Continuing The Tradition

It’s my fault for not knowing about it, since I still haven’t managed to get my ass back onto FB since before my cancer scan, but yesterday my cousin Jim texted me to let me know that he was hosting the family cookout that night. He announced it in the family group on FB, but like I said… so yeah, maybe that’s what I should have done to try to keep myself awake longer last night – but having woken up before 4am that same day, I just didn’t have the oomph to put on my social face… and I also didn’t wanna concern people, with them noticing that I was low-energy and possibly thinking it was cancer related. I mean, technically that could be part of it, but I covered the real reason in the entry below.

But I texted him today to apologize for not going, and he said that turnout was relatively low. Mostly local family and then a couple of the extended family that live within reasonable driving distance. I gave him props for still having the oomph to host cookouts or bonfires now and then, because even without a kid and a job, I know how just the crap that I’m dealing with can often have me just wanting to stay at home and recover from whatever has been wearing me out.

Talked about how lucky we were as kids, when we’d have the reunions at Grandma and Grandpa S’s house… how all of us kids just always had a great time, and were blissfully unaware of any “shit” that the adults may have been dealing with. Maybe they were just a slightly tougher generation, but whatever it was – it let us all experience those moments and create the memories that we now can only hope to reenact for the younger folks in the family now. So hopefully when Jim has a cookout like last night, and turnout is light… we’re comparing it to how it was when we were little… so hopefully the younglings are still getting a similar good feeling and creating similar fond memories to look back on when they’re older – even if it didn’t feel like a complete success to Jim.

I told him the same thing that I told Toni a while back… just because I might not come to an event, please don’t stop inviting me. When I don’t show up, it’s usually not because I don’t want to go – but because the other stuff that’s happening or recently happened in my life just has me distracted, tired, or otherwise just lacking the oomph to make myself go. But I do have good days, and I do wanna go to those things, and sometimes everything works out where I actually make it… and of course I end up having a good time.

Last time was an impromptu trip out to Shannon and Chris’ house with Matt, Toni, and Anna… even though I had to drive out through the field and park right next to the bonfire since it was during the period where my right knee was almost unusable. And as much as I hate being the “man, he looks pretty messed up” guy, it was still nice to spend a couple hours out there with all of them. Meh… I’m rambling…

I did manage to stay up a little later last night, and woke up a little later as well, so at least that plan worked last night – and I’m feeling somewhat better because of it today. Still having crappy dreams, but at least last night they didn’t actually wake me up. But I’ve already done up the little bit of dishes, made some pasta w/garlic sausage sauce that I split up into three plates for easy microwaving later, the doors are open since the day is nice, and there’ll soon be a NASCAR race to play in the background as I decide to do whatever it is that I’m gonna do with the day.

Who Invited You

As I suspected, I had fun… but it wiped me out. We all ended up staying there for about an hour and a half, dodging the rain under the shelter house now and then as needed. Unfortunately, Aunt Sharon forgot to bring her packet of pictures. πŸ˜πŸ˜‘ She asked if I would come out towards the end of the week to take her to see Mom anyway, so I’ll just grab them from her then and figure out what she wants to do with everything.

Lemme see if I can remember who all was there. πŸ€” Me, Sharon, Jim, Vicki, Toni, Wendi, Gloria, Jamie, Chris, Me, Matt, Anna, Jamie, and Mark. 😳 I think that’s it, although it felt like more people than that at times. I tried to absorb as many people’s stories as possible while they were talking, but you know how it is. 😏 It was nice though. And they made a bit of a fuss about me showing up at one of the family “things” since I often don’t, but it was all in fun… and they’re not wrong. πŸ˜…

I allowed myself to zone out as I watched the ducks, geese, and babies every now and then. πŸ˜΅πŸ¦†πŸ¦† All of the critters helped to make it sort of peaceful once you reached the edge of where all the picnic tables are. I even sat right next to some geese for a minute and none of them tried to give me the business. πŸ˜„ But I’m back home now and trying to get back into “home” mode, and at least right now I’m looking optimistically towards tomorrow and some of the things that I want to do.

Stop Typing and Get Ready

When I talked to Aunt Sharon yesterday, she mentioned that she had finished writing what she wanted for her “family history” project that she’s been working on. I think it’s going to be a brief scrapbook or storybook from her, Mom, and Uncle Jay’s childhood. πŸ™‚ It started with us just talking about how so many old photos are unlabeled, and sometimes difficult to figure out who’s who and what’s going on, so she decided that she would start writing down memories that would then go with certain pictures, to eventually be assembled into a document that she could print and share.

It sounds like the writing is done, it’s been typed into a word document, and now she just needs to have the matching photos scanned and put into the it… and I think that’s where I’m supposed to come in. 🀨 It shouldn’t be too much trouble to do, it’s just getting the oomph to spend an afternoon over there talking it all through and making sure each picture is positioned with the right story. πŸ€“πŸ”ŽπŸ“• I mean, I absolutely love the idea, so all of us “younger” people will get to hear the stories and see the things that we might not have known about otherwise… so hopefully it all comes together.

If nothing else, at least I’ll be able to scan all of the pics that she gives me today, kinda like how I just did with all of the photos (of Mom) that she loaned me a few weeks back. I’d love to snap my fingers and have every old photo just magically appear on my hard drive, but at least as we do this little bits at a time they’ll start getting archived and saved for future Shepherd / Riecky / Snead / Batina / Klingler / Burnside / Meridith / Orlowicz generations to see. 😁

Oy… somebody send me some energy plz. πŸ˜₯ This is probably gonna be rough.

Surprise Maybe-Plans

As decent as I felt yesterday, that’s about how crappy I feel today.Β  πŸ˜” I’m not really sure why, either. I got a call a few hours ago from Aunt Sharon, asking me if I wanted to join them at Cenci Lake for a little Mother’s Day get-together tomorrow. I was already psyching myself up to go in town to see Mom and Dad, so I really dunno how that’s gonna go yet. 😐 I probably won’t know exactly what I’m gonna do until I’m in my car, backing out of my driveway. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ Hopefully tomorrow feels better than today.

Merry Christmas, Ya’ Filthy Animal

After watching a couple Christmas specials last night, before it reached midnight I got into the shelf with my DVDs on it and dusted off “Home Alone” for us to watch as well. 😊 Surprisingly, and I have no ideaΒ how she managed this, but Cassi said that she remembers watching it within the first couple of years of it coming out – but that she hadn’t seen it since then. πŸ€”πŸ€¨ At least not as in sitting down and watching more than a few minutes of it at a time. πŸ™‚ So that was kinda neat, watching a movie that me and everyone else on the planet have seen dozens of times, and seeing her experiencing it with new eyes.

Since neither of us had any obligations to wake up to, we both ended up sleeping in. I slept unusually soundly in the bedroom, while she slept out in the living room – where Maven decided to wake her up just a couple of times, probably like “Hey. I know who you are, but why are you in my house right now?” 😼 We didn’t set any alarms, and just figured that I’d end up taking her home whenever we got up and around.

But before we really had a chance to put that non-plan into motion, her grandma decided that she was going to do a real Christmas dinner in the evening and asked if I’d like to join them as well. πŸ˜³πŸ™‚ Even though Cassi and I aren’t together anymore it was nice that her grandma thought enough about me to include me, and since I’d be taking Cassi back up there anyway I accepted the offer. πŸ˜πŸ‘πŸ» So we spent much of the afternoon just watching Netflix until it was time to go up and get the evening started. By the time everything was said and done I didn’t end up getting back home until almost 10pm.

On the way home I was thinking about what a difference time has made. When Genesee and I were together, my family had gatherings for nearly every other holiday on the calendar each year. πŸ˜‹πŸŽ‰ And for Genesee, it wasn’t something that she was used to, but in a good way… my family became her family and she looked forward to every gathering we had. This year… this year was the first year since I’ve been alive, I believe, where there was no multi-family Christmas get-together in our family. 😐 (I’m sure it was killing Toni. She tries so hard to keep things like they’ve always been.)

Now, folks in Cassi’s family don’t always get on well. 😏 I don’t mean it in a bad way, but just in a way where I wouldn’t necessarily count on them having a family gathering for Christmas. So that’s what made me smile, originally thinking that it was just going to be like any other Monday today, yet there I was eating an awesome dinner with all of them. For a moment it made me think about how Genesee appreciated our family doing that sort of thing, and now that my local family is no longer doing it, it was me that was appreciating being invited to someone else’s family holiday thing. πŸ™‚

But I’m ending Christmas Day feeling better about things than I thought I would. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™‚οΈ I had company for the eve and day that I hadn’t expected, some neat presents from Genesee (πŸŽ…πŸ»)Β that I’d never even seen before but were perfect for me, I got to sleep for about 10 hours straight, and then I was surprised again with the family dinner when I had projected that I’d be back home and just moping around the house by myself by that point.

This Is Not Where I Belong

I guess my cousin Shannon and her hubby are hosting an extended family reunion out at their place this afternoon. She’s texted me about it a couple times in the past few days, as has Toni, but I’m afraid I that have to disappoint yet again by letting them know that I won’t be going. 😞 Being depressed enough as it is, going out there and seeing everyone that I haven’t seen in forever would unfortunately and unintentionally just make it worse.

Think about it. Every interaction that I’d get involved in, it would likely start with “Hey, how have you been?” “What have you been up to?” “How’s your mom and dad doin?” or some other friendly inquiry to which I don’t have a positive answer. 😟 And I lack the ability at the moment to just “fake it” and reply with a convincingΒ “Pretty good, how ’bout you?” “Ahh, not much. Not much.”Β or “You know how it is, about as good as can be expected.”

I can just see a situation where if I wasn’t careful, I could end up being an absolute buzzkill to the get-together by blurting out detailed truthful answers –Β and that’s no good for anyone. Β (Plus, when people ask how you’ve been, they usually don’t really wanna know how you’ve actually been.)Β So the best choice is to send my apologies, thank her for inviting me anyway, and just stay away so they can have their happy gathering.