Tuesday, September 10, 2013

What Happens in Texas, Stays in Texas

Cousins by chance, friends by choice

I’m sworn to secrecy.   I can’t tell you what we said, what secrets we let out or what we actually did.  I’m sure you’ve all been at similar gatherings.  This was a first cousins’ event.   It definitely wasn’t all of our first cousins.  It’s very interesting how cousins drift apart.  It’s also interesting how genetically close you can be but still be so emotionally apart.  We counted our “firsts” on this side of our family.  We share 16 first cousins. 

My paternal cousins came from a mix of hers, his and ours.  Even though they were full siblings and half siblings, they had a very different upbringing … very 1sep10_2different. It’s full cousins, half maternal cousins and half paternal cousins. What a mixture we are.

Five of us ..  missing two others.

On my mother’s side there were only 10 fist cousins there.  There were no halves.  Everyone was a whole,  However, some cousins were more than whole.  Some were actually doubles.  (You know I get a kick out of comparing our DNA similarities with all that mix!)

There were only five of us who had shared several first cousin get togethers.  We have some 1sep10_1halves in Nebraska and we knew they wouldn’t be coming.  We had another half in Houston and one in Midland. Both were working this weekend.  With a couple spouses thrown in our reunion included seven people. It was actually a perfect size.

Table side guacamole

We  went to the Iron Cactus at the corner of Trinity and 6th in Austin.    It’s a hopping place in the college town of Austin.  Money wasn’t a problem.  After all at least two ATM machines were on each side of each block.  Bars and hangouts are a necessity and people watching is a popular activity. 

The guacamole dip at Iron Cactus was prepared at the table and it was awesome.  Actually, it was the best I had ever, ever had.   We did more than just eat guacamole though.  It was five cousins here who talked, shared, gossiped and reminisced.  Some cousins connect and others don’t.   Some folks can understand.  Other's can’t. 

1sep10_3One month ago it was a reunion I shared with my maternal cousins.  That one was first cousins, second cousins, third cousins and even fourth cousins.  This one was a small get together with a few cousins on my paternal side.

The rest of Saturday was spent in Austin.  The folks from Kerrville had driven to Austin for the day. Sunday the folks from Austin drove to Kerrville.  I love the Kerrville area. My father was born there and over the years we made many trips to this area with him. I was excited we were heading that way.

Austin on 6th

My cousin, Charlotte, must have been excited too.  Obviously, she was in a hurry.  She was in such a hurry that she failed to reduce the speed in one of the speed traps along the way.  Yes .. we got stopped.  However, she also just got a warning.  We wonder if the trooper took pity on us.  Charles was in the back laying down.  He had recently  had a spinal cord injury when he was thrown off his bike.  The officer took note of that and it was part of our conversation.  Either way, she was relieved that she had escaped the ticket this time.


Driving from Austin to Kerrville you can usually see many fruit stands along the way. We stopped at a couple of them but knew we also had a time limit. We had a couple other stops we wanted to make along the way including the Wild Seed Farm outside of Stonewall and the cemetery where our grandparents were buried. I was disappointed with the Wild Seed Farm. Normally fields and fields of flowers are obvious from the highway. The fields were dry and there were no flowers. It was the wrong time of year for this.

Kerrville had not seen a lot of rain in a very long time.  However, on Sunday it poured.  It cooled the day off and brought in lots of humidity.  Since we weren’t planning on spending much time sitting outside, it didn’t really matter.  We just enjoyed reminiscing and watching the Texas storm.0sep10_8 

One of things we did was look at photo albums filled with reunion pictures from years ago.  I’m going back and taking a scanner with me very soon.

Can you guess who most of these people might be?  1978 is when the picture was taken.


Here is a picture of my dad with four of his siblings at the same reunion.  (He’s the tallest.)

A stop was required in Fredericksburg.  We always stopped at Clear River Ice Cream store when we made the trips with my dad.  Needless to say, that’s where we stopped again.  .

0sep10_12 0sep10_11

Monday morning it was time to head back to the airport.  Flights were uneventful and I was back in Portland as planned later that day.  I’m going back soon ..  real soon (I haven’t told Terry yet).

Terry’s ready to shut down Pacific Northwest just_grav1activities and get on the road again.  So, over the next couple weeks that’ll be the plan.  We have a couple birthdays coming up and will start giving some thoughts to getting on the road again.

Yes, same picture … but here it is until Justin’s ship leaves Syria!

‘Tis life on the road.



  1. What fun! I think it's really nice that you keep up with your cousins. I haven't seen mine in years and years. Everyone is getting together for the burial of my aunt in a few days, but that's in Santa Rosa, California, and too far for me to drive.

    I hope with these new developments, Justin's ship will be leaving Syria very soon. I pray he will be safe from harm.

  2. I hope John Kerry's throw away line brings Justin home safely.

  3. Sounds like so much fun! My family has dwindled down to very few folks! I think it's great that you stay in touch and make the effort to get together!

    Also, planning sounds like fun too! Enjoy!

  4. Sounds like a great reunion. Nobody got arrested and everyone went home with whom they came with.

    That old picture, I can tell it's you in the shorts with the blond pigtails. I also recognize Terry. Since both pictures were taken circa 1978, I guess Terry robbed the cradle! :cD

  5. I have never been to a first cousin's reunion, only a 3rd aunt removed reunion back in '88.

    I picked out you and Terry in the photo. What do I win?

    Justin is in our prayers every day!!!

  6. I have over 100 cousins all told but I don't recall ever hearing of a reunion. Yours sure looked like fun though.

  7. Thru family issues over the years have lost touch with all the cousins on my side of the family , sure wish I could find them again. Family reunions can be so much fun.
    We too love that part of Texas.

  8. My Mom had eight brothers and sisters so there are lots and lots of cousins out there somewhere but we didn't keep in touch. Lots of family drama and I prefer to keep it away from me. But I do envy you your good times with your family.


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