I thoroughly enjoyed my cousins' visit. They arrived around 4:00 bearing gifts of wine, bread, fruit, and cheese. Immediately, we set in to eat, drink, and be merry. There's something about the constitutions of New Orleanians that allows them to put away serious amounts of libations. I have to dilute mine with water; otherwise, I can't keep up. Conversation was lively until almost midnight. I love the camaraderie and easy familiarity that prevails in our soirees. Even Mike was engaged until he retired around 9:00. And he didn't complain at all about our noise.
The common theme we seem to enjoy celebrating the most is the loving relationship between their mother and my father, the older brother and his younger sister. I've remarked frequently about how much like a brother Skip has been to me since we both retired and re-connected through our work on the family tree. Bill only recently joined this reunion, but since I knew him better in our growing up years (only one year's age difference between him and me, six between Skip and me), there was a foundation of familial affection already existing.
Our conversation usually takes bits and pieces of memories about our parents, experiences we personally observed, or stories they told us; then we expand and expound on them, maybe even embellish a little, and squeeze out their special significance to us. They left us a rich legacy of topics to discuss, as well as their practice of deep love and care for one another to emulate. Just as they learned a lot from their Uncle Si, I learned a lot from my Aunt Margaret, especially about being the mother of two sons.
We also talked about our recent trips. They were in Greece and Italy around the same time I was in Ireland. Here are pictures of each of them on this vacation.
Bill's daughter Melissa had her wedding in Greece while they were there. Their description of the whole event struck me as hysterically funny, and prompted me to ask, "who wrote this script?" It was definitely a one-of-a-kind wedding, with the invoking of Greek gods and defying the Greek gods, and the goat that cooked all night, but never got done.
Mike got up at 4:15 to get ready for his trip to Greenville. He was due in court by 9:00. I went back to bed when he left at 5:45, and the dogs, the cousins and I slept until about 9:00. By 11:00, they were gone. I never get enough of them. Skip has promised a longer visit in September.