Cool air breezed across my pillow as I stared into the forested darkness. A light flickered. Then another. “Eyes in the trees,” my young cousin called them. Fireflies sparkled like twinkling lights on a Christmas tree, a storybook ending to an unanticipated experience on our cross country trip.
A simple phone call changed our destiny in upper state New York, land of our many cousins. “Hey, this is cousin Mike. Heard you’re coming to town in a couple days.” It’s not that we intended a stealth entry, we were just planning on the fly. “You can come stay at my place”, he offered. My sister Sharon expressed concern about the space required for our RV’s while the rest of us nodded knowingly. A diesel truck pulling a 38-foot fifth-wheel plus a 41-foot motorhome towing a car may be a squeeze. “I have 120-plus acres. You think you can fit on that?”, he laughed.
Not only did cousin Mike and his wife Dolores have space for us, it was lush!
Green, grassy meadows framed by forests, a pond (which I thought was a lake!) on our doorsteps and deer, heron and other wildlife made for a perfect retreat. But the company was the best! Mornings found us sipping coffee and visiting on their deck. Most evenings the guys morphed into grill masters as we toasted the day’s adventure.
We laughed, played and toured the local sites. Like a rolling family reunion, each day brought visits from family, mostly cousins. The word was out. Alice’s (my mother) kids were in town. I feel blessed and humbled to be part of this family. We share a history and heritage, bonds that will always hold us together in heart. Who would’ve thought I would travel cross country and find myself at home?
Thank you to our hosts Mike and Dolores, Larry and Jane, Lynn and Charlie and to all our family for the cherished times we spent together. The week of June 6 through June 12 will be treasured as a highlight of our trip.