Sunday, October 26, 2008

I'm off to Devon!

I'm leaving for England on Wednesday. My grandfather is turning 100 and there's a big party. With their six children, 19(?) grandchildren, various spouses and great-grandchildren, its going to be a fairly big party. Since my grandparents are pretty much housebound, we're all going to squeeze into their tiny house. We know it can be done. We did it for Grandad's 99th birthday last year.

I put a question mark next to the number of grandchildren, because I can never remember how many cousins I actually have. I'm the eldest, my brother is the second eldest, and I can remember the names of the first 7 or 8 after that, but I'm a bit fuzzy on most of the ones around my son's age and younger. It didn't help that we moved to the U.S. before they were born, so the most I've ever met any of them is 3 or 4 times. I come from a huge family, but feel as though I come from a tiny one with just my parents and my brother.

My cousin's children? Might as well forget it. I'll never remember their names. Except Poppy. She came to our wedding, and then "long-distance-dated" my son's best friend for a while.

The two cousins I feel I know best are the two daughters of my mother's youngest brother, because they've actually come over and visited for a while. Nicky (15 years younger than I am) came to stay while I was doing my thesis, so I put her to work. She got to slog through cow fields and slosh around in streams for her vacation. Gwen (3 years younger than my son - 27 years younger than me) and my Aunt Jayne fared a little better on their recent visit.

My mother mentioned the name of one of my cousins and said she was Grandad's favourite, and I almost burst into tears. I never had the chance of being Grandad's favourite (although I probably was at one point because for almost three years I was the only one).

I actually feel much closer to my aunts and uncles, although I suppose I really don't know them any better. Most of them have come to visit over the years, and my mother's youngest sister is only nine years older than I am.

My parents live ~2000 miles away and my brother lives ~2700 miles away, and it seems as though the only time we all get together nowadays is 5371 miles away. I'll be back in a couple of weeks!


Kia said...

Have a good trip! I'll be looking forward to seeing lots of photos posted when you return.

William Martin said...

no fair I want to go to england

Anonymous said...

Hi Laurie.
I sometimes read your blog (does that mean you have 5 readers?!?!?) but have just come across the bit where you say you know who i am. I feel quite honoured - (and the 100 things about you, so spot the ENGLISH spelling of honoured!!!)
Anyway, hope ur well.
Nicky - grandchild number 9 (I think!)