Thursday, January 6, 2011

Big In Numbers and In Heart...

A few of my many cousins at our last Family Reunion:

Should not be up for public viewing! It's all in fun though...
 The subject of the day today is: COUSINS. All day long, in one form or another my cousins were in my thoughts. One cousin I hoped to see find and offer a small bit of aid. Four cousins are about to receive a tiny gesture of love from my home and heart. From afar another cousin has been trying to connect with me. And a cousin who lives in town just happened to be along my route and played into my list of Things To Do.

Maybe I'll place the story of the cousin I hoped to find at the end of this blog. It's sad.

Packages of pictures were mailed this morning to four beautiful cousins. I'm excited for them to receive their envelopes of happiness!! These four are my first cousins on my father's side. This Fall we gathered in my home and garden and celebrated our connection. When I came up with the idea of a weekend camp out for just the girls, all of us were thrilled. I used the theme of dahlias for the invitations. Our Grandmother, a woman born and raised in Mexico, was a gardener that had big colorful dahlia blooms in her yard. It was such fun. Here are a couple memories of that time ~

One of these same Dahlias has a son that has been trying to contact us about a warm place to rest for a few days. Story has it that he'll be here in the Bay Area in a few weeks for school. Trying to come up with some solution. Seeing how our cottage is very tiny, it does pose dilemmas for sleep-overs. Were it summer we could utilize a tent! HA!

While running around today I stopped in at a salon owned and run by my cousin. I was in the neighborhood and wanted to offer Happy New Year greetings and give her a big ol' hug and kiss. She is a beautiful woman with a wild sense of humor and a mind for business. The salon she established has got her name all over it.... classy and current.

Okay - the sad story of the cousin. The reason I hoped to FIND him rather than SEE him is that I don't have his address. In fact, as far as I know he doesn't have an address. He is a fifty year old homeless man. I believe him to be somewhere near the area that I live. His life and circumstances are of his own doing. He does as much as tell you this is true. Not so many years ago he still had a home with his Mother. My Aunt passed a few years ago and cousin's story goes downhill from there. My husband and I have helped when we could. I've gone to get his truck when he's been jailed. I've visited in hospitals when he's feeling poorly enough that he finds a way to contact us. I've kept in touch with him in the times he's had a brief job and enough change to have a pay-as-you-go phone. Hubby and I have tromped through fenced off areas alongside creeks in order to bring him camping gear and food. Rides and cash have happened on occasion. Once, alone, I parked and searched the creek area that he frequents. That was far too frightening to attempt again. Today he was on my mind. My Mother nor I had heard from him at Christmas, and usually we do. I went, again, today to see if HIS corner at the busy freeway intersection had a man, that I would hope to recognize sitting on a box with his hand out. Cousin was not there. Instead of money - hope, love and a bit of dread were left on that corner.

You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.
Desmond Tutu


  1. Wow, Shari! I just got done reading through your entire blog, start to finish. I AM SO AMAZED, and especially inspired by your beautiful words, your photography, and your way of life!! You are truly a beautiful person inside and out, and I'm blessed to know you. I'm looking forward to keeping up with your daily abundant picnic. You are truly a GEM!!!

  2. Thanks! And, you my dear, are one genuine sparkling diamond! <3