My mother is the second of ten children in a family that grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin.
I live with my aunt and uncle, my mother's sister and her husband, who is the eighth born of my mother's family.
Their first cousin, who is the third of three children born to my grandfathers youngest brother (#'s 2 and 5 of five), is a large animal veterinarian and lives with his wife, a nurse, and three children in a small community in Wisconsin not far from the homestead where my mothers and aunts family was raised. They were out in California on vacation this week and we all had dinner together at my aunt and uncles house.
The conversation covered a vast array of topics, including but not limited too: drinking one's own urine for health purposes, distribution of human waste as fertilizer, marriage, weddings, family reunions, hors d'oeuvres, pig farming, sledding, adoption, puberty, boarding school, sexual harassment, sex ed, date rape, picture books, precocious children, the disadvantages of being a middle child, horse fertility patterns, and drinking wine while sitting in the sun and reading the dictionary. (This last one was a description of what my great uncle did on his last trip to Florida after he protested having to go, which was, as his son, my second cousin, said, exactly what Joe should have been doing.)
Maybepartly because I'm finally feeling healthy-ish after a week and the meal (roast pork, beans&rice, fresh asparugus, salad) was delicious, but the night was rich and quietly wonderful, like Matt and his wife Diane.
My favorite quote was cousin Matt quoting his father, Uncle Joe, the one who sat in the sun with the wine while reading the dictionary, saying how since he's had some heart issues, when he thinks about doing something risky, he thinks "I might die." and that "That just takes some of the fun out of it."