I just got back from a family trip to Rhinebeck for a barbeque hosted by my first cousin and his wife. I drove Aunt Betty, DOB (dad of blogger), SOB (sister of blogger), HOSOB (husband of SOB), POB (partner of blogger) and our son, TLP (the little prince). Cousin Gentle arrived by train.
I need to have a do-over because the journey was not epic — nothing grotesque and peculiar happened. No blog material.
First, I picked up the rental car and it had GPS and EZ Pass. And, I got an extra 10 percent discount because, well, I just looked like I deserved it. I found a parking spot on my street. I was able to come upstairs, read the Style section of the Times and watch a pre-recorded Phineas and Ferb episode (I must admit that I was watching for my own pleasure; TLP was doing something else).
We got on the road within 10 minutes of our planned departure. I had three copies of the directions (one for each row, so everyone could follow along). We didn’t even put on the GPS. We didn’t even make a rest area stop. 2 hours door-to-door and no traffic. DOB didn’t do anything terribly outlandish and he didn’t even mind staying more than 20 minutes after arrival. So, SOB’s and my $1,000,000.00 bet about the time that DOB would say, “well, all you lovely people. . . .[it is time to go]” was for naught.
It was like taking the Stepford family out for a drive. I kept glancing in the rear-view mirror to make sure I recognized the passengers. Yep. They belong to me.
Also, Aunt Betty flew in for a week of seeing people and family (no family are not people) and we all wanted her to have her full of the ganza mishpocheh (the extended family). DOB did start singing his usual set of 5 of the most annoying songs ever sung (if they are sung all the time), but SOB and I could just walk away. HOSOB had to endure it.
Of course, I learned some things of note about the ganza mishpocheh. First, Cousin GS does not hold back. Not one thing. Not one thought. If he has something to say, he will say it, good, bad, ugly, inappropriate, whatever. That is why I love Cousin GS, he speaks his truth, which can never be reconciled with the events as anyone else sees them, and he makes me seem like a diplomat.
We had time to visit with our cousin who is living with brain cancer and his wife and kids. He is a different man than I remember. Of course, he is. His speech is labored, he is partially paralyzed, but his eyes sparkled, especially when he played with his kids. He is more interested and interesting now. My last in-depth conversation was about how he was going to conquer the world financially. In truth, I was a bit put-off, but he was young and cocky. Now he seems happy just in the world and views treatments as a necessary evil. I have to say, though, I wish he were still that cocky 30-something year-old and not the 36 year-old living with brain cancer. No one should learn about life this way.
It was a great occasion, where people were happy to be together and comfortable being their truly imitable (not inimitable) selves. (I think at POB’s and my wedding, we are going to have an extended Blogger family imitation extravaganza.)
TLP played with cousins he only just met (the grandchildren of my first cousins). They were fast friends. It was sheer joy to see.
The barbeque was one of those occasions that we will all remember years from now and be forever grateful we made the schlep.
But, still, what is there to blog about?