Friday, July 24, 2009

Meet the cast

The Girl, the Boy and I travel to my family reunion later today; specifically, a gathering of the progeny of my mother's parents. Since I expect my posting for the next few days will center around reunion events, let's meet our cast, shall we?

Grandma: My mother's mother is 98 years old. She'll be 99 next March 1. She lives in Evart, MI - so we hold the reunion in the nearest garden spot, Cadillac. My grandmother is one of my favorite people on the planet.

Aunt-D: My grandmother had three children. Her oldest, Bill, was deaf. He and his wife, my Aunt-D, had two children; the oldest (a boy) is my Cousin-B4 and his sister, Cousin-S. My Uncle Bill died in a car accident before I was born. His children were so small, they hardly knew him. My Aunt-D is a wonderful, gentle woman. When she was growing up, use of sign language by the deaf was strongly discouraged. She can lip-read like nobody's business. Although I have always been somewhat self-conscious when talking with her (tending to speak too loudly, instead of just exaggerating my enunciating slightly to make the lip-reading easier), I love her dearly.

Cousin-B4: is the oldest child of my generation. My great-grandfather (my mother's father's father) was William Wallace Knight (remember Braveheart?), nicknamed "The Boss". WWK was born in Scotland before emigrating to the US. His son, my grandfather, was William Wallace Knight II. My Uncle Bill, who I never had the chance to meet, was WWK III. And so you can see why I decided to refer to my oldest cousin as B4. He can be gut-bustingly funny; he also knows how to build a great bonfire. He and his lovely wife, MK, have three pretty girls. The oldest is almost exactly the same age as The Girl (Ms. Partly Cloudy, first-fruit of my loins). They also have twins. There will be no William Wallace Knight V. But if that ever caused my cousin a restless moment, he never let on. He loves his girls with a passion.

Cousin-S: is also slightly older than me. She and her husband, MN, have three boys - and (finally) one girl. Then they stopped. Their oldest is about the same as The Boy (second - and last - fruit of my loins).

Uncle-R: My mother's older brother is in his mid-70s. Some recent health problems have slowed him down a bit; but he is still the original Angry Old Man. He loves to read and collect art - but he has no room to keep any more books or prints. Although he has a prickly personality, I love my Uncle dearly. He is old-school; family comes first. Although it is never discussed, I think he has been in some measure like a father to my Cousins B4 and S. And I think he still misses his brother, Bill, after all these years. I'm not sure he ever had a better friend that his brother.

Uncle-R had three boys with his wife - then he had a rather bitter divorce. I remember as a kid being somewhat afraid of my uncle. He used to have quite a temper and - like nearly everyone on my mother's side of the family (including me) - can be QUITE LOUD!!!

Cousin-A: The oldest of my Uncle's three boys (about a year younger than me - close in age to my Brother). Along with B4, he is a premiere jokester. After a brief marriage and divorce, Cousin-A has settled down with his second wife, BK, and they have two boys.

Cousin-T: Lives with his (relatively) new bride in Washington. They are expecting their first child this summer and I don't expect them to be in town for the reunion.

Cousin-J: The youngest of Uncle-R's boys. He and his dad don't always get along. He and his wife have one son. They have been to the reunion in several years.

Mom: My mom was the youngest in her family - and the girl. So, my Uncle says, she got away with murder. She and my dad (now divorced) had four kids. I am the oldest.

Brother: Is slightly less than a year younger than me. We both have June birthdays - mine is the 29th, his is the 7th. He is a regional manager for K-Mart living outside Green Bay, WI. He used to be the black sheep of our family - but he's become Mr. Family Man. He and his wife, BW, have three kids (girl, boy, girl).

Sister-W: Is four years younger than me. She has twins, two divorces, and a new man in her life. We sometimes go for years at a stretch without seeing her at the family reunion - but she is supposed to be coming this year.

Sister-S: My youngest sister is the one we tend to see most often. Her husband and I have compatible interests; and the Middle-Aged Woman likes Sister-S better than anyone in her own family (I think); so it makes for a good double-date. They have two beautiful little girls.

Well, that's probably more than you wanted to know - but hopefully it will come in good use when trying to figure out who I'm talking about in my posts for the next couple days. When next you hear from me, I will be in Cadillac, Michigan.

Take care.


Anonymous said...

Have a great time, sounds like there will be lots of posting material from your weekend!

Jess said...

You got an award waiting at my spot!

Middle Aged Woman said...

Hi honey! So sorry that BlogHer coincided with the reunion. I miss you guys already, but I am having a great time. Tell everyone a big, HI from me.

P.S. I got to sleep with Stiletto Mom last night!

Jess said...

And I was going to comment on all the family stuff, then I saw MAW's comment and my mind has wondered...

sunshine said...

Thanks for the little background on your family, you did a great job! Have fun at your reunion...

Jim Styro said...

Dedene: We have arrived in Cadillac, so the fun can begin. The drive was (relatively) smooth.

Jess: This doesn't seem possible. I have been extra unworthy lately...

MAW: If that's your story, stick to it. I will most certainly greet the Knights on your behalf.

Jess (again): I, too, was distracted. My marriage is clearly in jeopardy. And Jody Foster isn't even involved.

Sunshine: (You changed your photo - nice.)
Glad you enjoyed reading about my family. "Fun" is now officially my middle name.