I have officially become BFF with my British Relatives and they have invited me out to stay with them, where they will no doubt feed me fish n' chips or bangers n' mash or some other weird sounding food combo.
I actually didn't know that I had British relatives until just a few weeks ago when my mom asked if I want to come along with her to meet them when they were visiting her cousins in Apple Valley. Truth be told, I didn't know she had cousins in Apple Valley either. This is the nature of my Mom's side of the family. It is vast and, for the most part, uncommunicative. (If you are ever looking for the source of my phone phobia, call my mom. Do not wait for her to call you.) This is all complicated by the fact that it's my mom's dad's side of the family and since my grandpa died when my mom was just a kid, that side of the family is a complete mystery to me. So Mom, Katie, Aunt Linda and Shayla and I headed to the desert to find out exactly how we were related to the Brits.
It turns out my mom and British Cousin Jim have the same great grandparents. Finding out how I was related to everyone seemed to be the activity of the night. I said, "Hi I'm Rachel. How are we related," a lot that night because it was basically a house full of strangers. Strangers who fed us really yummy Italian food and turned out to be very lovely and generous people. Seriously, who knew I had such a fun family?
This was a nice reward for driving out to Apple Valley. Because to get to the cousin's house you have to drive 8,000 miles into the desert, then you turn right on a dirt road, swerve around a few yucca trees, and pull into the third house on the left. It was not surprising that the first person we saw as we walked up the drive was my cousin Rick, in a cowboy hat and boots. It completely satiated my need for wilderness living. I was sitting on the back porch and saw something rustling in the brush and that was all I needed.