Many of you might be wondering "Where or What is Pogueland?"
At first hearing, one might think amusement park...and I will agree. In some sense, this was an amusement park for my children. Camping out under the stars. Rope swings. Campfires and S'mores. Fireworks. Playing hide-n-seek in weeds higher than their heads (reminds me of when we played hide-n-seek as kids in the wheat field behind our house...but I digress). Having a whole slew of kids to choose from to play with(we had 8 kids there most of the time, but by the time we left the total count was 15!). Yes, this was definitely an amusement park for my kids!
But actually Pogueland is 40 acres of land that my cousin Jean and her husband, Russ own. I have been hearing of Pogueland for several years, but until this weekend didn't have the pleasure of being invited.
Not only did my children have fun though, but this was just as great for me!! Not only could my children be gone for an hour at a time and I had NO worries as to their whereabouts, I also had a GREAT time reminiscing and making new memories with my cousins. These cousins are the ones I grew up with, and when I think of my childhood they played a huge part.
My cousin, Tom - I think of when he came home from the army and came and stayed with us in Colorado (I was 5 or 6 at the time). As a kid, I thought we MUST be something big and special if he had been gone away from family and he was coming to stay with us!
Tom's wife, Michelle - The first thing I think of when I think of Michelle is her laugh - it is an infectious laugh - one that make you want to know what has tickled her so much... so much so that you want to be involved in all of her conversations. Michelle shared this weekend what she thinks of, when she thinks of me. It was funny really... because they were just 2 one-liner sentences that I had randomly made. Yet, they had stuck in her mind all of these years. (One of them I had made 14 years ago and the other, I think, was longer ago than that!)
Michelle - It was great fun reminiscing with you and "catching" the punch line together!
My cousin, Steve - As a kid, I had extremely long hair. My fondest memory of Steve is him waking me up by gently brushing my hair, and whispering "Wake up." (To most this may not be significant, but I normally was woken by lights being turned on, blankets being pulled off, and shouts of "Get UP!" coming from my mom:)
My cousin, Jean - Jean is someone I look up to more than I think she knows. She is an awesome mom! But more than anything because she befriended me when I was younger, not because she was related to me, but because she wanted to include me. I was one of those shy kids that always wanted to be involved but wouldn't be unless invited to join. That's what Jean did for me! She invited me! Whether it be up to her apartment to go out with her and her friends(when she was single) - or this weekend to Pogueland. An invite means a LOT in my eyes!
Jean's husband, Russ - Russ has always impressed me! But most recently he has impressed me because of his interactions with my children. When my children are involved with what ever his kids are doing - they are one in the same. This may sound like a simple concept, but not all adults follow this when dealing with other people's children.
My cousin, Andrew - Andrew and I are the same age. We share a lot of little experiences that are the same from when we were young - both held back in fifth grade and then both moved to Monett Elementary the same year. But not only that, as adults we are sharing in similar experiences - we both have gone through divorces and are now thrown back into the dating world.
So... that's just a little insight of how dear I hold my just a few members of my family. And even though I may not see them quite as often as a person should, I think they know my love for them has not lessened an ounce from when we were kids.
And... I am proud to say that now my boys are getting to know their cousins and create memories that one day they may look back upon and say, "Remember when???"
***Soon to come - Pogueland pictures****
10 hours ago