? That belonged to your grandmother who you are named for?". Evie will never meet her namesake -- but I know she'll be watching over her and I want her to feel the earthly connection of her family as well. My Uncle Jeff about had a come apart when he saw me (well not really but close enough for my Uncle). He said he looked at me and saw my mother when she was pregnant with me. There is no denying it, yup I look like my mom. I hope to able to introduce Evie to him soon after her birth as well. He lives in Dallas so it's farther but we will make it work.

We had a great Thanksgiving and after my husband and baby Evie time with my family, both immediate and extended, was what I was most grateful for.