My sister Phyllis is seating holding my squalling sister, Connie. I am the beautifully groomed girl standing in the back row. Mother made me wear that skirt and pink blouse I had just gotten that day for Christmas. She made them. The top button was the only one left by the time this picture was made. The hem was ripped out of the skirt. That’s what happens when you play football in a dress.
Me and my cousin Cathy. I was the tall kid.
I’ve been fortunate enough to have lots of cousins, more than forty on my father’s side of the family. Some of them were great friends and partners in crime, some were object lessons, preparing me for life, and many are great fodder for my storytelling. I am grateful for all of them. There were always plenty for two ball teams. The little ones made great bases!
There were five of us born about a year apart, three girls and two boys, my first friends. We played, fought, and grew up together. I often spent the night with Sue or Cathy. It was common for our families to visit on Saturdays and again on Sunday, so there was lots of kid-swapping. We loved it. More often than not, it was late when we collapsed and ending sleeping in our clothes on pallets on the floor.
Of course, as we grew up and started families, we drifted apart, occasionally meeting at a family gathering, where we’d catch up a bit, making fruitless plans to get together. The old feelings were there, just put on a shelf.
Now that we are older, we are starting to rekindle our relationships. It is lovely.