and off to visit another relative...or eight. It's what summer is for.
I wasn't in love with the long drive--this one was seven hours of driving, there and back, in one day--for three hours of facetime, but I have to say that it was worth it to talk to my cousins, hug my uncle, marvel at how much the adolescent boys have grown and sip the Bordeaux (there are no words!) that accompanied a farm supper of lamb and roast potatoes.
I hadn't seen this painting of my grandparents' ranch before. I spent a lot of time there as a kid. This artwork brings back memories of dragonflies in the "crick", kittens dropped off at the end of the drive, windfall apples in the orchard, horseback riding in the hills, slopping the pigs. Pickup trucks, peacocks, dairy cows, a series of cattledogs named Ruff, ketchup in 7-Up bottles. Cousins and basements, berries and cow skulls.
Childhood memories are sweeter when they are shared around a table filled with relatives and laughter.