A week ago, my aunt and cousin left to fly back home, all the way kitty corner across the country to Georgia. Back to Georgia where it is blazing hot with humidity and sunshine. I haven’t seen my aunt or cousin in two years and three months, and since then they’ve moved and he’s served another tour nearly getting blown up in Afghanistan. Now he’s engaged to be married in December and my aunt is talking about moving out here. She hasn’t been here in over ten years and he never has, so we tried to pack all the sights of Washington into eight days. We picked them up in Spokane on the 12th and took them to Cyrus O’Leary’s. My dad and my cousin went fishing several times in several places along the Columbia and Snake and Yakima rivers. They went to Seattle where my youngest sister met them for the first time and they were introduced to Pike Place Market and Sounders fans, the Space Needle and the Puget Sound.
We also celebrated K’s 23rd birthday with a barbecue and they met her boyfriend and her dog. My brother introduced his future wife to them. And they met husband for the first time, although he and my aunt have conversed over Facebook since I went to Georgia two years ago. I’m pleased to say they hit it off in person just as easily as they did on social networking.
We went to some local establishments, including Myfroyo, which my aunt is now obsessed with. We ate salmon. (Not at myfroyo). We went wine tasting at Terra Blanca and Kiona winery, they went to Gordon Brothers. They drove through the Palouse and ate lunch picnic-style while gazing down on Palouse Falls. Nine days of being tour guide and trying to think of interesting things for a Southerner to do in the Northwest when we feel there isn’t a whole lot exciting going on up here.
I wish that we lived closer. My aunt has two children, and I wish both of them and their families lived within an easy driving distance. They say they wish they lived up here just for the mild climate (it is 11 am and 102 F outside). But they’re still my family and I miss them, especially knowing it will probably be years before I see them again. And meanwhile our lives chug on and things happen without them here, our lives running parallel on kitty corner sides of the country.