My grandmother died 10 years ago November 1st. She was not very fond of Halloween as a holiday (terrible costumes and all that sugar!) and then she passed away very suddenly the day after, on All Saints Day. That's probably why I've never been a huge fan of Halloween. After she died, my aunt Sharon, my mom's sister and the oldest sister of eight became the Matriarch of the Logghe family. I'm not just making this up. This is an acknowldged title.
When I was growing up, Aunt Sharon would always do Cousin Camp where she would get all of the cousins or her brothers and sisters children of the same age together from all over the country at her house or go on a trip or visit other unknown relatives we didn't know but should. I'm pretty sure it started with me, my sister and my cousin Eowyn when we were about 7 or 8. Those days our big adventure was to take the Greyhound Bus across the state to Aunt Sharon's and go to the store and pick out boxes of sugar cereal. I remember just being astonished at the cake mixes, real graham crackers, white bread not to mention homemade doggie casserole that had MEAT in it for her two dogs, Corky and Trixe. She on the other hand was just APPALLED that we didn't know what gravy was (hey, we were brought up vegetarian) and I'm sure was trying to broaden our limited horizons of the kitchen and the show us and probably her sisters that not everyone eats tofu helper for dinner and the world would not end if us kids ate a little sugar or red meat now and again.
That was maybe 25 years ago? She's still at it. The little Energizer Bunny is on to the next generation. I had to look it up because I wasn't sure of the term but from my standpoint it would be now Cousin Camp Once Removed- children of my cousins.
About a month ago we all, meaning the Logghe family got an email that Sharon was going to be making a week long tour of Wisconsin stopping at all of the relatives with my cousin Kim (lives in Boston) and my cousin Kevin's (Kim's brother) daughter Kaylee that lives in Portland, OR. The email contained the itinerary and day and time she would be at each person's house. This lady does not mess around- on one day there were 3 relatives listed all in different cities and the time she would be knocking at the door. The email was followed by a real letter in the mail.
So Beckett, Eloise, Addy and I got to spend this past Wednesday with my aunt Sharon and cousins Kim and Kaylee. We had a blast. I saw Sharon when I was pregnant but hadn't seen Kim or Kaylee in years. But it was like we just saw each other the day before with the girls hanging out chatting, making lunch, gossiping about family. Sorry Beckett!
Before lunch we played at the park but we had to make our escape when the big kids from the elementary school came out for recess.
Sharon and Beckett- yes he is on big boy swing but Sharon's got him. No use arguing with her about putting him on a baby swing. She's the Matriarch.
Kaylee and Addy were best buds cruising all over the playground.
This totally cracked me up. Beckett was struggling sooooo hard to climb up the play equipment and Eloise just walked up the other side.
Kaylee was so helpful changing diapers and pulling the wagon. Wished she lived in Milwaukee.
The whole crew.
I'm dying to know what Cousin Camp will entail for my kids. I still remember picking out E.T chocolate and peanut butter cereal and worrying that Sharon would say 'no' because eating chocolate for breakfast would be just so ridiculous. Just to be clear, sending them across the state on a Greyhound Bus is not an option and for their sake, I hope sugar cereal will be involved.