Lorenzo and I spent the weekend in Raleigh, North Carolina with his maternal family for their 4th family reunion. I think it was cool to attend since I didn’t get a chance to attend my father’s family reunion earlier this year due to the date being the same time as my military training event. I already know most of his mother’s siblings, his first cousins, and their kids, but at the reunion, there were other extended family members as well. This included his grandfather’s siblings and their families. The guest of honor was his great-grandmother Sue who was born sometime in the 1800’s and passed away in 1951. Sue had 8 children, one of whom was Lorenzo’s grandfather and only one of Sue’s children remains alive today.
Because Lorenzo had to work, we didn’t leave on time, so we didn’t get a chance to go to the meet-and-greet on Thursday night. Friday morning we met up at his uncle’s house for breakfast, and I got a chance to meet his cousins that live on the west coast in California and Phoenix. Everything was fine until I was completely thrown off by the entrance of an older woman who greeted me by saying, “Are you the baby mother?” I attempted to say, “Huh?” and “Who?” at the same time. Lorenzo’s cousin laughed and his aunt Barbara stepped in and saved me by explaining that I was Lorenzo’s wife. No sooner did the words leave her mouth did another woman walk and ask me the same exact question in the same direct tone. I had no idea who’s baby mother I was supposed to be, but I guess they had to check to make sure. I later found out they were the descendants of Lorenzo’s, grandfathers’, brother (confused yet?), or something like that. They are twins in their early 70’s, both named Gloria, and they both tried to get me extremely drunk that night after the banquet.
Here are few things I’ve learned about true southerners since I’ve been with Lorenzo:
•They like to do things on their own. Paying for convenience is almost a crime- Lorenzo’s mother is still hesitant to pay for bottled water, and Lorenzo insists on chopping his own wood (and we don’t even have a fireplace).
•Sweet Tea is a staple. Well, tea period. If you don’t drink sweet (or unsweet) tea, something is wrong with you.
•Also pork. The only justifiable reason to not eat pork is because you have hypertension…and not even then.
•They like to make their own alcohol. I know we are all aware of moonshine but this weekend I’ve actually had homemade wine. Yes, you read that correctly.
•You have to learn to translate some of the terms. I already knew that some pronounce “children” like “chill-ren” or “chill-en” because that’s how my grandmother says it but the new one for me was, “have some sit down.” It means, “please have a seat.”
But I did have a wonderful time. Friday night there was a banquet where we dressed up and honored the family members over 70, and on Saturday we went to Pullen Park for lunch and other activities that the kids could enjoy, like a carousel, train ride around the park, and paddle boating in the lake. Sunday was a travel day for everyone, so we had to say our goodbyes on Saturday night.
I know Lorenzo had a great time as well. He already wants to make more time to go back home (to South Carolina) to spend more time with his cousins and their children. It would be a great way to end the summer since I think I’ve spent a total of 3 weekends in Atlanta together since June (that last sentence had a lot of sarcastic undertones just in case no one caught it).