Family reunions and other disturbances of the peace…

So here I am in Chicago, Illinois. The saga…

Mom, Sheila and I were picked up at about 1 PM by Shuttle. After much cursing at the traffic and attempted small talk, we made it to LAX around 3 PM. Aunt Cindy (for the duration of all family functions, I go by Nikki — hey, Nicole’s my middle name and “Cindy/Cynthia” have already been claimed!) dropped off Nathaniel around 3:15ish, and we made it through ticketing and security by 4. Nathaniel’s 11. This is his first plane trip. Ever.

Mom had two of her bags inspected by the officials, whereupon she realized that her cardigan sweater had fallen off her purse before we got to the checkpoint. So what does she do? She goes back to the beginning of the line to claim it. And goes through security again, leaving Sheila and Nate with me to fume. By the time she made it through again, we had about 20 minutes before the scheduled departure. ARGH! We still made it though.

We were sitting in a column of middle seats — 23E thru 26E. Nate was behind me, and we traded a notebook back and forth to entertain ourselves. Not a bad time, all things considered. As we we were flying into Colorado, the sun was setting with its reddish beams filtering through rain… absolutely gorgeous. There was also a thunderstorm going on, so Nate got to see lightning first-hand — probably 5 miles away from our plane. It’s hard to tell when we’re up so high. Finally arrived in Denver with 30 minutes to catch our next flight. This time we had one row plus another window seat. Thank deity for my iPod — it kept Nate entertained!

We got into O’Hare around midnight, and spent another hour racing around for a rental car… poor Nick called back as we were in the middle of a luggage transfer between ground and shuttle bus. Meanwhile, we’d had no food on the flight save soda and a snack mix, so we grabbed dinner at a 24-hour diner and got a room at the Travelodge for the night. Oh well, at least I got food and sleep.

Today we left the Travelodge around 11ish, grabbed food at an IHOP, and proceeded to brave the traffic of Chicago up to our hotel in Highland Park. Whee. Got all checked in and discovered some family members I hadn’t seen since we first really met at the reunion back in ’03. Fun stuff. Now we’re all settled in after a mellow get-together at Great-Aunt Suzie’s place. It’s crazy — at one point I counted 35 heads, and now I think it’s up to 39. Tomorrow it’ll be around 40-50 people all in one park, going crazy as we all try to figure out how we’re related to each other.

See, my Papa had two brothers, Bill and Walter, and two sisters, Louise and Babs. Walter had no kids. There are 4 branches of the Mahon clan — Papa’s Ojai Mahons, Bill’s Chicago Mahons, Louise’s Evans kids, and Babs’ Sackett kids. That’s my parents’ generation: my aunts/uncles and “first cousins once removed”. Then there are all us kids from my generation — my first cousins and second cousins. Thank deity I haven’t met any third cousins yet! Now it’s getting even more complex when my cousins have kids… 4 generations if we all bothered to get together and count ’em all.

It’s fun and all — I just go into glazed-eyes mode while Mom talks about me, and smile/nod while everyone asks how college is. Yes, I’m Nancy’s kid. Yes, I’m 21. No, I still don’t drive. No, I’m not pre-vet anymore. Yeah, I’m in a hippie-studies kind of program, but it’s really cool. Sustainability, yo! (yes, Londubh, I’m white. I can still say yo! Watch me! Yo yo yoyo yo! Oooooh yoyo!).

Anyway… I’m alive, I’m having fun with a couple of teenage cousins, and life’s goin’ all right. I love my family. There’s just too bloody much of it for me to keep track of everyone!


~ by jackelopette on June 24, 2005.

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