When I was little we used to take random trips and honestly I never put too much thought into it. I have always been one to just kind of go with the flow. (Plus, I LOVE roadtrips). While I would like to see the East Coast, we always went South. Don't get me wrong, I love the South. It's not where I was born, but it was where I was raised and still consider it my home even to this day. I would just like to see the East Coast and I'm extremely excited that Uncle Doodle and Aunt Poot are letting Momma and I tag along to Chicago next month.
But I digress.
We always went South. (Which is awesome). Florida, Arkansas, Georgia. Never New Orleans (which would be amazing and is on my list of places to visit). I think my family always picked these places, because it just felt right. We were all together laughing, playing, and having fun. Making memories. You know, things that you do before people grow up and you think to yourself- "Man, my cousin really is a douche canoe". Just saying.
We have a lot of family from Arkansas. Originally my Grandpa Arkie (not his original name, but I'm sure you can guess how he got that nickname and went by it his entire life) was from there and when he moved he always made sure that the rest of us knew some form of where he came from. Whether by visit, song, or story, we knew. And those were the best gifts that he ever did give.
When I was a little girl we took a visit to good ole Arkansas. I don't remember much of the trip, that's how small I was. But I remember bits and pieces. I remember one of my Aunts yelling at me to get down, because I was climbing a tree in my favorite dress. (My Momma should have named me Grace). I remember that same Aunt putting my cousin Shantel and I in the ugliest two hats that you ever did see and taking pictures next to some monuments. And by monuments, I mean those plaque things that tell you a little bit about whatever town your ins history. I find those things awesome, but that's just me. By the way, trust me when I say that those hats were ugly. Uck.
I also remember that I met my Mommas cousins and while I don't remember them very well, I do remember that one of them (Becky) gave me a cupcake and told me that she liked my dress and just chuckled at my dirty face and scraped knees. Obviously, she was my favorite. And that was over twenty years ago.
Well, she and her family (just a couple of them) decided to come up for a visit and Wednesday night I met them. (Again). I remembered bits and pieces of Becky (cupcakes and crazy), but didn't remember her husband (Steve) and had never met her daughter (Becca).
Becca just turned eighteen and she's as cute as a little button. I took to her immediately and I think it's because she reminds me so much of me at eighteen. You know, fun loving, sarcastic and outspoken. Not to mention sensitive and a bit crazy. I had never met her, she wasn't even born the last time that I was in Arkansas, but that didn't stop us from laughing and cutting up like we had known each other for years.
Isn't she just the cutest little ball of Arkansassy that you ever did see? She calls me tiny, because I'm about six inches shorter than her and it's hilarious. We seem to have a lot in common, which is also hilarious to me (Never grown up #peterpansyndrome).
We all got together to hang out and just have a good ole time at Uncle Robbie and Aunt Winnie's house. It was a blast. Between the jokes, chili "cook off" (Aunt Winnie made all the chili and it was yummy), the karaoke and the talking we all lost track of time. Momma and I got home fairly late and as a result we're both pretty beat today, but you know what? Worth it.
Steve played the guitar while mostly Becky and Becca sang (they have beautiful voices might I add) even though we all chimed in every now and then. Becky kept trying to get me to sing and Steve even played Simple Man (classic) for me, but my "stage fright" (even though it was just family) completely knocked that one out of the park. That was until I sat down on the floor with Shantel and she played Neon Moon. There's just something about that song (it's my favorite song ever and only my closest family and friends know that) that makes me need to "perform" it. Ok, maybe not "perform" it, but I definitely have to sing along.
They all head back to Arkansas on Friday and I wish that they could stay through the weekend. But alas I am an adult and while I would like to just blow everything off so we could just hang out with them, I can't. Boo. But we will definitely all have to keep in touch and make arrangements for more visits in the future.
P.s. I expect copies of those pictures that you and your Momma took of all of us and pictures from your Prom/Graduation, Becca! You and Sir Harrington are gonna be so adorable!! But you already know that.