Cousins, although not friends, they can be….not like brothers or sisters, but make as good a confidante as if they were! No one can pick families, but they can be the tools in the hand of Almighty God. Sometimes a tool has to scrape and cut you into perfection. Sometimes tools smooth and shape wonderfully! Genavieve was a girl who had many things in life shape her, and cousins were a part of the plan. The very tragedies of life that seem daunting can be the ones that bring the most character. Such was this day in her life, when as a young lady, modesty at it’s hilt, she was visiting with her male cousins at her fraternal grandparents place, playing under the big massive oaks.
A winding road took you to a grand property where the house sat off the road. The grounds were peppered with trees, plants, paths and outbuildings. Among the grandest of oaks sat to the west side of the old house. It made a fine focal point from the screened back porch, where the adults socialized and enjoyed the breeze. It’s massive limbs touched the ground. The limbs could be climbed all the way up the tree into it’s lofty branches. Visits were just a little more special under the tall spreading oak. Today the cousins dared her to run up the low limb faster than ever. With great confidence she started up the limb and reached the “goal” which was a big gray knot in the branch, much like a seat. She sat in it and smiled down at them, when suddenly the rough branch pierced her pantaloons and she slipped. She felt certain that this would result in her fall to the ground. The limb caught the ruffled edge of the cotton underwear , ripping through the outer garment, and she dangled there. Suspended above the ground, upside down, caught on the branch, she dangled like a cocoon in the breeze! Her cousins laughed and said things that hurt her pride, but at last there was one hero who ran to the house for help! Although nice to be cared for, she didn’t enjoy being the center of attention now, as everyone ran to help and detach her bottom from the branch. She was flushed and red from hanging upside down and embarrassment! Running with hands behind her to cover her ripped attire, she fled into the privacy of the dressing room, handing her damaged clothing through the door to be mended quickly! Her boy cousins couldn’t keep themselves from the house now, giggling! They were shoo shooed away in her defense, as she waited for the mend, which seemed to take hours!
When handed back to her, she quickly dressed and announced she was ready to return to her paternal grandparents home at once! Waiting there instead was a generous spread on the farm table of breads and butter, cheeses, figs, preserves and thick glasses filled with fresh creamy milk. There sat her cousins, not laughing, but sweet facial expressions of remorse. They all said they were sorry for laughing and promised they would never do it again. Some wise adult had made the table and left, leaving her with them, knowing things would turn out all right. She shuffled and sat at the far side and helped herself to the feast, deciding that she would somehow win her favor back! As she helped herself to bread with embellishment, she uttered through a faint smile. “Just don’t tell anyone else!” They all laughed and said “Who else is there to tell?” All smiles now, they looked at Genavieve with affection and she quickly recognized it for the first time! Cousins, closer than ever, would begin a true friendship that would pass the uncertain test of time.
Copyright, March 19, 2011, Kindred Hearts Antiques, Brenda D. Brown