As usual, my twin sister and I wait until the last minute to complete our holiday purchases because we spend a lot of time delivering food and toys to needy families every year and put our own needs last. This past week, while on my usual conference call with Cindy and my niece Leigh Ann, I accidentally backed into my daughter in law, Stephanie Hafele while helping my son pick up a big screen tv (a Christmas gift for his wife).
Many of our social media friends couldn’t believe that we would have an accident with each other! The truth is that I can’t believe (6 years after starting Texas Twins Events, Texas Twins Treasures & The Pawning Planners) that it hasn’t happened sooner. My family have been following each other to over 600 events, fundraisers, and family fun for so long that we’ve had a few near misses from here to California and it’s usually because SUV A, B or C is too close to the vehicle in front of them.
Last weeks fiasco started out with my husbands truck breaking down the day before my sons car did and needing two tow trucks. My family members are all guilty of driving a vehicle until the wheels fall off and a “break down” isn’t that unusual but since my son drives a car rather than an SUV, he would’ve needed my help getting his tv home anyway.
You can imagine my shock at hearing crunching metal while backing up and realizing that my son was backing up his wife’s PT Cruiser at the same time. Our usual “near misses” have never been while backing up but I’m not completely comfortable with my new back up camera and chose to open the drivers door and look behind me which was part of the problem. Two days before Christmas, my sons VW Jetta is still in the shop and we are hoping to have everyone’s vehicles back home before the usual “holiday hopping” from home to home gets started.
Yesterday Cindy and I took the twins to Gordon to see our cousins and my Aunt Shirley. I write a lot about my aunt because she’s been a big part of our lives. Cindy and I took her to Disneyland years ago as a vacation and spent summers with her as children. I still can’t imagine how she took care of her own three children (two boys and a girl) along with my twin and I and our baby brother. Six children at the same time must’ve been a “handful” but my aunt handled it with her usual grace by having everyone do chores to keep us all busy.
Last year after Care Flight took my aunt to Harris Hospital following a heart attack, my father and aunt finally ended their “rift” with one another. I’ve never really understood the falling out but like everyone else in my family, wanted these siblings to patch things up because life is far too short.
Our adult children are close to my cousins and their kids in Gordon because Cindy and I have always understood the importance of having a close family and travel to Gordon to see my aunt and her family when they aren’t traveling to “town” to see us. My aunt runs a food pantry in Gordon and understands the needs of struggling families. From a very young age, Cindy and I helped hand out hot meals with my aunt. Teaching children compassion isn’t easy but when you see the people we help “light up” you understand why our children have learned (as we did) the value of helping others. My aunt taught me that even if you have very little- you have something to share with someone who appreciates it.
After packing Christmas gifts and food into my SUV yesterday, Cindy and I along with the twins headed to Gordon and my aunt decided to capture a few “twins with twins photos” of us and my grand twins. Aunt Shirley has always loved photos and found a few areas for some photo prop fun with her grandchildren (James, Phillip & Rene).
After lunch at the Smokestack, our two suv’s headed over to New York Hill for more photo fun and I realized that some of our favorite photos have been in Gordon or at my aunts farm where there was always a pot of hot coffee or tea and something delicious on the stove. I remembered all of the times my cousins and I had played Canasta on her large kitchen table and I remembered the many times we chased fireflies in the fields or fed the Guineas. Looking back at our summers in the country, life may have been at a slower pace but it was a simpler time and with a houseful of children- it was my aunt who held the thread that kept us all together.
My aunt often calls when I’m on the phone with my son, my sister or my nieces and gives her opinion regarding the topic. Yesterday’s topic was our Latest Little Pawner, Madyson Blais. My niece Leigh Ann is home for the holidays with Cindy’s youngest grand daughter this year and my aunt thinks Madyson needs to wear more clothes and eat more food along with no more bottles! Lol, my aunt told me years ago that my son was too old for diapers (he was 2). Aunt Shirley is a lot like my twin- unfiltered and opinionated. We laugh and we listen but at the end of the day, we know that my niece Leigh Ann rarely listens to our advice.
While I’m off and running to develop film from a freezing wedding in the park last week, my aunt calls to tell me colder weather is coming in and to “buy that baby a coat!” Little does she know that I’ve bought young Madyson several coats, sweaters and long pants.
Leading today’s SUV caravan, I know my saucy sidekick, Cindy Daniel will be laughing on a call behind me with her daughter Leigh Ann or Stephaney, my son or my aunt but after a lifetime of following me—she has yet to run into me with her car and reminds me that her backup camera is her favorite feature on her SUV.
Perhaps I will start trusting mine?
I’m working on it but after years of driving with my mirrors, maybe I’m old fashioned.
Looking forward to 2017 and many more visits to Gordon with my aunt- my multigenerational team at Texas Twins Events & The Pawning Planners want to wish all of our twins, friends & followers a wonderful holiday season and many cherished memories with their families and loved ones.
Wendy M Wortham The Pawning Planners