That's my cuz! Hard to believe she's a high school senior...I even remember when she was born. I was in 4th grade. I forgot to do my math homework the day she was born (SO not me)...as my 4th grade math teacher stood over me and questioned my partially finished homework as I mumbled the excuse of my cousin being born the night before. Am I blessed or cursed with such a memory?! I probably only remember that day in math class because my Catholic guilt/conscience got the best of me - seriously - I probably just forgot to do my math homework or left my book at school but I used her birth as an excuse. Confession time! :) And I knew her name. My aunt had confided in me the name she had picked out if she had a precious girl (yes - that was before the time of gender screening). So when it was announced they had a little girl, I proudly told my parents I knew what my aunt was going to name her - and they were shocked! I can keep a secret (sometimes). ;)
I was flattered when Jessie asked me to do her senior portraits. What made our session so special (besides the fact she's my cuz) was the location she picked. She really put some thought into it. You see, our grandmother has been in an asissted living home for a few years now but she still has her home in the country. With high emotions my dad and his siblings have been renovating the home to prepare to sell - the home my later-grandfather built with his own bare hands. Like I said...high emotions. The house holds memories. And that's why Jessie chose it.
Memories such as these. Every Sunday the family gathered - some Sundays we gathered to celebrate birthdays (we have birthdays in every month except for March - until now...two great grandchildren have been born in the windy month since our traditions have gone to the way-side). During the warmer months we'd run around barefoot - dirty and grass stains on our feet. We'd throw rocks and poke sticks into the old concrete cattle trough and see what sorts of creatures or green scum we could find...and then dare each other to touch it with our bare hands. Or a race down into the 'holler' where we'd over turn creek stones in hopes of finding a few crawdads. And after the 10 acres had been mowed, we found pleasure in jumping between the hay bales - but always with our parents warning of 'watch our for snakes.' During the colder months? The wood-burning fire place in the basement was always welcoming. And we jumped like monkeys from sofa to sofa during our made up game of 'alligator pit.' Someone aka: 'it' had to tag you as you jumped mid-air between sofas or if you actually dared to run across the floor. We'd play ourselves into a frenzy until we had sweat dripping off our foreheads, then run upstairs to cool off and grab a drink or swipe some food before dinner was actually ready.
So the location was meaningful to all of us. Memories we will have for a life time. Granny's house out in the country.