I have many new cousins! Although my Aunt Jeanne lives several hours away in PA, my Aunt Martha and Uncle Victor live within an hour’s drive. We could have all passed in the grocery store. We have surely passed each other on the road.  Martha’s son, Mark is 3 months older than me. Aunt Martha told me that she was pregnant with Mark while her sister (my Mother) was pregnant with me. Martha said Mark was her reminder of me. Looking at him kept me in her thoughts.

I was very excited to meet Mark and his wife Jennifer and their daughter, my 2nd cousin, Mariana yesterday. They live in Strasburg, VA which is maybe an hour from my house. We decided to meet in the middle. Jennifer suggested Joe’s Steakhouse in downtown Winchester. What a gift of a day it was. The weather was perfect. Joe’s was the right place to have a quiet brunch and get to know your family.  Mark and Jennifer also live in an old house and we caught up on each other’s lives for the brief hour and a half we had together.  Mark is funny and grounded. He and I would have been big buddies had we grown up together- I just know it.  Jennifer is his perfect match. They finish each other’s sentences and razz each other in a fun way. Mariana is 13.  She is a home school student and extremely bright and articulate. She shared funny stories and brought her sketch book to show me one of her abstract drawings. She’s a gifted artist. You can see that immediately. She asked me not to flip through the book. Another trait of a good artist. I respected her request,  but I was dying to see more. We are connected now on Instagram so I can review her art as she posts it.  Mark and Jennifer are already connected to me on Facebook as are many other cousins. It’s going to take time but I’m getting through the list and meeting everyone as time allows!CousinMarkJenniferMariana

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