After last night's show, I would have easily slept until ten; however I am up early to get on the GO train to hook up with Cathy and Elaine for a road trip to Michigan to celebrate cousin Michael's wedding. It's a beautiful day for a car ride and the good company and cups of coffee make me forget the short night, and we're excited to spend some time with lots of our family.
We arrive in town a little too late to stop at Janet and Mike's to change; we can't risk making the sister of the groom late. Instead, we stop at a McDonalds and change into dresses and powder our noses in the restroom. Then we immediately get lost looking for a church which is not the one we have known since we were kids. There is a comical moment when we arrive just as everyone is exiting the church and we lurk around the corner so as not to be caught in our tardiness.
Eventually we own up and everyone is happy to see us. We have a celebratory drink at a downtown pub, catching up with Dad and Julie, Uncle Rod and Aunt Joyce, Aunt Sharon and Uncle Lloyd and all the cousins. Later we move on to the reception where there is a large buffet, lots of kids running around, dancing and and picture taking.
This visit, we stay with cousin Andy and his family, and it's really great to see their home and get to know Sherry and the kids. The kids swim, we talk and sip margaritas, and at midnight we're treated to the most luscious and welcome BLT sandwiches. Next morning, Chef Andy gives Elaine a lesson on making a canteloupe crysanthemum, a beautiful cookbook, a chef's hat and some cooking tools. Lainey is chuffed and inspired. We have a gorgeous brunch and more visiting with everybody at Aunt Sharon's in the morning. It's hard to leave.
Whenever we visit our Michigan cousins we come away planning for more and longer visits. We just want to have a little more time. When I was a kid, the weeks we had in summer and Christmas celebrations together were highlights of my year. We're all middle aged now and nothing's changed; the familial love has never faded or diminished even though our times together are fewer and more fleeting. On the way home Cathy and I talk about how remarkable it feels to be on the receiving end of that kind of love, and what a perfect cap to the summer this has been.
When I was a kid, the highlight of every summer was getting together with my Michigan cousins. Now we're all middle-aged and we're as happy to see one another as we ever were. Big smiles all night long. Feeling thankful for my family, and events like weddings that bring us together.