Family Weekend

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Growing up in Nebraska, I had my small nuclear family, my parents and two sisters, but no extended relatives nearby.  We traveled every so often, but I never felt like a part of a big family.  Moving to Texas, where my mother's home fires burn has been an experience.  It first it felt a little odd to be around all these extended relatives who knew each other well, but the thing about family is that they tend to just accept you even if you're a virtual stranger.  Now, here we are, in the middle of a huge family.  My grandmother was one of six children (all still alive and nearby) and my mother was one of four.  On my mom's side, I have five first cousins in addition to my two sisters and then there are various aunts and uncles as well as second-cousins and first-cousins-once-removed.  I'm not entirely sure how I am related to everyone, I just know who they are.

After A and I moved to Houston, my sister decided to attend graduate school in Austin and one of my cousins from Florida decided to move to Houston for a few months.  I am the oldest cousin and there's a bit of an age gap, but the flurry of activity related to all the new Texas residents has just been plain fun.

This past weekend, my aunt had a birthday and we celebrated out at my grandpa's farm under the stars.  Few things feel as wonderful as being out of the city, with family, grilling out or chucking watermelon rinds over the fence.

There is something about being able to get away, outside of the city.  I don't know exactly what it is, but it almost feels like all the extra space takes away my stress and stretches it out so that it's thin enough to dissolve away.  There is something about being outside, outside of the city, staring up at the moon and the stars.  Something about being able to see so much more of the universe shrinks all the mental clutter and clears out my brain.

And then there is something that feels secure and fun in doing simple things with family.

I'm trying to savor it all.

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