Texas, married three handsome men, and between them, produced one son
and three daughters. Mary Dee’s two daughters each had a daughter and a
son. Mildred’s daughter, Margaret, became my mother, who will probably
scold me for calling her “Margaret,” which she hasn’t used since high
school. Lucy Sue’s daughter, Lucille, had two daughters and a son.
Lucille’s son, John, had a daughter and a son. John’s daughter is my
third cousin once removed, if I have that right.
Mildred, and Mary Dee wanted to gather the family together, they did so
at the Stagecoach Inn in Salado, Texas. A shop nearby, located up a
flight of stairs, had a sign pointing the way that read, “Antiques.”
The three sisters found it hilarious, each and every time we met, to
pose in birth order on the steps with the “Antiques” sign. Their
children probably exchanged “do you believe this” looks; we kids were
simply relieved to the out of the glare of the flashbulbs. (Ah! Remember
young, John and his wife, Jan, invited my sister, Janet, and me to stay
with them for a week. I remember having a great time with them, once
getting to hang out at the store where John worked. I had a book and
found a quiet corner where I could read and keep an eye on the action. I
doubt that Janet did that. She was the action, I feel sure.
back on it, I am so thankful that we spent weeks with cousins or with
my aunt and uncle on my dad’s side of the family. Those weeks afforded
us opportunities to store up valuable family memories, as did holidays
in small Texas towns like Lampasas, Sour Lake, or out at the family farm
moving to various parts of the state, country, or world, our family,
like many others, began to lose touch. I hadn’t seen my third cousins
once removed in many years. I sat down one day and logged onto
Facebook, only to find a message from one of those very cousins. Her
husband, she said, worked at Baylor and had submitted the account of our
family to the Alumni Association. They had chosen us as a First
Family of Baylor, said my cousin, and she hoped to see me at the award
for us. Despite our age difference, Ladybug is only about a year older
than her daughter. We managed to set up a meeting or two while I lived
in Perfect Austin, and I enjoyed our time together.
those meetings, a lunch at a tea room in Waco, I wrote this in my
gratitude journal: “Being able to see someone’s family tree in their
face – familiar features from generations before.” I saw her father’s
smile, her grandfather’s eyes, mannerisms I remember seeing her
great-grandmother use. We laughed about memorable ancestors, shared
different perspectives on family life in the years since we’d seen each
other as children.
of course, I came to know that Brooke is more than just my cousin. Her
blog creatively approaches motherhood with fun and frugality. Her
helpful tips and coupons help me run my home better and with far more
craftiness than I am normally capable of. Her upbeat attitude reminds
me to seek the best in all I do around the house. She is more than a
cousin, she’s a friend and a virtual mentor as I’ve entered BlogWorld.
think of Lucy Sue, Mary Dee, and Mildred on the steps of that antique
shop in Salado, giggling as sisters will about the idea of them being
antiques. None of us had any idea then about the ways families would
lose touch, then reconnect. Certainly home computers had never crossed
their minds as their daughters snapped their picture. The Internet
would have sounded like something farfetched and ridiculous. And
blogs? Why on earth would you want to write, on a regular basis, news
about yourself and your family for strangers to read?
laughing together in a tea room in Waco, Texas, seeing flickers of past
generations steal across our faces? Well, I do declare they’d have
seen that coming for miles away.
Jenn LeBow is a native Texan; lover of Jesus; happy wife of Honey, a Diplomatic Security
Special Agent; mom of four (mostly) delightful kids: Cartwheel, 21;
Einstein, 10; Blossom, 8; and Ladybug, 4; and voracious reader, whose
appetite for books is reluctantly subjugated to other duties in life. She blogs at Hang On, Baby, We’re Almost… Somewhere, where she encourages a “small-town, big-world feel,” and she tweets.