Thursday, June 21, 2007

The Out of Towners

If you had asked me back when I was 16 who was more likely to move the heck away from Rockford, me or my two cousins, Charity and Colleen, I would have laughed in your face.


In. Your. Face.

I was going to move far away. Maybe even to Chicago. And be a world famous journalist and activist for women everywhere! I was NEVER going to get married. Never be tied to a house. Never cook or clean or be with a man who wanted me to. I was going to be a big-city-apartment-dwelling true life success story of when women achieve their full potential.

Yeah. I’m livin’ the dream over here in Rockford-area, suburban, married, mortgage-paying ecstasy.

Okay, so maybe it sounds worse than it is. To be honest, I like my life. I’d still rather be living in an apartment in Chicago and working for the Trib, but…life takes you places, and I’ve accepted that I need to (I hate this cliché) bloom where I’m planted.

The funny thing is that my cousins, who I had labeled as “homebodies” when I was 16, were the ones who flew the coop. Flew all the way to Tennessee where they teach and work at a Baptist church founded by our Uncle Frank.

They were practically my sisters growing up, and in my head, I still picture them close by. So, when they truly do “come home,” it’s always a treat. There are very few people who know the real me. But Charity and Colleen know me.

Enough to blackmail me.

I got them in trouble when we were kids. I choreographed plays and skits in their basement. And I proved on occasion what a spoiled brat of an only child I could be.

And they loved me anyway.

The three of us are as different as night, day, and night and day on another planet. But we do love each other.

One major difference between C&C and me is our level of garrulousness. Chit-chatty-ness. C&C aren’t talkers. They say what needs to be said and don’t spend unnecessary hours rehashing over the facts.

Unlike my rather verbose self.

Sometimes I can’t stop talking.

Really I can’t. It drove my parents nearly out of their minds when I was growing up, and I’m convinced Brett is a saint for actually listening to my never ending litany of details.

Life, as I believe, is truly in the details. The little, itty, bitty, minute details.

Maybe it speaks to how much I like just truly being myself with my cousins – but I had a great time when we went out to lunch today.

They are only in town for a couple of days, and they made time for lunch with me at Beef-a-Roo. It was wonderful. They didn’t say much, but the fact we were there together made it seem like old, wonderful times.

They had missed Beef-a-Roo, so they enjoyed the food. And I had missed them, so I enjoyed the conversation and the heavenly slices of silence. The silence comforts me.

I know I don’t have to fill up the pauses. They’re comfortable with them. But I can, and they won’t think less of me.

So, maybe, I was wrong all those years ago. But like I said, life takes us in all different directions. And I’m grateful God saw fit to give me great family like Charity and Colleen.

No matter where they live, they’re always close by.


Jennittia said...

Do love those girls too!! Oh, what I would give to have some curly fries up here in New England!! Oh, and I can almost taste the cheese that drips off the mound of roast beef!

Heidi said...

Had it Wednesday night on the way to Kids 4 Truth (considering that the church is right next door to one). They have this addicting salad called the summer berry salad. mmmmmmm.