I am writing this remotely while traveling through East Texas. Bama and I are in a black Dodge Ram with my folks and their dog Buddy, en route to home from a busy and crazy family reunion in DeRidder, Louisiana. My dad is the youngest of 9 kids, who each have big families of their own, so you can imagine why I felt like I was in the middle of the Duggar Family TV Show (that wacky family with 19 kids).
It is easiest to go by numbers in this family when writing about them, with 1 being the oldest kid and 9 being the youngest. We got there on Friday afternoon and chilled out, in preparation of the insanity that was to come on Saturday morning. Aunt No. 5 and I swapped funny stories and she told me a doozy about my sweet Aunt No. 3. Once upon a time in the mid-70s, No. 3 went to visit No. 5 where she was living the hot single life. No. 3 had never tried alcohol before, so No. 5 (who preferred shooting straight whiskey) recommended screwdrivers, that seemed harmless enough. Four or five screwdrivers later, No. 3 was telling everyone she could get her hands on that she was drinking "pliars." She even yelled at the drive-thru guy at McDonald's, telling him all about her "pliars". Knowing sweet little No. 3, this is just too good.
I walked into the kitchen to visit with my Grandma and a girl walked into the house, kissed my Grandma hello and gave me a hug and said it was good to see me. I have never seen this girl in my life, so I told my Grandma that I had no idea who that was, and she said, "Well, neither do I!" Oh, brother. See what I mean? Haha...
Then my favorite uncle (No. 4) got there, along with his entourage. You would have to see this strapping man, who works with his hands and has a glass eye, to fully appreciate the entourage which consists of two of the fluffiest, frou-frouest Shih Tzus you have ever seen and his girlfriend of over 13 years. It is always good to see Uncle No. 4 because he is so kind and so funny.
Then it got to be time to take a quick nap, so my mom and I took my 4 year old cousin to our RV for some rest and had to play a game with her to get her to rest. This extremely clever game, created by yours truly, the BBE (Best Babysitter Ever), consists of a contest where we see who can keep their eyes closed the longest. Well this worked for a little while, and by a little while I mean 15 minutes. Everyone stayed up late, swapping stories about our family and discussing the ins and outs of Gary Coleman's death, but yours truly took my tired bootie to bed super early. I had to do everything necessary to prepare for Insanity Day.
I awoke Saturday morning with the same anticipation one would have on the first day of school and dressed in my hot weather best. 13 years in this family has taught me that there are many cameras around and these photos always get framed. So I busted out the liquid eyeliner and some lipstick, while simultaneously attempting to not look like a streetwalker.
Before I knew it, there were over 65 people inside and outside my grandparents' home. What freaked me out the most was that I was looking at kids who aren't kids anymore. I have rarely had the moment when I see kids who were 5 years old the last time I saw them and are now in high school. Talk about freaking me out.... sheesh.
I did "girly things" with my niece, who, as it turns out, is a fantastic makeup artist. I put beautiful makeup on my beautiful girl. I put some gorgeous silver eye shadow on her and some "cat eye" eyeliner. After getting my fair share of blue eye shadow applied to my eyelids, we settled in and played games on my iPhone. I love that girl, and I love my nephew, who is hilarious! And so intelligent. Those are some good kids. I'm so proud.
I ate some of the best, worst-for-you food that I have eaten in a long time. If you know me personally, you may know that I am a semi-vegetarian, who strives for full vegetarianism every day, but only succeeds approximately 6 out of the 7 days of the week. I ate boudin sausage, which was amazing. I ate plates of potato salad, which were amazing. I ate four, count them: FOUR, desserts! Wow... So I'm still trying to come out of my food coma. I ate a caprese salad for dinner, so I'm somewhat back on track.
What a fantastic time. I am so appreciative to my grandparents who made this such a great weekend, especially my Pawpaw. He's so wonderful. What a great family I lucked into.