(To the left: a blurry me, Sandy & her half-sister Jeanie) My cousin Jeanie (one of my Aunt Rhoda’s 5 daughters) and her husband Kim live in a bucolic suburb of Minneapolis, Brooklyn Park. Jeanie had graciously invited us to stay with her and her husband when we came to the reunion; she said she had plenty of room…and, well, we needed a place to stay and she was family.
A week or so after I first talked with Sandy, Jeanie and I had spoken for at a couple of hours. But for the most part, we were strangers. More so than she had thought when she called…
It was in the mid 80’s that I found out the aunt of whom I had no memories lived 15 miles from me. I saw her several times but the visits weren’t successful. I was too immature, I was looking for a mom – and my aunt was looking for, what, I don’t know. Something I didn’t have or couldn’t give.
(To the right: Buster, Riff Raff & Bodhi at Jeanie's front door) So when Jeanie said she had met me at her mom’s once in San Jose when she was visiting, I said, “Really? Wow! How could I not have any memory of that? Are you sure?”
Jeanie countered with, “Do you have black hair?” I said, “No, not ever. Blonde, now turning….”
She said, “Have you ever lived in Iceland?” Now, that one threw me. I’ve dreamt of being in Reykjavík; I’ve got a burning desire to go to Iceland – maybe some Norse past life – but I haven’t made it yet.
And so now, Jeanie doesn’t have any idea who it was she met at her mom’s and who she’s been thinking was me all these years. And may never know… Uff da!
(To the left: Kim, Jeanie's husband) It came as a wonderful surprise to find out how well we all got along. Think about it: three total strangers -- with 3 dogs, no less -- move into your house for three days (and they also have a dog, Riely). But, her husband, Kim a laid-back California guy (and a dead ringer for Chevy Chase), is a talented guitar player (oops! think Pink Floyd...my brother tells me “Smoke on the Water” is an insult...), as are my husband and my brother; they’ve all worked construction, they're all GUYS. Jeanie and I are totally in sync when it comes to lifestyle, politics, interests, the way in which we see the world. We’re even both vegetarians. And we all love the tropics.
So the next installment of this story is sharing house in Belize or maybe the Bay of Islands in Honduras, somewhere with warm water and cold Margaritas. Stay tuned.