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A Fistful of Cousins

Every year my dad's cousin celebrates family with her Cousins Party. She invites everyone even distantly related to her. There are certain people I can recollect meeting there every single year, and I know they must be related to me, but I still haven't the faintest idea how. The date of the party changes every year, and isn't even always in the same season. Last Christmas, Barbara had the greatest crowd yet and the sink broke halfway through the night. It was a disaster and dishes were piled in mountains. Then the men stepped in. It was hilarious to see my Dad's cousin Ronald, uncle Ted and my cousin Patrick all standing around the sink with flashlights and wrenches, arguing over exactly what needed to be done, as Barbara kept tugging at her hair and pacing in and out of the room.

Barbara is unbelievably generous with her time, money and energy. She cooks all of the food for what is usually a crowd of fifty, plus purchases enough beer, wine and hard liquor for an army (and when the family is 3/4 Irish, that's useful!). On top of that, she buys a gift for each and every attendee. Sometimes the gifts are each completely unique and different. On other occasions they're themed. This year's party, which we just attended, was a themed event. Barbara's best friend just started a company that sells hats online. Barbara bought each and every one of us a different chapeau. Her husband Bill, her personal hero, got an Indiana Jones fedora hat. Her son, who owns a landscaping business, got one of those Tilley hats. Both are gorgeous and perfect for the giftee. Mine, on the other hand, was one of these. Alas. I abhor pink and am anything but a country girl.

My lack of exuberance and gratitude left me feeling rather guilty. By the end of the night, I discovered I'd volunteered to help complete an online family genealogy. Well, at least now I'll finally get a handle on how I'm related to all of those people at the party. I've started some of the research, and am surprised at how much fun it is. There's something very satisfying in digging up historical details about one's ancestors that everyone living has forgotten. By the next Cousins Party, I hope to have found something really interesting in our past to astonish everyone!

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Around The Kitchen | » A Fistful of Cousins | Every Gadget and Tool You Could Possibly Need In Your Kitchen