Wednesday, September 26, 2007

"Everybody, McFly, Zgottcho Invitation!"*

*For full effect, sing this while simultaneously grabbing your pant leg with one hand and Wii Bowling with the other. It totally works as demonstrated above.

This is Max.
(Yes, Angelina, my Max is as red-headed as your Max is blond.)

Max's mom is my cousin, Rebecca. Actually, she's more like my sister. Strike that. She is my sister in every way except the strictest sense of the word "literally."

Our dads are brothers and, though our moms couldn't be much more different had they come from separate planets, we've got some seriously similar genetic material.

It is a rare and glorious occasion indeed when we get to be in the same room together and the worst kind of torture when it's time for her to go again. Rebecca has been very gracious about flying up from AZ a couple of times a year, most often with at least one of her two darling boys and sometimes even her hubby.

It's beyond time for us to head in their direction as soon as I can figure out how to do that logistically and financially.

Max must have eaten SIX tomatoes within the first hour or so of their arrival. Not surprisingly, they don't have a garden at home so this was actually a big treat for him. He squeezed every succulent drop of life out of his visit here... which at times could be seen running down his chin and staining his shirt.

And, great glory, did he LOVE the fresh, raw milk! Though, I must say I was sad to disappoint him by not being in a position to offer him an actual cow milking experience. Our cows aren't for milking and those that are weren't available to indulge his craving.

He did get to help me do my cow chores though and he seemed pretty pleased about that.

I am never more grateful for our life here than when I witness such honest and pure expressions of enjoyment and appreciation by those who live differently. Surely, country life is not for everyone, but I have yet to invite anyone here and have them run screaming back to the city. Most tend to drag their feet a bit, even when they're ready to get back to life as usual.

I love that.

While it seemed like Rebecca and I scarcely left the kitchen, what with keeping these three little mouths satisfied, not to mention stuffing our own, the time together was better than ever.

It was in preparing for this event that I broke my mixer making Kraut Brook for the whole gang: her dad, my dad, my older brother and his wife... and of course the inevitable, and very welcome, "drop-ins:" my mom and step-dad and naturally, my in-laws.

We had a house full... which is always kind of exhausting. At the same time, few things make me happier than feeding all my people and listening to the hum of happy chatting as family and friends catch up on each other's lives.

It was all over far too quickly. Arizona is a world away when we both wish they lived right next door. We never got to spend much time together as kids but somehow the older we get, the more important we become to each other and time together is like a much needed fix for a couple of "connection junkies."

It's truly a Divine gift to have someone in your life with whom you can have such a strong bond, even over time and distance... and a wicked torment when you can't be together very, very frequently.

Parting isn't sweet sorrow, it's just plain raw, gut-wrenching sorrow. What's sweet, is knowing that when we finally are together, the time in between melts away and we greedily drink each other in acting like "good bye" will never come.

I'm really learning to despise the airport.


Angelina said...

Yes, but the airport is also what brings these treasures to you.

I'm glad you all had a great time together. I wish my cousins lived closer (they live farther away than yours) and that I could see them more often, even though I'm not as close to them as you are to yours.

Cousins are great.

Max and your girls are all cuties!

Anonymous said...

There are few women - few people on this planet that I truly TRUST. I am honored that Angeleen is one of them, and that she consideres me family... Well, I know we ARE family, but there is a difference between HAVING blood, and BEING blood... if you know what i mean.

Max and I had a wonderful time.

To quote another one of his crazy phrases, "Jumpin God on a fisin' rod" it WAS hard to leave.


Wendy said...

What is Kraut Brook? Because they look like something we make here called Biticks.

Ours are basically bread dough wrapped around a mixture of ground beef, cabbage, onions and garlic. Thought they might be the same with the word Kraut in there.

Lisa said...

It's hard to have family a far. My dad and step mom were here from NM last week and left Saturday and it is always hard to say goodby to loved ones.

Rebecca's Dad, aka Uncle Monte said...

Finally got around to checking out the Lucky Seven and I'm delighted to see more examples of the creativity of my dear niece. Yes, I know that you and Rebecca are more like sisters than most sisters are, and I am proud to have contributed some of my old genes to the Russell/Rueck/Johnson pool. (Rebecca's mom's maiden name was Johnson.)

Truly it was a memorable visit, not the least of which was the abundance of delicious kraut brook, never mind the dead Kitchen Aid machine! It was a delight to see Max enjoying so many new things, such as fresh tomatoes right from the vine. In my opinion, country life out there in Newberg (or anywhere else) surpasses the alternatives hands down!