Kathy and Greg are some of our favorite-est relatives. Kathy is Buds’ mom’s sister. It was at Greg and Kathy’s house that Buds and I announced to his family that we were engaged, and their eldest was the flower girl in our wedding.
Funny story our kids love about announcing our engagement to The Gems side of the family:
I had never met Buddie’s family before. His entire family was in Wisconsin for his grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary. We had to miss the party because Buds was taking pre-lims for his grad. program, but we drove up to Wisconsin from St. Louis as soon as he finished his testing, in time to spend a day or two with his family. We all stayed at Kathy and Greg’s house.
We had been engaged since March, but he wanted to tell his family in person, and this July visit was the first chance to do that. I had seen my family the weekend before and told my parents, and we wanted to let everyone know as close together as possible.
Remember, children, this was back when landlines and snail mail were the main ways to communicate. We couldn’t skype to tell everyone all at once.
We arrived late at night, and the next morning, before I even woke up, Buds invited his parents to go on a walk to tell them we were engaged. (I’m sure this wasn’t a huge shock to them since they knew of the intensity of our relationship since the onset, but I’ll bet they would have preferred to at least have met me before finding out I was going to be a family member.)
When I woke up, after a quick shower, I went outside to find everyone. Buds was gone on the walk, but his three siblings were playing basketball. I sat down on the grass to watch, and they immediately stopped their game and came over to surround me.
Z, the second in age behind Buds said, quite aggressively, “Jennie, do you know why Chris is taking a walk with our parents?!”
I was pretty taken aback by his tone and stance, but wanting to be placating said, “Is it unusual for someone to go on a walk with your parents to talk?”
“Yes,” he replied shortly. “We normally have family meetings.”
It makes me laugh to look back on it now. We were all so young. Buds and I were so much in love and so oblivious to whatever anyone else might be thinking or suspecting about our relationship.
They returned from their walk, everyone all smiles. Kathy and Greg pulled out the champaign, and we all celebrated together.
And twenty years later, I think Zach is amazing…but back then, I wasn’t totally sure.
Back to Uncle Greg’s visit…
Greg was in town for a convention. He made time to drive out to the ‘burbs to spend time with us. He went to Cousin O’s basketball game, which was great fun, then Greg took us out to dinner at Puckett’s for some BBQ. It was so great to get to visit with him.
He and Kathy remind me of Buds and me, but about 10 years ahead in the parenting game. I love learning of their children’s growth and changes. And our girls have tremendously fond memories of Cousin Liz because she gave them a boatload of barbies when we saw them last.
Buds and I have fond memories because she was the cutest flower girl ever.
Remove the glasses and mustache and Greg looks much the same. I love this picture for numerous reasons: Buds and I have so many fond memories of visits with Greg and Kathy, though there are too few of them; you can see our Cocker Spaniel Brandie’s black butt in the left of the photo, being followed by K & G’s puppy; and Burt The Cat is on the log by Greg. Many beloved pets all together.
Here’s to memories and laughter and family meetings.
Thanks for a wonderful visit, Greg.