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There Will Be One Vacant Chair
7:05 a.m. - 2003-08-17

Met up with January yesterday at Jason's house, and after chatting a bit, we headed out to the shower. They were holding it in the clubhouse of a nice mobile home park in the nearby city, and parking was going to be limited so we tried to be a little early. Once there, I greeted my twin cousins and for a nice surprise, their older sister was there too! I have not really seen her to talk to a lot in 30 years, though we spoke a little at the memorial dinner. She had brought an album of photos of her recent trip to the Middle East to visit her son, who is going to the university there (he's the one who used to work for CNN so is interested in Middle Eastern Studies). I enjoyed looking at those, and then asked January who that lady organizing the shower guests was, and lo and behold, it was my cousin who used to be in the army years ago, and her brother was there too, all the way from Tennessee. One of her kids, it turns out, is also in the service and at this minute is in Baghdad.

Also saw the wife and kid of the twin's brother. Her husband, my cousin who stayed with us for awhile in the distant past, has been a great success in life and is on some bigwig panel that necessitates trips to Washington DC. I remember the scrawny kid who, if truth to tell, was a little lightfingered. Strange he should grow up to be involved in finance.

We sat around and chatted and discovered that we have similiar food backgrounds. January says that when she was traveling in the East, she stopped in to see my aunt and ate dinner there, and the beans my aunt cooked were the same as my mom's. My twin cousins were complaining about some salad their mom made with a can of VegAll, and how one hated it but the other liked it, and my mom used to make that too, also Green Beans With Secret Sauce. All these things that I thought were peculiar to my mom turn out to be family things that connect us.

Also heard some good dirt on family members not present, and some funny stories about my mom. All in all, I had a very enjoyable time. And I won a prize of two of those net scrubbies in a little case, because I know the second lines of more nursery rhymes than anybody in the western world.

I did, however, get a little overheated, so on the way home, I dropped January off at Jason's, and then I went home to try and cool down before Eric's birthday party. I just wanted to take a nap but had to go to the party so pulled a pair of wet jeans out of the washer, put those on, and stood in front of the fan for a bit. Let me tell you, this will cool one off in a hurry, I'll have to remember that. At Jason's, after we had eaten the tamales and were waiting for the shortcake, Beany and I tried out the new computer, which has more games on it than this one, and she showed me Spider Solitaire. I really liked it, and wish we had it, but it was hard to play with a kid, because they keep trying to take the mouse away from you poor slower elderly relative. "Here let me show you, here let me just do this, here, you can move this here, etc etc..."

Then, a little after 10:00 I was exhausted, so took the husband and went home. A social life is very wearing.

Today I have to put up the rest of the apples, and make pickle relish, so it is nice that they are having an all day Monk marathon, because I missed them all but one.

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