Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My East Texas Relatives...(subtitled, "Oh, Yeah, Baby! We Might Be Kin!)

Tonight, one of my long lost friends from East Texas facebooked me. We’ve talked on FB on and off, utilizing the Chat thingamajiggy. It’s been cool to see his wife and kiddos' photos on Facebook. And now, memories are kind of flooding my brain.

I would spend part of every summer with my grandmother in Sulphur Springs, Texas. And then, towards the end of the summer, I would go to Troup, Texas, and stay with my aunt and uncle, and my cousins. All of my cousins were older than me, married with children, so sometimes I would get to babysit for them. As I grew older, it became a regular gig for me to go to East Texas to babysit.

My cousin Kathy had three kiddos, Keith, Kevin and Kristy. I loved these kids to pieces, and I simply idolized their mom. Kathy was the coolest Mom I’d ever known...and, she let me drive her car before I was 16, without supervision. Oh, no, she didn’t - you say. Oh, yes, she did. And it was certainly without my mom’s permission. Mom would have freaked. Remember, times were different then. I remember, she had this big honkin’ station wagon. I would go to the Dairy Queen, and I thought I was hot stuff. Cruise the drag...(well, it was only a couple of blocks long) and flirt with boys. (Surely not, you say.) Kathy was more like a big sister, so she totally “got” me. (Not that I got myself!)

Anyway, I can’t remember who affected the introduction, but one of my cousins, either Judy or Kathy, introduced me to Joe. Joe was a boy my age, whose dad owned a local business there. Joe was a cool guy. It was awesome - we got along well and had lots of fun. If I remember correctly, he had a Camaro. Sweet one, too.

We hung around all the time, and my grown cousins teased me unmercifully about Joe. As time went by, we drifted apart, each going back to our own lives separated by some 400+ miles. If I remember correctly, we wrote a letter or two, and that was before internet, Blogger, or even Facebook... can you imagine? Still, every time they saw me, my cousins would update me on Joe and his life. I think they harbored some wish that we would stay together, but it was not to be.

Joe’s happily married with children, and has his first grandchild on the way. And, of course, you know my awesome story about ThatManILove and myself!!

But I remember this time of my youth, the time i spent in East Texas, as a happy time in my life. Brother Scott and I have had plenty of heartache in our early lives at home, but our East Texas visits were always a respite of sorts, at least for me. And my cousins, as well as Joe, were a big part of that respite.

So I just want to say thanks to my cousins...and to Joe. (And Joe still thinks I’m somewhat of a tomboy. Whoda thunk it?)

Bless you all.


lani said...

Oh Janie Girl what a great story I remember the guy I adored in High School Mario and he had a midnight blue camaro .I use to sit in my room listening to the song dont let the sun catch you crying...... because he like the other girl better......oh poor you and god bless...lani

i beati said...

excitin stuff

missy said...

great post!!!!!!!
ahhhhh the good old days!!!!!
i remember staying at my cousins too....loved it!!!!!
thanks for sharing!!!!

Paige Lacey said...

Very cool auntie! And I love stories like that.

If only we knew, when it was happening, how much something would mean to us, or how little. But I think if we knew at the time, it would make the memory different somehow.

Joanie M said...

I love this story!

Is Midland anywhere near Austin? (I'm being very lazy and not looking it up for myself)

scotte said...

Wow, Joe. I remember him. I thought he was a cool guy. I remember the water tower and the smell. That East Texas Piney Wood fresh as a forest smell! It was a pleasure to breathe air without dust. Gawd! Aunt Mink and those girls could cook! I loved it there , too. Just a little too tame for me as we got older. But last time I was there Kathy had it real nice and the porch had the same feel and smell. Great place to live a lotta living.