Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Truly Blessed

A couple of the girl cousins were out by the pool, whispering.  It was too hot for anyone else to be out there, listening to their conversations, but that didn't seem to matter.  Their heads were together and their voices were directed only to one another.

Three of the boy cousins were on the sleigh bed in the living room.  The blankets were tossed aside as they sat on the front edge, feet dangling, eyes focused on the electronic gaming device on the middle one's lap.  To call them engrossed would be to understate the situation.

Her sister-in-law reintroduced herself, apologizing for not remembering names. Twenty minutes later, we were finished sharing stories of similarly embarrassing moments.  When her husband approached us, we could only laugh.  TBG and I needed help to say hello.

Her best friend - and no, I'm not insulted that she owns the designation - brought a daughter and a grandchild and the smiles that accompany a two year old and a small dog and squeaky toys were matched only by the smiles on the host and hostesses faces.

JannyLou turned 70 on Saturday, and her entire family showed up to celebrate. She didn't want a fancy shindig, opting instead to serve Lupita's, buffet style, in her kitchen, while the photographer set up in the courtyard.  When the light was right they began assembling on the bricks and the wall and the chairs and, in various combinations of relationships they were collected and preserved.  

We sat on the bench under the portico and smiled. There was a lot of that going around.

When we realized that organizing the various iterations of JannyLou and Fast Eddie's blended family was a lengthy and complicated process, we went inside to eat. There were tortillas and fillings and salsas and fresh limes and the same tableware we used at the wedding last summer. Gradually, others filtered in, some happier than others at having to wait and having to smile and having to do anything but what he wanted to be doing right then and sometimes it's just overwhelming to be nearly ten ...but he soldiered on and, honestly, nobody paid him that much attention.  They'd all been there, felt that, and seen that before and knew that they'd be seeing it again from one or the other of the people they loved who were filling the house with family sized emotions.

TBG and I were fairly sure we could identify which kids belonged to which parents and which husbands belonged to which wives and it was funny because we've known them for years and then it made us smile even bigger... it's that kind of family... they all belong to one another... and it's as wonderful as tulips coming up in the spring in my daughter's garden.

At the end, after the gifts and the cake and the icy margaritas, Fast Eddie and I exchanged a smile and a nod and an agreement.  This is what it's all about

Happy Birthday, JannyLou.  You are truly blessed.


  1. I love family gatherings like this--where everyone is comfortable, getting along and basically just relaxing. Hubby's cousin and his family were in town over the weekend from Chicago. We spent Sunday with them and it was just like that. Kids running around, playing games, my little guy getting knocked over by his sister on the swing. He still hasn't learned that you don't walk in front of someone when they are on a swing. It was just pure relaxation and it was fun visiting with everyone.

    It was a stark contrast to Portland, where I was last week. Quite depressing and I was so happy to be home where it was sunny, warm and people were happy.

    Hope you had a lovely Memorial Day Weekend.

    Megan xxx

    1. Cousins posted pictures of family gatherings gone by this weekend.... those are the best kind of memories, aren't they.

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