I awoke before my alarm this morning. I don’t remember the last time I set an alarm for anything. My alarm clock was only on the correct time because A stayed here last month. For me, it had been flashing since the last time the power went out.

But I set an alarm for 630, since my visiting family was arriving at 7 am. I was determined to sleep in as long as possible before heading off on a 3 hour round trip journey to see something for 45 minutes. It was all about the quality time in the car.

At 622, I awoke and my cell phone was flashing. I checked it and it was a photo from LP, which he’d sent the night before around 930 and I had not seen. He was smiling and I could see in the darkness behind him that he was standing inside his new house. Well, that’s interesting.

I did not reply back. It was really early. I was still really annoyed. I had to get ready to see the family.

I have the best family. It’s big, it’s boisterous, and it’s lovely. We are all really crazy about each other and we’re each other’s biggest fans and rivals. It’s the best. I always assure my younger cousins (I am the oldest of more than a baker’s dozen) that anything you want to do or any mistake you’ve made, someone else has already done it and you will be fine. We have each other’s backs, we keep each other’s secrets. I am who I am because of my family. My aunts and uncles are in a couple of special cases, my brothers and sisters, and we have wonderful relationships with each other. My mother, though not the oldest, is the matriarch to her younger siblings, including my uncle J, and our bonds are very special.

Anyway, a cohort of 5 of my relatives J, his wife M, and three of their kids, arrived at my building with an enormous starbucks coffee for me and we headed off. It was so much fun. M, my aunt by marriage to J, and I have known each other for almost 20 years now, which is amazing, and we’ve always been close, so we chatted and caught up in the front, though it had only been a month since we’d seen each other.

She wanted to know of course, what happened to BFD and who the new guy was, so I filled her in on the gossip and told J the cool thing about LP’s ex and he agreed it was really cool, and we just had a blast.

It turns out I have an encyclopedic knowledge of this state, at least in the opinion of out of staters, so I filled them in on everything as we went. When we arrived at our destination, it was amazingly cool and they loved it. It’s important to the history of this state and I find it quite moving. Because it’s rather small, I was able to spend time talking to each of them separately at one point or another, hearing what they’re doing, pointing out things of interest, and reforging those important bonds. The teenagers are growing into such wonderful people and it was so great to be with them.

On our way back, we stopped and went shopping and I helped my aunt M find what she needed as a gift for the bride. When I walked along with J and three of the kids later, they were laughing at all of their dad’s stupid jokes and I reminded them that he tried all of them out on me first, tormenting me like the little sister he did not technically have. They love that we have that relationship because he’s the youngest of a large family and with me, they see a different role for him.

We finished the drive back to town and dropped J and the youngest off and then went to the mall for last minute things with the two older girls. Again, I got to spend time with my aunt and really enjoy her. I think we’re only 6 years apart. She was a prosecutor who went on to become a judge, and she is tough, but fair, which is all you could ever want from someone sitting on the bench. She manages her kids, her life, and her wonderful, goofy husband with amazing skill and grace. She’s really an inspiration, though she has no idea, no matter how often I tell her. To me and many of our other cousins, her marriage is the most functional we’ve ever seen.

Being with J, who I love dearly, and is now pictured with me on my fb profile photo, and his wife, and their kids was wonderful. It kept going all of the positive things we kicked off at the wedding last month and we made plans for me to visit them soon and for the next wedding in May.

After a wonderful day with BP, I needed this regrounding and reconnection. It was so special.

They dropped me off to head to the wedding and then to head off early the next morning for home, so we said our goodbyes on the curb.

After I got upstairs, I decided to text LP back, at whom I was still incensed. I sent him a mild “adorable photo. is that you in your new house?” he said that it was and then added “Sorry we both had such busy wretched weeks.” I corrected him that mine had been bad, but I have had a couple of really great days. He told me he had his kid tonight, but needed “need some serious adult time soon.” I asked if he meant debating issues of the day or playing bridge, but he asked if I wanted to see the new house, which, duh.

We exchanged messages for about 90 minutes straight and made tentative plans for Sunday night. Not holding my breath because I know why they are just tentative, but I really want to see him and he really wants to see me. He needs “serious adult time” so I asked if we would debate the issues of the day or play bridge. Instead, he wants to show me his new house, which I am delighted to see.