Last weekend Sharon and I went to Lamesa, Texas, to visit some of my kinfolks. In case you don’t know where Lamesa is, it’s about half-way between Lubbock and Midland and about 300 miles west of Fort Worth.
Most people just traveling through would probably say the South Plains of West Texas are not particularly pretty. After all, there are no mountains and few trees. In fact, once you top the Caprock, there are few rises or depressions in the ground for hundreds of miles. It’s flat as a pancake.
Beauty being in the eyes of the beholder, however, I love this area. I love seeing mile after mile of land cultivated for planting, growing and harvesting King Cotton. It’s the center of an area that produces a huge percentage of the world’s cotton. It’s also the home of many of my kinfolks, and it’s where many more of them grew up.
Do you have first cousins with whom you share a closeness? I do. My mother and my two aunts who lived in Lamesa saw to it that we kids developed that closeness. They would drive for hours more than once each summer to exchange kids in order to promote that closeness, and we all feel indebted to them for doing so.
Some people I know, such as my wife, have a large number of school friends with whom they’ve stayed in touch through the years. Others, like me, see school friends only at infrequent class reunions. It always feels good to see such people, because they share the bond of common experience with us, but it’s rare to find any real depth in those relationships.
Family is different—at least it should be. The common bond of sharing parents, or grandparents in the case of first cousins, is a lifelong bond that binds us together in ways that school friendships usually don’t.
I manage to spend time with the cousins in Lamesa two to four times a year or more, but I have other first cousins I see much less frequently because of geography. In fact, I don’t usually see my own sister as often as I see the cousins in Lamesa. But with kinfolks, the bond is such that we start right where we left off, no matter the time lapse between visits. It’s a warm fuzzy relationship.
Those who read my blogs and Facebook posts regularly probably know that I like warm fuzzies. I go out of my way to engender caring relationships of some kind with people I deal with. A hug, a touch on the shoulder, waitresses and bank tellers and such using my first name.
Our world has become so impersonal in so many ways, all of that is reassuring to me. It acknowledges that I’m there and that I’m of some degree of importance to them. It makes me feel good. I usually reach out first, but that’s okay. In most cases, once I do, they reach out to me in return.
How about you? Where do you get warm fuzzies? How is your relationship with your kinfolks? What do you do to encourage interpersonal relationships with people you deal with?
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