Thursday, September 22, 2011

"We almost..."

We took a field trip to our local Science Museum today to take advantage of their homeschool days and had a great time with our friends.  We almost didn't go though.

We brown bagged it and my friend that we carpooled with offered to take our stuff back to her car after we finished lunch but instead we stored our things in the cubbies in the lunch room.  We almost left after lunch.

We ended up in the kids play room because that's where the way cool magnetic fishing is and the area is supposed to be for 8 yrs and under but they allowed my 11 yr old and my friend's 9 and 10 yr old in with their siblings anyway.  My friend suggested we take turns, one of us stay with the younglings while the other walk around with the elders but I declined.  We almost split up.

While I was waiting for my friend to come back from a trip to the restroom with a couple of the kids and I was in charge of the ones still in the kid area (with the way cool magnetic fishing!) I noticed one of the Mom's in a red shirt, looked familiar to me.   I couldn't put my finger on the why but that's not unusual for me.  The older I've gotten, the worse I am with remembering names and everyone seems to look familiar to me for one reason or another.  At one point, we were even sitting next to each other with only a computer screen separating us but I was zoned out (that time of the afternoon is my musthavechocolatecoffeeormommyneedsapowernap time.  We almost talked but didn't...because I'm a big CHICKEN when it comes to asking someone if I know them.  My husband? Never met a stranger. Like, ever.

The moment passed, my friend came back and so did my other one, our ride home.  We chatted for a little while and then decided it was time to head out.  We had to go back into the lunch room to gather our things when my friend, who we'd ridden with, was talking to the Mom (in the red shirt) from the kid's room.  Turns out they know each other.  My friend introduced me, "This is my friend Jen."  The woman in the red shirt asked if my last name was (insert my maiden name).  This startled me for a second because very few people from my present know me by that name.  My friend answered for me, "No, her last name is (insert married name).  I said, "Actually, yes, my maiden name is_"  Woman in the red shirt said (smiling), "I thought so. You're my cousin.  I'm _.  You haven't changed a bit."  As soon as she said her name, I knew who she was.  I almost fell over.

It's probably been 20 years since we've seen each other.  We were still kids ourselves and now we HAVE kids!  Crazy. Cool!   My oldest asked her, "Are you my cousin too?"  She answered yes, that they were first cousins removed several times. "Cool!" was his answer and then he walked away.  He was satisfied.  I'd almost sent him back for the lunch bags while I waited in the lobby.

We chatted for a few minutes and I couldn't help wishing we had more time.  I spent the rest of my day sharing stories with my boys about all the fun times I spent with her and her siblings.  Like how their house had the BEST places to hide for playing hide & seek whether it was inside or out or how we used to play this game in the basement where we tried to see who could make it from one end of the room to the other the fastest without ever touching the floor.  (I think we might have gotten in trouble for this too.)

One of my favorite memories though is when we tried to make french toast.  I had spent the night and all of us girls had woken up early and didn't want to wait for her Mom or Grandmother (who lived with them) to wake up to make breakfast so we decided to make it ourselves.  She and her sister (who I always think of when I hear the song with her name in it) assured me that they knew how to make french toast and they would teach me.  How hard could it really be?  I mean, all you need is bread, butter and syrup, right?  Sure!  So we're in their kitchen toasting bread, like in the toaster, putting butter on it and then drenching it in syrup and I was thinking to myself, "This doesn't look or taste like any kind of french toast I've ever had but I'm not saying anything."  Then my Great Grandmother came in and asked what we were making and when we told her, she took one look at our plates and started laughing.  She told us we were supposed to dip the bread in egg first and cook it, not toast it.  She made us throw out our version of french toast and made it for us the right way.
To this day, I can't make french toast without thinking about that morning and was JUST telling this story to my boys last week when we had it for dinner.

I don't think it's a coincidence that I ran into her today.  I think it was a blessing...and I could've missed it because we almost didn't go.  :)

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