Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mea Culpa...Mea Crazy Woman of Many Cousins

Do you see these people? These people are all cousins of one sort or another from my biological father's side but connected to me through a PRECIOUS aunt (they are her children and grandchildren). The Aunt and I haven't seen the biological father for over 22 years for good and compelling reasons which don't belong in this post.

I haven't seen these cousins for about seven years for no good reason at all except life busyness and proximity. Last week we reconnected and did we every have a BALL. Unless you're around family all the time (and we're not) you forget that family wackiness and humor runs exTREMEly deep and is like finding an oasis in the Sahara. Right after our visit they left for Arizona to see more family on his wife's side. They'll be back tonight. What does this have to do with anything? Well, I'll tell you at some point, I'm sure, after you sit through some boring details. You're free to go now.

The guy standing to my right and hiding behind me is my cousin, Joey. (His lovely wife, Laurie, is on the far left and the rest of these beauties are their daughters. Except for me, Bo, and The Wild Man. We are not their daughters.) His brother, Rick, (another cousin) lives in Florida. His wife, Tricia, just arrived in town a few days ago and so we have another cousin we want to see. She is coming over for breakfast tomorrow. We haven't seen her in about four years.

Two days ago, my mother informed me that a niece from her side (my cousin) is in California on business. She lives in Illinois. She wants to get together. I haven't seen her in ten years. She also wants to pick up another cousin who actually lives in California. I have never met this cousin and had no idea she was in my same state. I lived part of my life in close proximity with her dad back in Illinois. Apparently, he and I don't talk very often. In fact, the last time we exchanged words was 32 years ago. We're not mad at each other and have never had a falling out. Our family just doesn't do "close" all that well. We only knew each other as kids for a short time and, well, life goes on. And one side or the other would have had to make family a priority. That didn't happen either. We have a serious legacy of non-bonding issues. Everybody can live without everybody else. (MAJOR EXCEPTION: My family - the one YOU know - is making deliberate changes to this rule and maybe cousins are beginning to feel the same.) So, these Illinois/California cousins are coming to town on Saturday and it would be good to see them.

But what are the odds that nine cousins from four different states, and different sides of the family, all converge, unbeknownst to each individual group, after many, many years apart, and all within a week of each other?

Do you realize the true, earth-shattering, underlying meaning of this? I HAVE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE!

I have bathtub caulking that is good enough for my kids' tub but not good enough for a cousin to look at if they sit down on the toilet and happen to see around the shower curtain. I have carpeting in the study that makes the dogs happy when they smell themselves on it, but which probably wouldn't recommend itself to visiting familia. I have kitchen grout that is light gray in design and dark gray in reality. Time for the Clorox and a toothbrush. I have a mountain of laundry - yes AGAIN. Who has time for laundry when you're graduating people, for Pete's sake?! I'm gonna try out that "move a mountain" Bible verse today and see if I can get my Mt. Everest over to my neighbor's house. Maybe they'll do it all before they realize it's not theirs.

So once again, I beg your kind and caring indulgence as I remain A.W.O.L. in Blogsville preparing for family and three weekends worth of graduation parties still to attend (including Bo's!). I am not visiting you. And I'm a worse person for it. I am missing out! But I sure coulda used you in the bathroom last night as I chiseled out the caulking with a hammer and screwdriver. I hit the tile with my knuckles so many times my hand looks like I'm a prizefighter. I could make up a great story to go with these bruised knuckles. Maybe I'll just abandon this whole cleaning and functionality idea and lay a bunch of empty booze bottles around while sprawling on the couch. I'll display my fighting hand and describe my most recent barroom brawl. I'll wave them toward my messy kitchen and empty fridge.

Yeah, that outta put off the next visit for another 20 years or so. I should SERIOUSLY write a book on entertaining. It's obvious I have a gift.

Copyright 2009


  1. HAHAHAHA! I love your idea of booze bottles, and so on and so forth. They aren't going to care about your cleanliness, I'm sure, as long as it's all been scrubbed down in the past week or so. Have fun!!

  2. Ha ha ha! No one will care about the bath tub and carpets - just ply them with a little booze and wit...

    And have fun!

  3. Isn't visiting family great? Once you get past the cleaning of course! Good luck with the grout. :) I'd help you if I could!

  4. Always good for a giggle... You have a fabulous funny bone, Robynn!!!! Love this!!!! How many times have I been there?...having to clean like crazy!!! Come to think of recent company required some such preparation on my part...have to say, after a few days, the carpet slid back into its original sins...ah, well...we try, right? Love the exterior of your house, by the way!!! I'm crazy about Spanish architecture!! When we retire, I'm definitely moving to someplace warm, a place where I can be a proud owner of a home with a tile roof!!!! Great picture of your family! Enjoy! ~Janine XO

  5. You are a scream, funny lady and I love you for it!! I cannot remember who said "it" or where she said "it" but I think it was "Tatersmama's take on things" about company and a clean house. "It" went something like "If you're coming to see me,WELCOME ... but if you're coming to look at my house ... make a reservations!" Oh, if it were only that easy ... not for me, I fear, but this isn't about me, it's about you and your company. I hope you will just greet them with your warm smile and enjoy yourselves. Life's too short to spent it cleaning like crazy, besides then you won't have time to entertain the rest of us with your 'adventures'

  6. Too, too funny!! So glad to hear from you and you are just in classic Robynn hysterical mode!! So glad you get to see so much of your extended family all at once!! I am with everyone else, they aren't coming to see your house, so don't kill yourself trying to get it just right :) Be you, that is all they will need and desire!! Enjoy your time and come back to us later!! We'll be here ready for a big dose of Robynn's humor!

  7. Yep, Fruitcake Sandy had it right. It was me that said "If you're comin' to see me, you're WELCOME anytime, but if you're comin' to see my house, make an appointment.

    So when I come to see you, I'm just knockin' on the door and giving you no warning whatsoever.
    It's YOU I'm coming to see... NOT your grout!
    (but hey, I could probably get endless blog posts out of it, yes?)

    Just put your stretchy pants on... use your Eagle powers and all will be right!

    Don't stress. Stay sane.
    And drink if ya have to.

  8. Oh Robynn, I have been there done that too. Don't fret over the house. Just enjoy the family when they show up. It's possible they won't even notice and will be so dazzled by your quick wit and warmth that they wouldn't care even if they did see the grout or the carpet the dogs lay on. Enjoy your time off. We miss you.

  9. I have a friend who laughs and says "If your coming to see me stop by anytime, if your coming to see my house make an appointment!"

    Have a wonderful visit with your family.


  10. Oh, my goodness, too sound just like me, and I'm sure almost every other woman out there!!! That is hilarious...but I do agree, company is coming to visit you not to see what your house is like...I know it is easy for me to say don't worry about isn't my house relatives I haven't seem forever are converging on!!!

    I always say do what you can and what you can't do won't be noticed! :0)

    Enjoy your visit...

  11. I feel your pain! If I lived closer, I would come and help you clean. Seriously. Too bad I live THOUSANDS of miles away.

  12. Oh....... it is a joy to meet long lost cousins but if you have to grout and stuff that does take the edge off it!
    I would have to do a major blitz right now, so hope non of mine are about to call. LOL!

  13. soo funny!
    I have the same story here.
    Although I don't think I'd be knuckling my wall for too long.
    I hate pain lol

  14. OMGosh - I do the same think when anyone if coming over. I clean like a mad woman! But oh, it feels so good when everything is spic 'n span.
    Take all the time you need. Clean, visit, eat, clean some more...We will all be waiting!

  15. Don't worry. I'm not going anywhere while you clean your house. I'll be right here when you get back--unless I'm cleaning my house. In that case, I'll be right back.

  16. How awesome! I love my cousins and we are all spread out over many states also. I sure do miss them. Great photo!!!

  17. Brilliant as usual. No matter about the house - life's too short to worry about cleaning! The idea of teh booze bottle and bar fight sounds good enough to me! Enjoy your family - I love my cousins too so know how you feel.

  18. I could say relax, they are family, they won't care. But we both know this is a lie as I went through my own panic when my siblings came to visit me for the first time ever. OK, they were really coming for my dad's birthday and he happens to live here in the winter months. But the fact is, they have never all been here at the same time and it's been 5 years since any of them showed up even for my dad.

    So clean the house and enjoy the company. My blog will still be here, waiting for your lone comments. (Do you wonder why you seem to be the only one who comments?)

  19. I love when family visits...but I do HATE the cleaning!! Enjoy your time with them, Robynn! :)

  20. Love the idea of the bottles. Maybe I should try that sometime!Have a gtrat time!

  21. Oh Jillybean, you could live 7 miles away, but she wouldn't let ya come! I know! Kevin and I always used to say "it's time for company" and that was secret code for "if we dig long and hard we know there's a house in here somewhere"! It does feel nice afterwards when everyone's gone and the house IS clean for awhile. It will look great, I know you, and you'll feel great, tired, but great. love you!!

  22. Yeah GAL don't get all bent out of shape or you'll not be in any shape to ENJOY the long lost relatives! Yes, tidy up the house but don't redo it, vac, dust, clean the toilet and hang out clean towels and your all set. They'll be to busy catching up on life to notice what needs fixing. Been there, done that and alway's wonder later why I even knocked myself out so hard. But then it's part of being a wife, part of serving others. Have a wonderful time and we'll all be seeing you back here in blog land when all the partying is over.

  23. Laughing is just the nicest way to start a work day!

    Have fun with your family, if they are all like you the visit will be a laugh a minute.


  24. Wow, you can really see that you are all cousins! You all look so much alike!

    I have an aunt and two uncles that I LOVE getting together with and because of busyness and distance, like you said, we don't see each other as often as we'd like.

    Enjoy! And don't worry about the bathtub caulk.

  25. You have a gift all right!! For writing blogposts that make me giggle! Enjoy your family Robin! And don't worry about cleaning TOO much. Just do it " the French way", and nobody will notice, it'll be FUN!!

  26. Wonderful and may I say I had this same feeling when MPM, TSAnnie and Kate came to visit .. in fact I instructed them all to purge any memory of my truly disgusting apartment from their minds.

    AND I kept all the lights very dim ... hey its the best I could do ..

  27. That's what family gatherings mean to me-cleaning. LoL.

    Have fun with your family :)

  28. Hahaha! Oh Robynn you really do need to write a book.

  29. I know exactly what you mean about all that cleaning to get ready for company. I freak out when expecting folks over, then exhaust myself getting ready.
    I am going to work on that.
    I like the idea of the bottles, too.
    I am going to work on that one,
    Have fun with the kinfolks.

  30. LOL!!! ah, just keep 'em outside on your porch... ;o)

    but this does make me miss my family dearly!! good times!!

  31. GO ON, CLEAN, WOMAN!!! Hope you have got to those shower curtains and all those little corners that we try to forget about.
    If I lived nearby I'd be there like a shot with my marigolds. XXXXXXXXXXXX

  32. Im glad you enjoyed my little storm video... i just had to capture some of it on camera because i LOVE storms!! :)

  33. Wow! I feel like I'm leading a parallel life to you! We're both from IL? Cool. While on my recent trip there I met a sister whom I have just come in contact with - from my biological father who left my mother when I was 6 mo. old. I wasn't even brave enough to share meeting her on my own blog. I know what you mean about heredity...the gene pool runs very deep. This sister, Jami, and I look alike, have the same gestures and eye rolls, like the same things, often think the same way...spooky!

    Anyway, hope all goes well with the graduations & company!

  34. Do you realize the true, earth-shattering, underlying meaning of this? I HAVE TO CLEAN MY HOUSE!

    You made me laugh so hard here. GIRLFRIEND, I get it :)!!

  35. Just got home after 4 days away and have missed "chatting" with you! re: cleaning for cousins,... do you remember the old Phyllis Diller line,... "just throw some sand on the floor and a fake palm tree in the corner and say a decorator did the whole thing" Good luck and ... ENJOY!