Cousins, Nieces, and Nephew . . . Oh My!


t2 Now don’t these three little girls look innocent? From left to right: Jo, Deb, and Dee (or Curley, Larry, and Moe) as their aunt, that’s how I had come to think of them. I was still a teenager at the time of this photograph, and having been the youngest child in the family, these girls were my first experience with ‘little children’. Yikes! It was an eye-opener, I can tell you that. I must confess I was not the neatest teenager in the world, and these little darlings were attracted to my bedroom like magnets to metal. Once I walked into my room and there was talcum powder  all over the room, particularly covering the two younger ones. Generally, it was Dee who master-minded these capers. One of my most horrific experiences was when they got hold of a white eyelet dress I had borrowed from my friend, Janet, and spilled pink polish on it.  I feared for my friendship on that one, but luckily, Janet forgave me.

These three cousins shared many experiences, and when they get together even now, they can tell even more horrifying stories than the raids on my room. I think the three of them could have taken Osama bin Laden down with little trouble. But as these cousins grew, three more cousins sprouted on the scene. In the pictures below: Deb, Dee, Jo, Tiff, Dan, and Carol. The cousins shared holidays, birthdays, and went to one another’s parades and school activities.



I have many memories of the cousins and not all consisting of their forays into my room. I remember taking Deb to her first show and we saw Lady and the Tramp. We were sitting in the balcony and she started pacing, checking to see if there were any ‘holes’ in the floor. I’m not quite sure what she’d have done if she’d found any. I also recall the girls raiding Grandma’s cedar chest and playing dress-up with all the old clothes Grandma had saved. I recollect countless parades watching band members, cheerleaders, flag girls, and baton twirlers marching past in fine array.  A more embarrassing moment I recall, which the cousins will never let me forget, is when I asked them if they remembered when we went to a Hank Williams Jr. concert and he took off his shirt and some drunk told him to put it back on? They informed me with glee that I was that drunk! I guess all memories are not gold.

As people do, the cousins have grown up, many have moved away, and they have families of their own now. But as I have always felt with my first cousins, they are fortunate to have those wonderful childhood memories growing up, and the ties that bind families together are much stronger than they might suspect. I hope they  have the wisdom to treasure those experiences together and try to stay connected. Families are like gardens, and the more they are nurtured, the deeper the roots and the stronger the plants. As they grow older, these memories the cousins share will grow more dear and I hope they will treasure their moments they spent with one another growing up to be the fine adults they have all become.

Thanks for stopping by and I’d love to hear about any shared memories on being cousins with you.



4 Responses to “Cousins, Nieces, and Nephew . . . Oh My!”

  1. Debbie Toepfer says:

    This is a beautiful post! It made me cry and think of all my childhood memories! And yes I had great ones and most included my cousins! We had a small family but a very close family and Im thankful for all my memories.

  2. Deb, I’m so glad that this post meant as much to me as it did you. I must admit I got teary when I wrote it. Time flies so fast and I have to admit that I feel we owe a lot to Grandma Hazel for keeping the memories special. Again, happy you liked it. Love, Aunt Brenda

  3. Jo says:

    As one of the cousins I can say we remember many funny times with our Auntie…..some rather recent, does the word Karaoke mean anything to you?

    I can honestly say growing up my cousin Deb was my best friend. We had a lot of fun being us. Still do, cruising with Tiff!

    Love you!

  4. brendastinnett says:

    Jo, I still remember dear Vincent. Just think, people around the world probably still think of him. I guess karaoke has its upside. I still wish Rod had gotten to perform. That was my only disappointment. It was fun cruising together and I’m glad that you all have those good memories. If you can e-mail me some pics, I can do a piece on the cruise. I have some, but I don’t think your mom liked them much. Love, Aunt Brenda

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