Wednesday, June 23, 2010

My Cousin's Account

Way back in May I met my cousin, Stephanie for the very first time in real life. We connected on Facebook just about a year ago. She is actually the reason I blog now. I noticed she had a blog, saw links on the sidebar for other blogs, noticed a link for Pioneer Woman, realized I'd seen that name on other places, checked it out and realized, "Hey, I have a story to tell too!" And there you have it. The six (or so) degrees that led from Stephanie to me tying up the cyber lines with my ramblings.

Below are excerpts from Stephanie's account of our meeting in Dallas. Since I can't leave well enough alone I'll be adding my two sense from time to time. To see her full post plus some gorgeous photos of flowers (I have camera and skill envy) check it out here.

The Meeting

The first of May found me headed south to the Dallas area. I have never driven there alone before and when my GPS in my car didn't recognize the street I was going to I must admit I was a little extra nervous. Thankfully my phone is more up to date.

I couldn't wait to meet Amy! We'd done lots of planning and lots of chatting and it was finally happening. Our cousin Renee was driving in from Houston as well and would get to spend some time with us. As a bonus, two of Amy's sisters lived in the Dallas area. We were looking at some serious family bonding. When one of Renee's sisters joined us on our last night, I was completely overwhelmed with gratitude to God and Facebook for getting this all together. We were so sad that Robin couldn't be there though. Albuquerque is just too stinking far away!

I apparently was traveling at the perfect time for Oklahoma wildflowers.Since I had plenty of time I took some time to stop and smell (well photograph) the flowers.I got to the hotel in plenty of time and sat in the parking lot waiting. I had no idea what car Amy was coming in, or which direction, but I parked where I could see all entrances. Since I had some spare time on my hands I decided to pluck my eyebrows. Natural light is the absolute best I must say. So when Amy and her son T. J. got there I greeted them with nicely shaped eyebrows. I'm always thinking of others:)

We settled into our hotel, Amy made a few phone calls, and soon we were having another reunion. Amy's sisters Ruth and Priya (and Priya's boyfriend Michael) picked us up and we all went to dinner.

I had been at a reunion with Priya when I was a newlywed and she was 12. She's grown up a bit:) We all talked so much we hardly had time to eat! This is true! Our poor longsuffering waitress. She kept up a good humor the whole evening as time after time she inquired if we were ready to order but we'd been chatting so much we hadn't even looked at the menu.
 They all grew up as missionaries and have lived ALL over the world. Their early years were so vastly different from mine and it completely fascinated me. Because Amy has six children (two that are already in college) I assumed she was quite a bit older than me. But no, we're the same age! She married incredibly young and had children quickly, and back to back. But she is years older than me in maturity. At the age that she was married and had 4 children, I was hitting the mall and worried that my three level bangs didn't have enough Aqua Net in them to last the whole day. She just called me mature, didn't she? Isn't that another word for old? I'm not sure if I should be flattered or offended. LOL

Aren't we a good looking bunch? Ruth, Amy, and I stayed up that night talking and looking at all the family history books and pictures I'd brought until, oops, 4 am. Poor Ruth only got a few minutes sleep before she had to wake her family up and start her day. Amy and I got a little more sleep, but not much!

If you're in Dallas, you have to go to Sam Moon. I'd told Amy I wanted to go to the jewelry store. Since she lives in Africa she's not familiar with the large, super center, really cheap, overwhelming, jewelry franchises. She didn't say it until later, but she didn't know why I wanted to go jewelry shopping. 
 Stephanie is so cute and well put together. When she said jewelry shopping I envisioned something more along the lines of Harry Winston--way out of my budget--but I learned her secrets. You don't have to have a ton of money; just good style sense.--And she has that in bucketloads.

After getting lost, something that happens a lot in Dallas, we finally found Sam Moon. Since the town is growing so fast there is always something under construction. And they rename streets constantly! Not even the GPS on my phone can keep up. What should have taken 20 minutes took almost an hour. I almost kissed the ground outside Sam Moon when we finally got there. 
Getting lost was kinda fun. I knew we wouldn't be lost forever. This wasn't the Mojave Desert and eventually we would have made our way to something. And we did! On the very positive side I discovered that RaceTrac (a local gas station) has an amazing coffee bar. I made a point of plotting my route home past a RaceTrac so I could get my caffeine fix.
Amy was still unsure, but after looking at a few prices, she was all in!! T. J. however, was not impressed. The cross dressers helping each other pick hair extensions finally got him more excited about being there.
This part was actually hilarious. T.J and I were wandering the aisles of this massive store which sells everything from jewelry to purses to scarves to wigs. We came around the corner and saw this man helping someone on a chair try on wigs.I thought, "oh, how sweet. That man is helping his wife choose a wig. Maybe she's a cancer survivor." I nearly welled up with sympathetic tears. But then as we got closer: "Um, why does that woman have such hairy arms? Oh! Oh, No!" 

Renee joined us that night and we headed out to eat again. So far I'd eaten at Olive Garden for dinner, Pei Wei for lunch, and Chili's for the another dinner. I was in heaven. We only eat out once a week because of money and my food allergies so this was a special treat for me! Add in seven cousins and I was feeling so blessed!After another night of staying up late chatting with Renee, it was time to head home. We took a few pictures, hugged a bunch, made promises to keep in touch, and headed our separate ways.

Of the original 11 Stone children, we represented three sisters. Only Amy's grandmother is still living. The two bloggers. We were really missing Robin at this point:(

this is my picture. See the difference in quality. Gah!

As I headed up I-35 I was a little misty but I am so grateful for the time I was able to spend with them. Amy only comes to the states every two years but the other cousins have promised to consider coming to the next reunion. I'm in charge this time and I'm picking a place that's close to Oklahoma and Texas. Our generation doesn't usually come and I'm determined to get them excited about it! With Facebook to keep everyone linked together, it better happen!

I'm sad I won't be able to be there but maybe my grown kids will be able to travel up north sometimes. Also, I'll expect full accounts of the reunions on Facebook and the blog, Stephanie.
Gotta love the internet!

1 comment:

  1. Love it! And mature is a good thing! Not an old thing:c) And thanks for the 'style sense' comment. I'm blushing! Love you girl!!


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