My cousin Jeanette is 12 years older than me. Although we grew up in the same small NH town, we never got to know each other. (She did, however, know my cousin, Jean.) At 18, Jeanette joined the army and got married a couple years later, not to return to our home town (except for visits after I had moved away). As her husband, Ron, made a career of military policing, they lived in many different and interesting places, including 2 assignments in Germany. They retired in Anniston, AL, site of Ron’s last military assignment. We met at a memorial service about a year ago and made plans to meet up at some time in the near future and get to know each other.
Although we would have gladly driven out of our way to visit, the shortest route between Memphis and Melbourne (where we planned to visit my parents) goes through Anniston. Sweet!
From the first welcome hug to the bunch of see you later hugs, we got busy catching up on almost 60 years of history. Given the difference in our ages, we each got to know different aunts, uncles and cousins and filled in each other’s gaps. We also had different memories of our grandparents, having known them at different ages – ours and theirs. Of course, we left lots of time to hear about Jeanette and Ron’s 4 kids, their spouses, and 9 grandchildren. We were treated to a fabulous vegetarian dinner with a southern twist – beans and greens (one of our faves) served with fried potatoes, pepper juice and homemade biscuits. Our visit was way too short.
In all the excitement, we forgot photos, and that only means one thing… we’ll be back!