Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I've Got Connections

This summer has been filled with connections to the past. One of those connections is visiting.  My aunt Minerva, my dad's big sister is in town from Wyoming for quick visit.

She treated my kids to a day at the zoo.
Everyone wanted to be the navigator.  

She treated me to long talks and great company.

"You look like grandpa," she told me. Grandpa, as in my great grandfather. I touched my face. "Really?" I asked in awe, not sure if I've ever seen a picture of him.

We talked for hours about her, I mean our, family. Some stories I'd heard before, like how my grandmother packed some heat in fear of a possible burglar after accidentally picking up a hitchhiker (which is a whole other story).  

Some stories I needed to confirm, like the car story.  
Years ago when my baby Lucy kept climbing out of her car seat like a mini Houdini, I went on and on about the awesomeness of child safety locks.  I asked my father what in the world they did before they existed.  "Well we just turned the car around when your uncle was a baby and fell out," he replied calmly.  "We always wondered if that fall explained a lot of his behavior later on," he added.  Aunt Minerva laughed and confirmed the story.

Some stories were new, like how my great-grandmother taught herself to read.  She would read the Lexington newspaper front to back and was THE source of news for many people in the hills of Kentucky near her home who couldn't read.  

I wanted her to keep talking forever. Her laugh filled the room and reminded me of being a kid and listening to her talk and laugh with the other grown ups.   Her expressions and descriptions of people and events were touching and funny--"Well, he was an odd duck" or "It tickled me."

She told stories about a family that had dealt with betrayal, loss, poverty and survival. She told stories about a family who through it all could laugh at almost anything. She told stories about her, I mean our, family.

This is such a great song about being connected. It's a little hippy, dippy, but I love hippy, dippy.  


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