Winter Family Christmas in the Pacific Northwest
let me tell you this: hanging out with those triplets tonight was pure joy. first: they’re beautiful, blonde, blue-eyed, perfect dutch toddlers, all them. they were spanking and strumming my guitars within minutes, and the name “rango” started rolling off their tongues over and over again, which they all agreed was easier to remember and more entertaining than (mumbles a bunch of m-sounding-things, including the words matthew and “uncle max from texas”).
(ed: sidebar – what is your m-factor?)
a year, seriously? my cousin jenni is only 15 minutes away, but with 3 babies and a teen and her own software company of 50+ people, and me rango, just super/super busy. so it might as well be another planet, it’s that hard. but like me she is gifted, and blessed. she has an amazing family, her partner since high school and my only advocate when i moved to seattle, renee, i love like my own mom, and their kids, what joy :-D. a major in business and a minor in computer science and a 5 star pedigree, but just top-shelf cool and hilariously bright. she’s my cousin, right? physically, you could tell from a mile, but she’s brilliant and kind and i love her and her entire family. i lived with her and renee for months when i moved to seattle, in their attic, carrying my incontinent dog up and down the steps and gravitating toward’s renee’s “how are you?” inquiry every day. she is sincere, and has a fancy degree in psychology, and i love her because she is genuine and very smart, and jenni’s partner. and if you had super-hearing like rango and could hear jenni snore, you’d know what a sacrifice that is.
and tony? omg. we’re like brothers. seriously, he’s only up in Bellingham, and yet we grew up together in Grand Rapids but rarely see each other. but we couldn’t stop talking, all night. he sells incredibly complex railroad engineering services. his wife? gorgeous and hilariously fun, a computer programmer at a college. how his daughter is now walking and talking when last she was a baby is a notable todo on my list, namely: get up there more often, it’s only like 45 minutes. we grew up together, every other weekend or so, my house or mom’s, along with aunt grace and our grandpa and grandma. such joy, and family, hard to come by, right? because limited edition (family), and spread geospatially (gr to seattlle).
even better: jenni & renee, their daughter and triplets, uncle jack (super smart arthur & anderson vp), aunt liz (love), the new nannie and more. best yet:
my cousin roland just moved here, from Alaska by way of Grand Rapids where he and my older brother were best friends, to Washington’s amazing Puget Sound, west of Tacoma and over the bridge by ancient brother Tim Hearn, with his two kids and his beautiful wife. his boy: perfect clone, just like dad and somewhat hyper (imagine that). his daughter: fascinating, into theater and joyful. i was overjoyed to see them, it’s been ~15 years and i hugged him before he recognized me, he was stunned. my son played with his kids all night, and Boogie (my boy’s nick name from Boogie with Stu aka Stuart Epps but legally Benjamin Meadows after my dad because homage and love)
jenny and i share common dna and upbringing, our moms are sisters and we grew up in the same town, saw each other once a month or more growing p. we share obvious physical similarities and could pass for brother and sister. but we’re only cousins, which means we spent pretty much every weekend together in grand rapids experiencing what i will coin as the “vandoorne gravity”, the weekly meeting with one or more of our dutch cousins, and it was always fun/fun/fun, baby.
‘night ♥, god bless ♥