It was during an e-mail exchange with my new found cousin, Patricia that the topic of cousins-however-many-times-removed came up. I told her that it was very confusing but to me, “Cousins are cousins!”
Then MiLady called up the stairs, “Oh, Dar-Ling!” (In her sweet way, lingering on the latter syllable of darling.).
I rushed to the top of the stairs, looking down to catch her head popping around the wall at the bottom.
She smiled wide. (Never a good sign.).
“We have comp-ah-knee!” (company) she said, still stressing her syllables.
“Who?” I asked politely. “I’m writing a reply to my new cousin, Patricia.”
Then I heard it, from the far side of the house. A haunting, blood-curdling, yowl. I froze and a sudden light-headed rush of nausea took a firm hold of me.
MiLady rushed up the stairs, “Are you all right, Dear’st? You’re white as a sheet!”
“That isn’t …” I stammered, dropping to sit upon the top stair.
“I’m so sorry,” my wife began with a nod, “But, she invited herself in.”
“Like she always does,” I finished with a sigh.
“I say, Hell-ew, Oh!” the shrill voice grated like a file on a tin plate, as an all-too-familiar head popped around the wall at the bottom of the stair, like my wife had done a moment before. “There you are!”
Nostalgia bounded up the staircase two at a time, stopping for an instant to nuzzle her cheek against MiLady’s cheek and give her a light one-armed hug.
“You look well, Dearie!” she spouted with the regular formalities, “But YOU,” she said turning to me. “You look like you crawled out of a commercial refuse bin!*” (*garbage dumpster)
“Oh, thank you!” I said with some disdain. “And you look just as sweet!”
For those not familiar with Nostalgia, allow me to explain: she is an old family friend (for the lack of a better word.). She is prone to show up at the most inconvenient of times (ruining many a romantic moment), making herself right at home (regardless of how long it has been since her last visit), and stays for a long as she is entertained by your situation (regardless how taxing.).
I had hoped that our recent move would have created a peaceful lull from her unannounced visitations for at least a few years, but it was not to be:
“You could show Nostalgia where you do your research now,” my wife said, after aiding me back to my feet and swiftly taking her leave down the stairs to safety. My pleading eyes followed her seeking her help, but my soul mate did not look back.
Abandoned, I would fight this battle alone. Again.
“Oh, your new research office!” Nostalgia exclaimed. “Yes! Yes, please,” she started as we walked down the hall to the second door on the left and entered. “Show … me … What is this?!?”
“This is Chef’s room and my office is that corner, there.”
Nostalgia could not comprehend how I could call a corner of my youngest son’s bedroom, my office. A small desk with a computer and a printer against a sliding closet door.
“It is either this, or everything gets packed up and stored in the basement, until after he graduates and moves out,” I told her.
Her disapproval was more than evident; but I believe that it was her claustrophobia flaring up than anything else.
She quickly changed the topic.
“What are you doing there?” she asked pointing at my computer screen.
“I was trying to reply to a cousin’s email.”
“Oh,” her face lit up brightly. “Allow me!”
Nostalgia had planted herself comfortably in my chair and started typing away feverishly. After ten minutes, she was done.
“There,” she said proudly. “What do you think?”
I sat down and began to read a confusing mess.
“No,” I told her. “You can’t send Patricia that.”
“Why not?” Nostalgia snapped, reaching for the SEND button. “It is a goldmine of information; she will love it!”
“No, she won’t,” I replied, stopping her, “Because she is from my father’s side of the family!”
A quiet and brief, “Oh,” came from her direction, as she stepped away from the keyboard and shifted her gaze out the door and down the hall, searching for something else to talk about.
“You have your many great grands’ marriage certificate hanging in the hallway! Why is that? No one can see it!”
“It is the only piece of wall large enough for it to hang from,” I answered. “And I can see it from here. I concentrate on it when I need to think of what to write.”
“Well then, I’ll leave you to it,” she replied. “I’ve got to go, there’s a group of Pirate Women I simply must check out in the west central region of the American states. I received a personalized invitation from The Pirate Queen, you know.”
I smiled and nodded as Nostalgia leaned over, bussed my cheek and rushed out into the hall and down the stairs like the whirlwind she was when she arrived.
“Toodles, Dearie!” she called out, one hand waving back from over her head.
I knew exactly what group of ladies she was referring to! (I didn’t share the fact I am an honourary member.).
EVIL THOUGHT: Let’s see how long it takes her to find out who the bartender* is too, shall we?
* #GENCHAT is every fortnight (2weeks) on Friday for genealogists and family historians (regardless of experience) to share ideas and thoughts on topics within the period of an hour. It’s fast and fun; and the time flies by before you know it! All are welcome!
Other posts detailing Nostalgia’s visits: