Sunday, April 29, 2018

For the Love of Cousins

This weekend, one of my cousins said, "It's really too bad that it takes a funeral to get us to get together.

I agreed, but had to point out that at least we make the time for funerals. Sometimes it is hard to make time... except when you are being reminded that time isn't a guaranteed luxury. In memory of a cousin by marriage -- my Aunt Bonnie's son, Richard Powell -- I spent the weekend with some of my extended family. Cousins arrived from Alabama, Colorado, Texas, Indiana, and Kansas, of course. I had a rather short commute compared to most of them.

For about thirty-six hours, it was like diving headlong into the best best parts of childhood. I just circled and listened, circled and talked. Catching up on kids and partners, lives and jobs. Reminiscing and listening to others reminisce. Remembering those gone by interacting with those still with us.

I feel as if I owe a debt of thanks to Richard for the gift of time well-spent with family. I definitely owe a debt of thanks to Richard's wife, Deb, who opened her home and her heart to so many.

We're already planning an intentional reunion for next summer. Yay!

Friday, April 20, 2018

Reading with Emporia Writers

The local writing group had a reading this week as part of the celebration of The Literary World of William Allen White, hosted by ESU's WAW Memorial Library and Archives.

One of the benefits of getting together regularly with a group of writers is to remind yourself, though you often write alone, you are not alone. Other writers make good cheerleaders. They tend to offer good advice when you are in a writing hard place, or simply cheer you along, unafraid (and sincerely interested) to hear how your current project(s) is coming along.

Sometimes, having writer friends helps you step outside your box. While I've come to enjoy public presentations much more in recent years than I did when I was young, my tendency is often still to avoid them. Yet, when our group got this invitation to participate in this event, I jumped on it. It was fun to round up our writing meeting regulars and focus on a project together. We ended up with a few who were new to sharing their work and a some who were seasoned regulars. I think everyone had a good time, and though the event was small, we pretty much filled all the seats!

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