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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

It's All Relative

This past weekend, I had the privilege and pleasure of butting in on paying a visit to the annual Cousins' "Retreat" that five of my nieces have been making a springtime tradition for the past few years.  Because they all live in different towns across Maine, and one lives on Nantucket Island in Massachusetts, and  they all work full time, their busy schedules don't make it easy for them to see each other frequently.  In a deliberate attempt to stay in touch, they started getting together for dinner at Christmas time five or six years ago. That was so much fun, they decided that an overnight trip would be even better. 

They have shared a weekend in Boston, MA,  with dinner, a show, and shopping a couple of times.  They have made a trip to Portsmouth, NH, for dinner and mall/outlet shopping as well. Janice, a seasoned traveler is the "meeting planner."  She picks the hotel, and plans the itinerary.

I happened to hear this year the destination would be Portsmouth again, and since that is only about 35 or 40 minutes from my house, I called Gail, one of the "pentarchy," and asked if I might join them for a few minutes to get a photo, and some blog fodder.  She agreed to conference with the rest of the group and  would call me with a time and place.

The five were gracious enough to invite me to joint them at their hotel for breakfast Sunday morning for chat and photos.
Front row, left to right:  Carol and Debbie.  Back row, left to right:  Diane, Gail, and Janice.

They are a diverse group:  Two work in the medical field--Carol is a nurse, Diane is a laboratory technician; Gail is an elementary school teacher; Debbie works in the field of accounting; Janice straddles the medical and accounting fields by working in the accounting department at a hospital, in addition to working part-time at the airport on Nantucket (hence, the travel savvy).   I have to say I'm not sure of their ages, but I would guess that they range somewhere between early 40s and early 50s.  Two are single, three are married.  Three have children. 

As we ate and chatted, it was obvious to me that they have a wonderful camaraderie.  They laughed  easily and often as they shared a little of their lives with me and asked me about my family.  I found myself envying their determination to keep the family bond intact.  I have cousins I haven't seen since my mother's funeral, 26 years ago, and most of my cousins live in the same state I do.  We have completely lost touch.  It's a shame.

In the end, these lovely ladies picked up my tab for breakfast.  I consider it "hush money,"  to keep me from disclosing any dark secrets about them!  (After all, I remember them all when they were in diapers!)  I wasn't allowed to leave until I'd had my photo taken with them:

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Those among you who've been following my blog will recognize me as the one in the middle of the front row in the psychedelic shirt.  I say, party on ladies!  Do any of you have similar "connections?"
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23 comments:

Bossy Betty said...

How wonderful! I am so happy you all got together!

Mary at Deep South Dish said...

No, I don't, but that's a very cool thing to do. I've just recently connected on Facebook with cousins of mine who live all over the country, and one who lives in Austria, who I've not seen or spoken with for many, many years.

R.J. said...

That looks like a happy group. Family reunions sound warm and fuzzy. I haven't heard of one in my family in decades. Maybe I should start one.

Brian Miller said...

so cool. we all need friends like that...i have a friend i get coffee with once a week...about the closest thing i got right now..

Moooooog35 said...

Nice shirt, Eva.

Excuse me now while I take my anti-seizure medication.

natalee said...

What a great thing to do.. I love the picture.. everyone seems genuinely happy to be together..(always a plus LOL) hugs!!!

DJan said...

In Boulder I had a women's group that met for more than 25 years, but here I'm happy to meet my friends at the gym and chat, and one particular woman and I now go out to movies, dinner, and sometimes a trip to Seattle together. She's trying to talk me into an Alaskan cruise, but we'd have to take my husband along, and it wouldn't be the same...

Jen said...

Good blog, Eva. Nice that families get together and make memeries.

Steven Anthony said...

what a wonderful way to stay in touch....family is so important, ;)

Writing Without Periods! said...

What a great day. Looks like a lot of fun.
Mary

Jessica - One Shiny Star said...

Thanks for stopping by! That's great to have those kinds of relationships. I am not close to any of my cousins!

Eva Gallant said...

Jen: Happy family memories are the best.

Lexi: I agree that hairy, saggy beer bellies are no more appealing than gravitationally influenced boobs!

Kitty: Was it a sight for sore eyes, or did it make your eyes sore??

Tam: Glad things are cleared up for you, too!

Alli: The sad part is, this homophobe, Michael Heath, is serious when he says it!

Meeko Fabulous said...

That's so cool! I wish me and my cousins got along like that. Oh well. LoL :)

Happy Gramma said...

What a fun day!
Thanks for following me.
If you like to blog hop come to my blog and grab a button for Welcome Wednesday. It is a great way to get your name out!
www.happyfamilyhappykids.blogspot.com

lakeviewer said...

You are a lucky person to have so many connections. And they are lucky to have you.

injaynesworld said...

What a lovely thing to do. I have some cousins that I'm still close to, but we only see each other once a year if that. I envy people who have rich family traditions like this. Glad you got to be part of such a fun time.

The Lucy and Dick Show said...

My cousin and I always lamented at family funerals that we only ever saw one another there. About six years ago, (yet again an elderly cousin,) we decided enough was enough and he and his wife and Dick and I got together for breakfast one morning. We met at nine am and were still sitting there at four! We've organized three family reunions and several of us call and email now.
My advice to anyone is go visit or call or 'do' a family reunion! The young ones need to know where they come from and even if you think you've nothing in common anymore, you'll be surprised!

Super Budget Power said...

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Thanks Reed

rose said...

Isn't it great when the gals can get together and enjoy being with each other.

sanjeet said...

I am so happy you all got together!
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gayle said...

My cousins and I have been talking about this for years!! .......to have a cousin get together..........but never have. The odd thing is this is the 2nd time this week I have read about a cousin get together!! Maybe I should just plan one!!

Eva Gallant said...

Rose: It sure is.

HappyGramma: That it was.

Jessica: I wish I had kept the connection with my cousins as well

Mary(Writing)It was a totally fun time.

Steven: I agree; family is the priority!

Marla said...

Great post, Eva. My mom was the youngest of 14, my dad was the youngest of 9. I have a bazillion relatives and amazingly, we remain a tight-knit family.