• Kitchen sink like that of DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley

    Washing Dishes

    I wash a lot of dishes at my family reunions. It’s only fair. My aunt Nancy makes (or organizes) almost all the food. My Aunt Terry spends the after-dinner hour watching all the kids as they play in the yard. And my dad needs a break after four months of being the main dishwasher in my house. So, along with a few of my cousins, I wash dishes. Or I dry dishes. Or I put away dishes. I don’t mind it at all because the kids can’t bug me if I’m washing dishes and because I get to hang out with my cousins. My cousins are all so different from…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's children and their cousins play along a river
    Family & Friends

    The Oklahoma Clarks

    I was upstairs packing last week, and I could hear Austin talking with a friend downstairs.  “I can’t come over tomorrow because we’re going to see our cousins.  We’re flying on a plane to Oklahoma!” Technically, we were traveling to see his second cousins.  My cousin, Ellen, had moved with her family to Oklahoma a number of years ago and I’d never been to visit even though Ellen and I have always been really close.  “Oklahoma?” everyone asked with skepticism when I mentioned I was going there.  “What are you going to do there?” “I’m going to see my family,” I said.  Was any other explanation needed?  Everyone who has…

  • DC widow blog writer Marjorie Brimley's Clark family in pool
    Family & Friends

    The Clark Family

    “Austin can’t come to the phone right now,” my aunt Nancy said to me. “He’s skinny dipping in the pool. I told him he needs to do it fast because the girls will be out there soon!” I laughed, and I could see the smile on her face as well. “Okay, well can I talk to Claire or Tommy?” I asked. In the background, Claire ran by and said, “I can’t talk now!” as she fell over laughing about something. I could see her performing some sort of skit (or dance?) for my Aunt Terry. They were both laughing, and Claire’s enthusiasm was matched by Terry’s. Nancy yelled for Tommy…