Wednesday morning, April 4, my personal journey involves driving three hours to Stockton, California. I will visit my Aunt Genie and cousin, Kris.
I last saw Aunt Genie four years ago when my father passed away. She and dad's brother, Chuck, came to visit Dad when he was dying. Mom and I were caring for Dad. Hospice came in to help with bathing Dad, changing sheets, giving instructions on medications, and counseling all of us. Signs were that Dad would only live a few more days. We called Chuck in California, and his sister Flora in Michigan to tell them that Dad only had a little longer to live. Both of them (with their spouses) came to see Dad before he passed away. Everyone, Dad included, was so happy they had time to say their good-byes. Uncle Chuck passed away two years ago.
When I was a child, both of our families lived in southern California, about 25 minutes away from each other. From time to time, our family went to visit and we had a blast. Diane and I were the oldest, separated by only a year or two in age. My sister, Jan, and Kristin were also similar in age, but not that much younger than Diane and I. My little brother was the odd man out, but he had fun too as our cousins had a built-in swimming pool. It seemed we spent hours in that pool. Our parents got to visit and we were happily occupied with "Marco" / "Polo," doing cannonballs, practicing our diving, playing hide and seek, and enjoying the California sunshine.
When I was 14, we moved from southern California to northern Oregon and our visits became fewer and further between. Diane, Kristin and I went off to different colleges, eventually getting married and having families.
Kristin, her husband Dan and son Matthew moved to Snoqualmie, Washington. We were able to visit them when they lived there and we lived in Oregon, but it's been a number of years. I think Matthew was about four when we last saw him and now he has graduated high school (or close to it).
Diane lives in Palo Alto, Kris and Aunt Genie live in Stockton. I don't know if Diane will be able to make it over on Wednesday because she's probably working and lives farther away.
I am looking forward to seeing family! Aunt Genie invited me to spend the night. I will return home on Thursday morning. This is a blessing to see them before we head off to Texas.
Speaking of cousins, last year we visited my cousins Cindy and Laurie in North Carolina, spent a day with them going to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville. It was a wonderful reunion. I hadn't seen them since I was about 12! We toured the estate, ate lunch at the Cafe and spent some time tasting wine. A very fun day.
Now I need to go to Michigan and visit the rest of my relatives. One of these years we'll make it there on our travels. I have lots of relatives in Michigan!
All for now. Ciao.