Sunday, July 25, 2010

My Cousin From The Upper Peninsula

Last Friday, two of my brothers and I were reunited with our cousin, Kathryn, who lives in Michigan. Kathryn and her husband, Doug, were on their way home (Marquette, Michigan) from a trip into Illinois. I'm so glad Kathryn reached all of us by phone and that we were all available to get together.

In the fifties and sixties, my parents used to take my four brothers and I to visit Aunt Mary and Uncle Ed who owned a resort on the St. Mary's River not far from Sault Ste. Marie in the upper peninsula. We vacationed at the resort in the summer several times as we were growing up.

After we were settled in at the resort for a few days, Dad would drive us to Bernard (Aunt Mary and Uncle Ed's son) and Betty's farm nearby.
The farm was swarming with our cousins. You see, Kathryn has six sisters and one brother. In other words, there were plenty of cousins to go around.

I was closest to Kathryn and spent all of my time on the farm with her. Back then and now, she loves to have fun and laugh and I appreciate and enjoy that. I always secretly wished I had the nerve to visit with Edward, the only boy. He was so cute with his dark hair, eyes and complexion and his lean and lanky frame.

Kathryn's given first name is Phyllis and that's the name I'm used to. Years ago, she decided to go by her middle name so I'm adjusting to thinking of her as Kathryn instead of Phyllis. I'll get there someday! Writing this blog post is good practice.

We met up with Kathryn and Doug at my brother, John's house. My brother, Bob, arrived shortly after I did. Unfortunately, my brothers, Tom and Carl live near Detroit so of course they couldn't join us for this spur-of-the-moment gathering.

Doug and John are pictured above.

Bob and Kathryn haven't changed much since those long ago summers when we spent time together.

Thanks, Phyllis, (I hate to confuse things but there's another Phyllis in the family--John's wife) for snapping this lineup of Bob, Kathryn, Me and John.

Here are the travelers, Kathryn and Doug.
(I'm sorry, Kathryn, but fear not. I caught a better photo below.)

Kathryn and Doug patiently posed again.
(Sorry, Doug. Look above, you're all smiles).
If I had the patience to learn how to crop photos, I could have presented both of you at your best.
We're so thankful that Phyllis and Doug contacted us and that we had the chance to see and visit with them.
Two of the cabins and one of the cottages on the St. Mary's River are still owned by our cousins. Hopefully, some summer soon we'll gather a cluster of cousins together at this place which holds a bushel basket full of fond memories for me and undoubtedly for all who were there.
(St. Mary's River is the only water connection between Lake Superior and Lake Huron. Huge freighters passed by Aunt Mary and Uncle Ed's resort as they left Lake Superior and headed for Lake Huron. What sights we saw!)


Anonymous said...

How much fun was this?!?? This is great Shaddy, it sounds like a wonderful reunion. I love the memories you've shared. They bring back some of my own :). Everyone looks like they're having a great time. The pictures are terrific!

On a side note, I really, really, really want Bob's black t-shirt. That museum is my all time fave!

Anonymous said...
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Vanessa said...

Its so nice to get to be able to see family. Especially those you haven't seen in a while. I'm heading to a reunion in a few weeks and looking forward to it!

Shaddy said...

SARIE: Thank you so much for reading this; not everyone takes interest in other people's families.

I'll see what I can do about getting Bob's shirt off his back!! My brothers took a trip to the upper peninsula a few years ago...without me. That's not right, is it! That's when they visited the museum.

P.S. Your comment was duplicated so I deleted the second one. I feel important being referred to as "a blog administrator." I hope is a paid position.

VANESSA: As time goes by, I grow more and more appreciative of family. Having lost both of my parents, I cherish the family I still have.

Have a wonderful time at your upcoming reunion!

Stephanie said...

Glad you got to see your family Cheryl! Looks like you all had a great time :)
Tim and I were in the UP over the weekend. This weekend we are getting together with a lot of family too. My aunt Sue is coming home and we are having a party to celebrate her 25 years of being a nun. We are also having a party for my aunt Barb on the other side of the family for her bday, and my cousin Alicia's graduation party.
Where are you guys going for your vacation? Are you visiting family?
Hope you have a ton of fun! Take care!

Jana said...

You have some great memories--how fortunate you got to see each other and relive some of them.
It seems like the only time I see my cousins any more is for sad occasions... three times in the last year, but even then it was good to get together and share old times.

Parrot Writes said...

Sounds like a perfect reconnecting time for you and your family. Thanks for sharing the pictures! It always seems to bring the story to a more personal level when you can see faces and put names to them.

Anonymous said...

Okay, blogger is not letting me use my ID on your blog today.

Shaddy, you are so fortunate to have your welcome mat worn thin by these visits from your family. The joy just beams through your post when you have a chance to chat about family. Good for you my friend! I'm glad you enjoyed your visit.


Shaddy said...

STEPHANIE: It sounds like you're doing a lot of traveling. I give you a lot of credit for doing that with baby Jake. I bet you can't imagine working and trying to do everything else too!!

We're going to Ohio in September to visit Lynnette and her family. Lynnette and Alice will be stopping here in August for a couple of days.

I have a sticky note on the appointment book at work to call you so we can do lunch. I don't think this week will work and then Sue's gone on vacation next week. We'll work something out ASAP. It sounds like you're busy with all the parties so lunch in a few weeks might be better for you anyway.

I think of you often and am glad you're home spending your time with Jake. I miss you but Jake would miss you even more.

Thanks for commenting!

JANA: Seeing Phyllis and Doug was totally unexpected; that made it even more exciting.

We also don't see many of our relatives except on sad occasions, like you mentioned in your comment.

Seeing Phyllis brought back a bunch of memories of the fifties and sixties.

PARROT: I love my little Sony Cyber-Shot camera. It's perfect for me and because it's so easy to use and versatile, I take many more pictures than I ever did before I got it.

Thanks for reading my post; it enhances the experience for me.

DARKSCULPTURES: I appreciate your effort to leave a comment. Thank goodness for the anonymous option.

I have a multitude of great family members: four brothers, sister-in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces and nephews. Life is good.

Natasha said...

Looks like a fun time! The UP is lovely in the summer (despite the size of the mosquitoes!)

Shaddy said...

Fortunately, my memories don't include mosquitoes. I just did the math and it's been forty years since we were in the UP. That's crazy, mind boggling crazy!

Linda Yezak said...

Sounds like you guys had a wonderful reunion! What a great lookin' bunch you all are! All of my family is in Georgia. I haven't seen some of my cousins since we were kids, and doubt I'd recognize them if I saw them today. Kinda sad . . .

PS: Love what you've done with the place! I haven't had time to go on a blog run in quite awhile, so the change came as a surprise to me!

Shaddy said...

LINDA: I did brighten things up a bit by changing my background; variety is the spice of life, right?

My maiden name is Doll as is Kathryn's. Thus everyone in the photos is a genuine living Doll except for Doug. That's our excuse for looking so good!! Come on now, y'all, just nod and say oh yes. Playing with Dolls involves a lot of pretending.

kathryn and doug said...

We had so much fun reconnecting to our Wisconsin cousins! After such a long time, we weren't sure if any of you would still feel connected to us, or would even remember summers of long ago in Barbeau. It took only a few seconds to know we were with "family," and we were so glad we made the effort to stop and say "hello."

After many laughs, hugs, photos, and promises to stay in closer touch with one another, it was apparent to us that this was one of the highlights of our summer vacation trip. Thanks for sharing the story on your blog for our added enjoyment, too. Mom and sisters (haven't shared trip details with Ed yet) were delighted to hear that all of you are well and possibly coming up north soon for a weekend at the cabins, as are we. We will send our photos through email. Thanks again to all of you for embracing us and we look forward to our adventure of staying in touch. Kathryn and Doug