Last Sunday Michele and I drove home to Amarillo from Colorado Springs. We'd been there for the reunion of some extended family on Michele's side.
As God and the rest of us would have it, my sister Vicky and her family just moved to Colorado Springs. We decided that my nephews Wade (11) and Seth (6) would ride home with me and Michele to spend a few days in the Texas panhandle. We had a plan. The very next day my Ben (15) and Abigail (9) flew in from Arkansas where they'd been spending some time with their grandparents.
So this week the cousins are getting to spend some summertime fun together. Of course this means staying up late and sleeping in, Mario Kart tournaments and jumping on the trampoline, pillow fights, and one spitting contest that I know of (that last one being a strictly outdoor event). It seems like everyone's having quite a time.
Monday night, once the sun was out of roasting range and it began to cool off, we went to our big Memorial Park with a soccer ball, football, plenty of water, and our dog, Penelope. Red, sweaty, smiling faces at sundown meant everyone had had a good time. There was a cool breeze all evening, which meant we didn't have to deal with any bugs. Yea!
Yesterday afternoon everyone got to go swimming, complete with double dog dares to attempt a one-and-a-half off of the low board, etc. with equally-interesting results. And, yes, everyone started out by getting slathered with waterproof sunscreen; no one came home a crispy critter.
Last night we all went to see our Amarillo Dillas play baseball. It was a long game, with lots of hits and walks and double plays, a few hit batsmen, a couple of ejections, two home runs, a late rally by the Dillas (including a grand slam), and a bottom-of-the-ninth with the game-tying run on first.
The batter grounded out and, just like that, the game was over. It was a tough way to lose. But everyone in our group had been thoroughly entertained, all for $5 each and some over-priced popcorn and cokes.
I didn't grow up in a large extended family. But I know that there's something particularly cool about cousins. You're related to them, which means there's some of you in them and that can only be good. But because of distance, cousins aren't so familiar that they bug you like siblings often can and do. Someone said that a cousin is a ready-made friend for life.
Anyway, I think these cousins are having a ball and making some great memories this week. I'm glad I'm getting to watch them and enjoy it too.