Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just when you thought it was safe...

It felt like the beginning of a horror movie.  Waking to the pleasant voice of Shelly, through the door of my room, where I lay in an overly comfortable bed after a restful sleep, I emerged to my new world.  At night, the scenery is a monochromatic and monolithic shadow world.  I had to accept the word of these who I'm staying with, that there was water beyond.  And that it is beautiful in the spring and summer.  I accepted their word that this town on the water-adjacent to the Puget sound-was the sleepy fishing village one would expect to see on the silver screen.

And so it was.  Moving through the house I enjoyed a panorama of water sights.  Every cardinal point in the house was the resting place of a window to this Pacific north-westerly world.  The overcast sky lit the home from every direction and all the while Shelly narrated new promise in this frontier.  It occurred to me that we had only just begun to live.  It was nearly comical, the feigned disappointment she would speak, with gems like, "I don't know if you like juices or snacks, but we only have snack like foods up here and some juices (she pointed to an over stuffed pantry with every manner of snacks and a branch of the Ocean Spray warehouse with every thirst quenching aid one could conceive of)..."  "Oh, and we have steaks and stuff too.  I don't know if you like steak."  And she'd say it all skeptical, like there was ever a question about whether or not I like steak.  Yes Shelly.  I think I'll be able to make due.

It felt like the beginning of a horror movie because everything was so perfect.  If this were on the silver screen-and rest assured that the town fits any prototype of a happy fishing town-we'd be waiting for the other shoe to drop.  Like she's showing me around and there is happy string music in the background, and then we get to this one house in the neighborhood and she's like, "But you can't go in there, or even look at that house.  The Jenkins family was massacred by a crazed shark-man hybrid and his portal to our world exists in their garage."  And I'd ask, "well, why don't we just destroy the house and garage?"  And she'd be like, "Uh, we really think their stucco guy did an excellent job and we don't want property values to go down.  Plus, not having that house there would throw the balance of the street off.  So just make sure that you don't look at it when you walk by.  Especially if you hear screaming from a little kid who tells you he just needs you to come and untie him from the hot water heater.  He got the Smiths like that last March..."

If you can't tell by now, I'm speaking ironically.  This place is friggin awesome.  When Shelly invited me up here, I made a point to not have any expectations about it and just be glad to have a trip up to see cousin Shell-Bell.  It turns out, however, that they have an awesome pad in an awesome area, and most importantly this is an awesome family.  Shelly's bona fides are not in question.  I've always known her to be overly sweet and my closest relative of my youth.  She is totally Po Flow and it would be reasonable to expect her husband and family to be Po Flow as well.  And there are really no surprises there.  Her old man, Richard is just a cool ass mellow dude.  His nature of just being the cool mellow guy compliments mine and Shelly's more extroverted nature well.  I'm not sure how long it will take for my exuberance to shift from being a compliment to a liability in his eyes, but for now it's complimentary.

And don't get me started on the kids.  And when I say don't get me started on the kids, I mean, 'by all means get me started on the kids'.  They are Trevor, Preston, and Kendall in descending ages.  Ken-doll is the youngest one at two?  He's just a little terror who is always smiling and up to no good.  It's hella funny how he'll just flagrantly  involve himself in retrieving things from around the house that he shouldn't and bring them to mom with a big ol smile on his face.  A Christmas ornament managed to unhook itself from the tree, work it's way into his hands, and from there he walked it to Shelly.  She says, "Kendall you know you're not supposed to have glass ornaments...(she says this in a voice completely devoid of any rebuke)".  And he just smiles the winningest smile any have likely seen lately, and hands it to her, palm open.  It's a gift Shelly!  Yay!  I've seen the kid scrub a few times and have yet to hear even the beginning of a cry.  Just a little man child who mixes it up and smiles a contagious smile that spreads quicker than a rumor.  One of the unique things about Ken-doll is that he has the eyes of a man.  In and on his face are wisdom, intelligence, and mischief.  But his mischief is playful, and the innocence of his young spirit is transparent as the summer water of the sound outside.

The oldest child, Trevor, is somewhat mild mannered and polite.  He was the first of Shelly's children that I saw.  I knew he was hers before I even registered his face or was told his name.  He looks like my cousin in a profound and creepy way.  If Shelly dressed as a boy when she was 13 years old, she would look exactly like Trevor.  In fact, back when she was thirteen in the eighties, I'm sure she did dress like a boy on a few occasions.  And I'm sure she looked just like Trevor.

The last of the kids, but certainly not the least is Billy Preston.  His name is just Preston, but I like giving nicknames and I liked Billy Preston so there you go...
Young Preston is just as lovable as his brothers and as polite as any, but has a sweet quirk of going a hundred miles an hour.  We could call this borderline ADD, but I prefer fully entrenched awesomeness.  The kids saw some of my art with a pen last night and Preston asked me to show him how to do it, or maybe I offered to show him once I saw how much he liked it.  Whatever the case, I gave he and Trevor an art lesson, Bob Ross style, where I took them form for form through a little sketch.  Preston was super eager and tried to maintain a lead on me, the one who was showing him what to draw.  I loved that he was trying to show off and sate his thirst for art with such abandon.  It was with the gentlest of urging that I got him to slow down and allow the lesson to proceed.

I love the kids.  I love my cousin and her old man.  I'm very encouraged by what I see up here.  I am restful in what I feel up here.  There will be more, for sure.  But for now, we are in the first act of this horror/thriller movie, where there are no horrors, but only the thrill of life in this familial paradise.

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