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Monday, January 11, 2010

Props for The Panhandle

Let me digress...the year before we spent Christmas in Amarillo.  The folks were divorced and Mom needed a break.  As a hip, elegant divorcee, she landed in the Texas Panhandle with three wild Yankees.  The Christmas season at my cousins was very different than Christmas in Connecticut.

Our first cousins greeted us for the first time.  There is a saying:  "...everything's bigger in Texas."  I witnessed it first-hand in 1966.  My aunt and uncle were larger than life.  Uncle was tall and lean and taller still when he wore his Stetson.  Aunt was the love department.  She enveloped me with her arms and her heart.  She would give me sage advice over the years such as never scrub your face with a washcloth.  My first hot rollers were a gift from Aunt.  Grandmother was a Texas Grande Dame and another Aunt was a long, tall drink of water.  They corralled us in, made us feel right at home.  And I didn't feel too right in my skin after a divorce (I took personally) at the cranky age of 12.

We moved to The Panhandle one year later.  The big family welcomed us in a big way.  We moved the dog and snake into a little home not too far from The Cousins and our New Life began.  It consisted of Mom working and my brothers and I entering new schools.  8th grade.  I was already an oddity:  a Yankee with a divorced Mom.  Thankfully I had fun, well-liked cousins - they paved the way for an instant "in" factor.

I lived in this small town for only five years; yet this is where I was formed.  The Aunt and Uncle were the glue.  Girlfriends and their parents were my comfort.  My Mom was an enigma - the polar opposite of me.  She was petite, athletic, worldly, elegant, aloof.  I was 13.  Not a good mix.

I am very thankful I "grew up" in Texas vs. the east coast.  We left behind a very fast life.  I learned how to lean on folks: my girlfriends then are girlfriends now.  I saw good marriages.  I went to church.  I met My Guy.


Anonymous said...

I'm loving it!! Keep going! How did you meet Gary? At what age? How did your siblings do with the move? More please! xoxoxo

texas*francophile said...

I'm with Kelly great story and you write so well.
Somehow I get the feeling that writing is cathartic for u. FRANCO

Dianne said...

Oh I want to hear it all again and again. You write beautifully. You never talked to me about this other grandmother....was she like Meme?
xoxo Dianne

Virginia said...

Dianne - it was actually my cousin's grandmother. What would that be to me?????

mamurray99 said...

Virginia! Can I join the chorus????
Love it...but then, DUH? Of course I do!
Lvove you!

sewmuchwhimsy said...

I'm dying to hear more! Is this when you became close to Peach and that gang we saw in your New York photos? I'm enthralled...keep going...:)
xoxo Gretchen