I'm the only one west of the Mississippi. Brother, mother, aunts, cousins... they're all on the eastern side. And it's been that way for a very long time, which in a way is their problem, but my life so far away has always had a kernel of sadness in it.
When are you coming home, Davy, my grandmother would ask when I saw them in the summer. Can you see the kernel I'm talking about?
But my mom comes down a lot. And my dad. And my brother is kind of a crazy man sometimes, flying down and flying down.
That drives away the kernel.
Still, I was far from my grandparents -- they only came here once. And I'm far from my aunts and my cousins and kids who don't get here very often -- not often enough.
So then there's this email I get in November saying a bunch of them are coming. And then another email. And a phone call saying that maybe they are coming. And then some family rumors saying they are. And some family reports saying they might. And a
Can't wait to see you! note on the inside of a Christmas card. And finally, a phone call saying they had arrived.
They're here! They're here! Aunt. Cousin. Kids. All the way from Kentucky to here. All the way to Austin. Now. What to do?
Blue skies and sunshine.
A bike ride around the lake for the boys.
Renaissance market on the drag for the rest of us.
Ansel Adams and the Gutenberg Bible at the Ransom Center.
The UT Tower.
And a drive down Congress Avenue at night from the south side of the river with the Capital aglow and the holiday decorations lit.
We were walking down the street at the end of the day, and I leaned over to my aunt and said,
Chachi Vicki, I am so glad you came.
That drove the kernel away.
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