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With cousins, close counts

A cousin and her friend came down from St. Louis to visit me this past weekend. While we were having lunch at 12 West Carol Faircloth was also there with two of her out-of-town cousins. The visit set me to thinking about the entire cousin connection.

For those of us who were raised as “onlys” cousins are our substitutes for siblings. The nice thing about cousins, as opposed to siblings, is you didn’t have to share your room, toys or, in some instances, clothes with them. Fortunately, both my mother and dad came from fairly large families, so I was blessed with a whole plethora of cousins.

I love having cousins. I thoroughly enjoy our visits, phone calls, e-mails and from some, annual Christmas letters. Reunions are great fun and a lot like Jeporady: addressing someone is most often ended with a question mark. As in, “Now you must be Mattie, cousin Sarah’s daughter’s child?” Sometimes you’re right, but more often wrong, especially as the years go by and the branches on the family tree become thicker. 

Some people are sticklers for naming cousins properly as first cousins, first cousins once removed, second cousins, etc. The whole thing confuses me and I’ve never understood the generation accounting method. Therefore, to me all of my cousins are simply that, cousins. Trace back far enough and you’ll even find some who are double cousins … especially in our family. That’s because we don’t have a family tree, we have a tangled briar bush.

Take my own case, which is rather confusing and also probably explains a lot about my sometimes split personality. About a year or so after my mother and father were married, my mother’s sister married my father’s father (second marriages for both). Now this may not seem too unusual of an event for some, but it put me in the position of being my own cousin. Try explaining that to the census taker.

Cousins also pop up at strange places and times. For example, the following encounter Tom and Linda Ray had while on a year-long loop cruise on their 42 foot cruiser the Raydiance of eastern U.S. waterways and by-ways.

While they were berthed at Coral Bay Marina in Islamorada they attended the nearby Matecumbe United Methodist Church. Linda recounted that many snowbirds and other travelers were there, and one man came up to them after the service and said he knew Janis Chatman from Farmington. So Janis, your cousin Jerry Narrowmoor from Louisiana, Missouri says “hello”.

The Rays met Linda’s sister, Pat, and her husband, Jim, from Wausaukee, Wisconsin in Key West on Jan. 4 for a week’s stay on board. After leaving Key West they then followed the Keys on the Atlantic side with several stops along the way. Their route included a side trip to Loo Key for a dive and snorkel, and, later, to Bahia Honda, a state park where they took pictures of the long Highway 1 bridge and the old railroad bridge. The railroad bridge was built in 1900 and is no longer used, but is now a national monument. Their last blog was from the resort/marina, Banana Bay, in Marathon where they resupplied for their upcoming crossing to the Bahamas. Have smooth sailing, Rays!

Blessings for the Bauches …Tammy Albertina was happy to report that the Band Boosters fundraiser Bowl Full of Blessings held this past weekend made $3,915.00. Tammy said they were thrilled that this community came out so strongly to show their love for Sue and Kurt Bauche. The Bauches, besides being the respective vocal director and band director at Farmington High, are also the co-leaders of the Memorial United Methodist traditional choir.

Back to Hawaii … former Farmington resident Jim Boyd returned from his present residence near Hilo, Hawaii for, of all things, knee surgery in St. Louis and then a two week stay at Camelot’s Orthopedic Recovery Center. Jim then recuperated further at the home of his son, Brian Boyd before making the flight back to Hawaii.

Coming Up:

Get your tickets now for the Kiwanis’ annual “All You Can Eat Pancake Breakfast” Saturday, Feb. 11 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Masonic Hall at 211 W. Columbia in downtown Farmington. Tickets are $5 for adults, and $2.50 for kids under 10 and can be purchased from any Kiwanis member.  All proceeds go to the various projects to benefit local kids.

St. Francois Rotary Club holds their 2nd annual St. Francois County Rotary Mouse Race on Feb. 25. The starting guns sound at 6 p.m. at Redfield Collision Center. No Cats aloud … except “cool” ones.

Surprise a distant cousin or two, and give then a call just to say “hello”. You might be amazed at how pleased they are to hear from you. And you never know when or where they might run into somebody you know.

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