Here are some pics of our trip to Duluth where I saw many family members I grew up around.
From as far back as I can remember, I was best friends with my cousin Jeannine. We played together, fought together and schemed up all kinds of crazy ideas. Jeannine wasn't your average kid to grow up with. She's the craziest kid I ever knew. Neither of us are all white, though our moms are. My biological dad is from India and hers is black. Jeannine was the cutest kid ever. She had fluffy curly blond hair, lovely eyes and a lovely complexion. Her imagination is out of this world. I can't think of anyone responsible for making me laugh more. Jeannine thinks outside the box. I don't think the box would even let her in if she asked nicely. She showed up at our family get together with her husband and "her foreign exchange student", some guy who is staying with them.
When I had to do the dishes, Jeannine and I would pretend that we were slaves of a woman named "Mrs. Penalby". Another time she told me that doing dishes was "against her religion". Another time, Jeannine put all the dishes in the sink and sprayed them down with the hose and then said they were done. Every time my mother found a dirty dish, she hid them in the oven or under a towel. She was just crazy.
When our family went to stay at a fancy lodge for several nights, another uncle offered to foot the bill. This place was posh, and complete with dining hall cathedral ceiling painted by a world famous painter with intricate murals. Jeannine took full advantage of this fact (that our uncle was paying). She ordered an expensive meal every evening. When we should have been eating off the kids menu, she ordered salmon, steak, non-alcohol champagne, etc.. Finally my uncle put his foot down and told her that she had to order a kids meal the final night. Jeannine ordered a kids burger. When the waiter brought her meal, she discovered that it didn't have any cheese on it. She got so mad, she tried to throw the bun at the waiter. When she did these crazy things, her mother would haul her off to the bathroom with her loudly screaming. My aunt would start yelling and swearing saying she was going to spank her. Then my Grandmother would start begging her not to do it. Jeannine was very dramatic. She could put on a good show. You just never knew what would happen with her around.
Jeannine wanted long hair. Since it wouldn't cooperate with her, she just wore colored tights on her head. She didn't care where she wore them or to what public function. She put barrettes on them and hair ties. Whenever she got tired of them, she changed colors. No one dared say anything about it. You just didn't mess with Jeannine.
Jeannine always insisted on calling me "Gaberin", though I hated it. Eventually I resolved to just be "Gaberin". I think I may write some stories about us later on this blog.