Friday, February 25, 2011

Family Business (original post date March 30, 2008)

Three years ago on the 20th of February, Me and eight other of my relatives took the three day journey that landed us in Arizona (AZ).

The three day journey traveling across seven States was an adventure for all of us. While packing up our three cars in Michigan (MI), we experienced an ice storm that had us all sliding down the driveway as we packed up the cars. There wasn't a dry person in the group. We were all soaking wet!

The road trip started with my then, 5 year old cousin, Terrell, asking "Are we there yet?" and stopping every two hours for gas, potty breaks, and snack fill ups. We drove through Indiana (IN). Nothing special happened there. Illinois (IL) is where the fun started. We experiecned frigid air and high winds. So much wind in fact, my SUV (may she rest in peace) was being bullied and pushed along the highway. That was some scary stuff. Missouri (MO) was beautiful. We seen the Gateway Arch, hills along the highway that we had the privilege to drive through, and the temperature was starting to warm up. Oklahoma (OK) was nice. But not as nice as Missouri. There was when my family experienced Carl's Jr. for the first time. Before that, they've never heard of it. I love that place. Texas (TX) was when me, my cousin Shavonne and her three kids came up with the game Animal or "Animules". Whenever we spotted a field full of Cows, sheep, pigs, or whatever type of animal we would shout out "Animal!" or "Animules!". Whoever was the first to shout it out won the game. The rules were really simple. But as far as Texas goes, I hated it. Texas is too damn big. It took us from sun up to sun down to travel through the Lone Range State. No fun I must say. New Mexico (NM) was my absolute favorite State of all. I fell in love with the mountains, plateaus, the desert, and I really enjoyed seeing the artwork along the highway. They were all so beautiful. It's a landscape that I grew up far from and it's the State where I experienced my first Tamale. Then, finally, Arizona (AZ). It wasn't easy getting to where we are now. We had to drive down a mountain in the dark on a two-lane highway on a 6% decline in the rain. And my I add, it wasn't just any 'ol rain, it was a thunderstorm! Very frightening. Once we reached stable ground at the Circle K gas station we all got out of our cars and kissed the ground. My cousin Michael on the other hand. He was glued to his steering wheel in disbelief. But then we had to do round two on another mountain on a 6% decline. It was there that my cousin David's car temporarily broke down on the mountain while we were driving down. I felt bad for him. But we made it to the city and finally made it home. 33 hours, 22 minutes, 3 days, and over 2,000 miles was all it took to drive from Michigan to Arizona. I had a blast! I would do it all over again.

Once we reached the house, we all met up with my other cousin Yvette, her two boys, and Lynn. Talk about a tear fest. Finally all 12 of us were reunited again. We've only been apart for four months and everybody starts snotting up all over the place. The only four that was missing was my mom, brother, and my cousin Shavonne's husband Antonio. They all had to stay back in Michigan. And my cousin Latrice moved to California. So there we were. All 13 of us sharing a four bedroom, three and a half bathroom house. Luckily, there was a loft. Because without it, all that living space would not have been possible. 

This blog I'm posting is an old blog from my (deactivated) Myspace account. It takes place in March 2008 when everyone was moving out. I hope you enjoy it. I know I did when I rediscovered it in my blog archive saved on my computer.

March 30, 2008

Well, the fun is over. My 13 person household is now a 6 person household. My cousins Yvette and her two teenage boys moved out today. Her sister Shavonne (and husband Antonio, who is still in MI) left two days ago, along with their three kids, a pre-teen boy, an eight year old girl and a five year old boy. This house is sooooo quiet. I hate to say this but, I dread it. I actually have room to hear my thoughts. The quiet is soooo distracting.
This house used to be vibrant. Upstairs in the loft where the computer is, we had two TV’s going. One was specifically for the Direct T.V or Sponge Bob Network as I call it, since that’s the only show the boys wanted to watch, and the other T.V was only for the Play Station 2. There was always someone up here being entertained by something. Now it’s just one lone T.V that’s off more often than on and the computer that no one is fighting to use.
I don’t have any reason to look forward to 3 and 4 in the afternoon anymore. Seeing as how my 5 cousins are all in their own homes now. I can’t just randomly pop up and yell "Do your homework!" and then walk away. I can’t expect the volume of the house to go up every few minutes. I can’t just peep out my bedroom window and see the backyard being taken over by little people.  
The pleasant noisy sounds of kids playin’ in the backyard, shootin’ hoops, accompanied by of the thud of the basketball bouncing off the pavement and "Swooshing" out the the Nerf/And 1 basket net, has all been taken over by the peaceful reserved sounds of well, nothing. Only occasionally being replaced by the passing air planes thousands of miles above, the smooth sound of metal gliding against the railroads teamed with a slight "Choo-choo" from the train, and the unenthusiastic barking from a dog in the distance.
The refrigerator, freezer, and pantry now lie nearly empty. The kitchen used to be plentiful with food, snacks, and soft drinks. Now the amount of food, snacks, and drinks have been dramatically decreased. I have to admit, I can sometimes be a bit of a crumb snatcher. Yeah sure, I have a nice figure, but I take after my mama when it comes to this--What?! I love food.
The kitchen always had someone in it. I blogged about this back in July of 2007, titled Follow the leader. It’s about how when one person gets up to grab a snack and then suddenly life itself stops ’cause now everyone wants to get up and grab a snack. That excitement is all gone now. 
Dinner time carried a whole different meaning in this house. Dinner time meant having a car load of people going out to venture out on John Wayne Parkway for food, come back, crowed around the kitchen island and spread out into the Family room all while poking fun at Terrell ’cause he didn’t want to "smell" our food. It’s just-- it’s just nothing now. The kitchen is lifeless.
The Family room was filled with the laughter of all the women in the family. Nana, Lynn, Faye, Yvette, Shavonne, and sometimes Sylvester exchanging stories, jokes, or yelling at the kids ’cause they actin’ wild, all while being indecisive on what to watch on T.V. A lot of that excessive energy died down.      
The upstairs bathroom will never run out of toilet paper! Now that there isn’t 5 kids taking it for granted. I walked in awhile ago and I was shocked by how much space was available. My toothbrush is the only one in there! When before it would stand around with three others. My face towel is the only one hanging behind the door on the three row towel rack. And oh my gosh! No more walking onto a wet floor mat and sink. Everything is perfectly dry. Weird...
I used to share a room with my cousin Marie. Now, it’s just me. Before the move to Arizona I always loved to have my own space and quiet. Now that I’ve experienced it with someone I’m actually missing her. I miss the way she’d pop in just to cause trouble, especially when I’m in my zone. (Listening to music, reading, or writing). I miss all her little clothes hanging from her side of the walk-in closet. I miss how she had all her little girly things laying around in a messy pile by the side of her bed off on her side of the room, and how she emulated me by writing in her notebook with her set of colored BiC Velocity pens. My room is so dull now. There’s nothing but this big empty space where her bed was. 
Bedtime will never be the same. Terrell and Marie was always the first to go. The best was when Terrell had to go around and hug everybody and say goodnight, even though he acted like he didn’t want to, but we knew he enjoyed it. I loved watching him running around with his adored Pooh Bear with his little grey wife beater and dark blue basket ball shorts. And also loved the other good times with Marie. Like when I’d be in my room, once again writing (Jeez! Is that all I do?) and I had to dim the lights and turn down the T.V so Marie could prey and fall asleep. Or the other times when I wasn’t writing (See! I do have a life) and was actually watching T.V. Sometimes when Marie couldn’t fall asleep we’d joke around, talk, or just chill and watch Friends, Scrubs, or the Simpson’s, depending on how late it was, until she fell asleep and then I’d fall asleep awhile after her.
I’m off midnight duty when it comes to Marie. Every night I’d tuck her in before Shavonne gets a chance since Terrell was a handful. And every night I’d wake up every few hours just to make sure she’s well adjusted. If she’s not, I’d cut in and re-adjust her and making sure she didn’t kick off all her covers. The Arizona nights can be really frigid. So, I had to take care of my girl. I never liked seeing her shivering.

My room has fallen silent. I’m no longer being entertained by the sound of Marie talking in her sleep, or hearing her flop around on queen sized inflatable air mattress, that stood about yay high, up to my knees. Thank God that the sound of that torturous grinding of teeth is over! Oh! I’m glad I don’t have to live through that every night. Now, the only sound I’m limited to hearing is the soft sound of air passing through the blades of my fan and the hum of the central air or central fan. 
Having to walk through the loft to sneak past Big and Little Mike sleeping, tip toeing down the stairs, and zipping past Shavonne, Mikel, A.J, and Terrell in the living room, if they’re not already sleeping upstairs in their room, with the T.V on a low volume advertising infomercials, just to get to the kitchen for a late snack or a well needed glass of water is all over. All the other adults (and me and Marie) had rooms. That part won’t change. But what did change was the noisy mornings.
No more Shavonne sneaking in to wake Marie after I’d already been woke and can clearly hear every attempted whisper. No more bein’ awaken by the attempted whisper after I had a long sleepless night. No more hearing Terrell downstairs complaining that he doesn’t want to eat before school. No more hearing the boys chattering before they walkout for school. No more. 
I didn’t know that I’d be so attached to these people. For goodness sake, I see them every day! Especially on the weekends. What am I trippin’ over? Deep inside I never wanted them to go. I’d been secretly depressed for the last two weeks since I knew they were leaving soon. Everyone picked up on my secret depression in the middle of this week and teased me for awhile. But it’s all good ’cause we’re never parted for long. 
 ...I wish they didn’t have to go... 


  1. My favorite times were when everyone still lived there, too.
    Even back in Michigan, I hated when we were all at one house and people started going home.
    Oh and yeah that mountain drive was brutal...don't think I'd do it again!

  2. I'd do it all over again. Even the drive down the dark mountain.

    Our family is too functional. I don't think we could ever not like being around each other...except Memorial Day 2009. I'm sure you remember that day well. And that time we were arguing at the house on Belle. Not our best moment

  3. Yeah that feels like a completely different life back it was someone else.


    Sometimes I do wonder what things would be like if I had stayed in Michigan. Better or worse. There's always that 'what if'.


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