ladyvyola: an orange pansy against a bright blue background (Default)
I have some 35 first cousins. Just counting my dad's side of the family.

And I'm heading to a reunion with them this weekend.

See, I'm the product of two of the classic American tropes. Mom's the result of Western European immigrants, mostly Scots, coming over in the late 1700's. They were farmers who went to Kentucky and then pushed west, into Kansas and then Texas and finally hit California in the 1910's and 20's.

Dad's the son of Ukrainian peasants (Grandpa left because he didn't want to wind up in the Austro-Hungarian army) who lived in nearby villages but didn't meet until they were in Pennsylvania. She worked in a hotel; he worked in the mines. They ended up in upstate New York, in the Finger Lakes region, and their nine children (my dad's the youngest) married into various other immigrant enclaves -- Ukrainian (of course), Polish, Italian, Scots -- all intent on being fruitful and multiplying. (How Mom, a Long Beach Protestant, got into the mix is a story in itself.)

Multiply, multiply, multiply. I think of the 37 cousins, there's only two younger than my brother and I. I can barely manage to tell the players without a scorecard. And with the cousins growing up and moving away and having their own children and even some grandchildren already (when Grandma died -- at age 107! -- she had great-great grandchildren), there are whole generations who don't know each other at all. So a couple of the oldest cousins have proclaimed themselves "The Favorite Grandchildren" (lies! all lies! usurpers! pretenders!) and set up this reunion to remedy the situation.

After all, they point out, the kids need to know who everybody is so they don't wind up marrying each other.

Did I mention the 8+ hour car trip required to get from Northern Virginia to Auburn, NY?

And that it's going to be me, my parents, my brother and his two sons (3 years, 18 months) in a minivan?

[ profile] borgmama, the rat, can't go because she has classes so she's staying home with my 10 month-old niece. She keeps saying how much she's going to enjoy relaxing at home this weekend without the boys. I repeat, [ profile] borgmama = rat. Do the math yourself.

Thought to hang on to: In exactly three weeks, [ profile] av_lad and I will be bound for England. 13 days in which to pester and annoy [ profile] clanwilliam, [ profile] gmh and anyone they are silly enough to introduce us to. Details will be forthcoming.