Monday, August 20, 2012

Being Related

..."Go home to your family and tell them how much the Lord has done for you, and how he has had mercy on you."  Mark 5:19

We took a trip to Portland, Oregon over the summer.  I was amazed at their greenness.  I was wowed by snow in July.  I was aghast when I returned home to 111 degree temperature.  But, what has stuck with me, besides a secret longing to move there and never have 100 degree summers again, was how me and my distant cousins were definitely all RELATED.

My great-aunt Norma (my mom’s dad’s sister) had come to Oklahoma to visit several times throughout my life, as had my great-uncle Don, my cousin Kari, and my cousin Erik.  But, they have another “kid” I’d never met.  His name is Mark, and he’s 50, so he’s hardly a kid, but the last time he’d stepped foot in Oklahoma was in 1973 before I was born.

He told stories of putting a toad in my grandma’s drinking water and how she was going to beat his butt.  We exchanged grandma stories and related quite well, right off the bat.

Did I mention that I run a small toad farm here, and that my kids love toads?

Mark’s family and mine took a trip out to Multnomah Falls and hiked all the way to the top.  On the way through the pedestrian tunnel we bought bags of rainier cherries that we stowed away in the minivan and then returned to after our hike.  We all sat out in the parking lot with the windows down blowing seeds out our mouths like uncouth cannons into the parking lot the exact same way.  I said it was like we were all related or something!

And then he said those fateful words that led me to believe that some ties must be genetic.  He told my kids, “You betta check yourself, before you wreck yourself.”  I tell my kids this all the time, but I hadn’t yet said it in front of the Oregon folks.  I told Mark that I tell them that all the time.  He said, “Those exact same words?” and I said yes.  Funny how an affinity for Ice Cube quotes could be common halfway across the country.  Coincidence?  I think not!

So then the other day, I was out rinsing off the crystals we got at the Great Salt Plain with the hub and I wondered if they’d lost their saltiness.  So I licked one.  Yep.  Tasted just like a rock.  My husband looked at me like I was nuts. 

A few weeks later, I was sitting out at the picnic table with the hub going through the crystals and our youngest son came over to see what we were doing.  He picked up one of the crystals and licked it.  Again my husband rolled his eyes and looked at us both like we were nuts. 

Then a couple of weeks ago, my dad came to visit.  We were sitting at my kitchen table showing him the crystals we’d dug up when he picked one up and licked it!  I died laughing because that made three generations of rock lickers!  Good grief!  My stepmother was quick to note that SHE did not lick the rock.  I said it must be a Taylor thing.

So the next time you’re thinking “why did I do that?” you might look no further than the people you’re related to. 

And for the record, I don’t lick ALL rocks.  I think that’s an entirely different syndrome altogether and I am (so far) undiagnosed.

Hug your family today.  You’ll need them to blame later!

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