I’m a kayak. Hear me roar.

If you saw Gilmore Girls tonight, you’re so with me on that title. If not, sorry.

Well, today was my “day off”- I stayed at the hotel (Parc England- on the old England Air Force Base) while Mom went and met some random limb of our family tree. I’m talking long distance- across the trunk and up a branch. But she loved hanging with them and totally calls them “family” now. I’m down with that. Their last name is Tatum; too bad it’s not Annie.

So I got to stay here. What I thought would be a 4 hour excursion actually had her gone from 9:30am until about 7:15pm. Yikes- I felt a little like “Castaway”- I ran out of fresh water by 1pm, so I ate SweeTart bunnies/chicks/ducks for my water supply. And I think I’ve given myself a cavity.

Yesterday was when Mom and I went to Aunt Mary’s house. She’s Colonel’s sister- Colonel is 93 and she is 91. Yeah, we have a serious lifespan going on in the family. She was cool. Not as cool as Colonel, so maybe that was the purpose of yesterday- I definitely left there being more appreciative of Colonel. We scanned photos that are gnarly old (like, 1901, etc.) and even found some letters written more than 70 years ago. The coolest letter was one from Ma about what my mom looked like as a baby, the month after she was born (NOT 70 years ago). This one was especially important to Mom, being that it is in Ma’s handwriting, and Ma is somewhat slipping away from us each day.

My favorite picture is of Colonel when he was about 5. He’s standing on a fence wearing shorts and suspenders. When I called him yesterday, he said, “Yeah, I remember that. I fell off that fence and landed on a piece of broken jar, right on my knee. Swelled up like a poisoned pup.” Do you realize that Colonel remembers a picture taken in 1918?!? That is wicked sick (KTB, that’s for you). And awesome. I’m going to try to use the phrase “poisoned pup” once a week. It’s good. Real good.(Mom’s going to email me the picture tomorrow so I can show it to you. It rules.)

I think I’m learning that it is important to remember that my grandparents used to be kids, too.

I can’t really dissect the experience much more, so I’ll show you pictures.

Here’s Mom and Aunt Mary in her woody kitchen. She’s keeping the pine folks in business.Aunt Mary in front of the dining hall named for her Aunt Hattie. I’m not EVEN going to tell you the “assumptions” she was making about Aunt Hattie. Not right.

Here’s Aunt Mary and me- she put my head in a vice grip and I was SO thrilled that Mama got that picture. Squeeze on, old lady. You don’t scare me.

Mom is already snoring over in her bed, which reminds me that she has threatened me within an inch of my life if I don’t tell the following story. You know I’m wearing ear plugs (previously mentioned snoring) and last night I thought I had lodged one of the plugs too deep in my ear. PERSONAL NOTE- I tend to do dumb things in my sleep, and this was in my sleep. So I start digging around in my ear, beginning to panic that I had really done something unwise and was about to have to wake Mom up because I had damaged my ear. I woke up fully and realized that my finger that was searching for the earplug was in my… NOSE. Nope, no ear plugs there.

You’re welcome for that ammunition to embarrass me in the future.

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